Farmers' Markets

Grilling at the Farmers' Market With the Vesta Crew

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

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." 
click to enlarge Donovan rolls out the dough for flatbread. - LINNEA COVINGTON
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." 
click to enlarge Life is just a box of Palisade peaches. - LINNEA COVINGTON
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.  
click to enlarge Kayser makes flatbread on a charcoal-fired grill called a kamado. - LINNEA COVINGTON
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."
click to enlarge The featured dish was a flatbread with Vesta's lonza, peaches, goat cheese, honey and sunflower shoots. - LINNEA COVINGTON
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.

click to enlarge Beautiful peaches from Ela Family Farms. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Beautiful peaches from Ela Family Farms.
Linnea Covington
click to enlarge Donovan hunts for sunflower shoots from Ollin Farms. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Donovan hunts for sunflower shoots from Ollin Farms.
Linnea Covington
click to enlarge Tasty ingredients that will be added to the flatbread. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Tasty ingredients that will be added to the flatbread.
Linnea Covington
click to enlarge The chef's demo on Saturday, August 10, featured chefs Nick Kayser and Nadine Donovan of the Secret Sauce restaurant group. - LINNEA COVINGTON
The chef's demo on Saturday, August 10, featured chefs Nick Kayser and Nadine Donovan of the Secret Sauce restaurant group.
Linnea Covington
click to enlarge A pot of local honey from Highland Honey. - LINNEA COVINGTON
A pot of local honey from Highland Honey.
Linnea Covington
click to enlarge Teamwork at the Union Station Farmers' Market. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Teamwork at the Union Station Farmers' Market.
Linnea Covington
click to enlarge Kayser and Donovan used Haystack Mountain Cheese goat cheese in plain and cracked pepper flavors. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Kayser and Donovan used Haystack Mountain Cheese goat cheese in plain and cracked pepper flavors.
Linnea Covington
click to enlarge Kayser adds topping to the flatbread. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Kayser adds topping to the flatbread.
Linnea Covington
click to enlarge The sweet and savory flatbread. - LINNEA COVINGTON
The sweet and savory flatbread.
Linnea Covington
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Linnea Covington moved back to Denver after spending thirteen years in New York City and couldn't be happier to be home, exploring the Mile High and eating as much as possible, especially when it involves pizza or ice cream.
Contact: Linnea Covington