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Chefs Nick Kayser and Nadine Donovan of Secret Sauce.EXPAND
Chefs Nick Kayser and Nadine Donovan of Secret Sauce.
Linnea Covington

Grilling at the Farmers' Market With the Vesta Crew

Chefs Nick Kayser and Nadine Donovan aren't afraid to release the heat, especially when peaches and the Union Station Farmers' Market are involved. This past Saturday they rolled in their own charcoal grill from Vesta and grilled flatbreads topped with the fresh stone fruit during their cooking demo.

"I think Palisade peaches are some of the best in the country, and the season is so short," Donovan explained as she rolled the dough for the flatbread. "They are so versatile and great for sweet and savory foods." 

Donovan rolls out the dough for flatbread.EXPAND
Donovan rolls out the dough for flatbread.
Linnea Covington

Kayser and Donovan, the corporate chef and pastry chef of Secret Sauce, the culinary group that runs Vesta, Steuben's and Ace Eat Serve, had just finished cooking for a special farmers' market breakfast and were energetically working the crowd. As Kayser used the mandolin to slice the fresh peaches from Ela Family Farm, Donovan broke apart logs of tart goat cheese from Haystack Mountain Cheese.

"The goat cheese adds an acidic balance to give more of a flavor contrast," says Kayser, who also threw in some thin-sliced, house-cured lonza (cured pork loin) from Vesta. "It's a salty match to sweet peach." 

Life is just a box of Palisade peaches.EXPAND
Life is just a box of Palisade peaches.
Linnea Covington

To give the savory flatbread a little more sweetness, Kayser drizzled wildflower honey from Highland Honey onto the bubbling bread. Then came the cheese, and finally the peach slices were scattered on top. After removing the flatbreads from the grill, the chefs added emerald green sunflower shoots purchased from Ollin Farms for some bright crunch. As the two chefs teamed up to make this simple yet showy dish, a crowd quickly formed, staying a good distance from the smoky grill.  

Kayser makes flatbread on a charcoal-fired grill called a kamado.EXPAND
Kayser makes flatbread on a charcoal-fired grill called a kamado.
Linnea Covington

"This time of year for the farmers' market is absolutely perfect," Kayser told an audience eager to try his creation. "You get some of the fall and stone fruits, foraged mushrooms — you can't go wrong."

The featured dish was a flatbread with Vesta's lonza, peaches, goat cheese, honey and sunflower shoots.EXPAND
The featured dish was a flatbread with Vesta's lonza, peaches, goat cheese, honey and sunflower shoots.
Linnea Covington

Shop the Union Station Farmers' Market from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday until October 26. Chef's demos happen weekly from 10 to 11 a.m. The next few on the docket include Chase Devitt of Brider on August 17, Christian Graves of Citizen Rail on August 24, and Taylor Drew of LoHi Steakbar on August 31.

Beautiful peaches from Ela Family Farms.EXPAND
Beautiful peaches from Ela Family Farms.
Linnea Covington
Donovan hunts for sunflower shoots from Ollin Farms.EXPAND
Donovan hunts for sunflower shoots from Ollin Farms.
Linnea Covington
Tasty ingredients that will be added to the flatbread.EXPAND
Tasty ingredients that will be added to the flatbread.
Linnea Covington
The chef's demo on Saturday, August 10, featured chefs Nick Kayser and Nadine Donovan of the Secret Sauce restaurant group.EXPAND
The chef's demo on Saturday, August 10, featured chefs Nick Kayser and Nadine Donovan of the Secret Sauce restaurant group.
Linnea Covington
A pot of local honey from Highland Honey.EXPAND
A pot of local honey from Highland Honey.
Linnea Covington
Teamwork at the Union Station Farmers' Market.EXPAND
Teamwork at the Union Station Farmers' Market.
Linnea Covington
Kayser and Donovan used Haystack Mountain Cheese goat cheese in plain and cracked pepper flavors.EXPAND
Kayser and Donovan used Haystack Mountain Cheese goat cheese in plain and cracked pepper flavors.
Linnea Covington
Kayser adds topping to the flatbread.EXPAND
Kayser adds topping to the flatbread.
Linnea Covington
The sweet and savory flatbread.EXPAND
The sweet and savory flatbread.
Linnea Covington

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