Farmers' Markets

Farmers' Market Finds: Beast + Bottle's Beautiful Bounty

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Linnea Covington
Tiny tomatoes in every color at the Fleisher Family Farm stand.
Every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through October 28, the Union Station Farmers' Market (run by Boulder County Farmers' Markets), rolls out the jewels of the earth. There are new finds each week, which makes it a marketplace perfect for a chef looking to try something fresh, new and grown nearby.

This might be the last truly great harvest at the farmers' market this year. But despite the snow today, the farmers and chef Brian Wilson of Beast + Bottle only smiled as they discussed the vegetables, fruits and herbs on display this past sunny Saturday morning. "We have a deep relationship with most of these farmers, and if I have a question I can text Christian Toohey [of Toohey & Sons Organic] or Josh [Olsen of ACRES at Warren Tech]," says Wilson. "The farmers' market is such a safe haven for cooks and chefs."

In order to decide just what to cook today, we tasted honey at Highland Honey, sampled elephant heart plums at Ela Family Farm, and chatted with Matt Koster of Corner Post Meats. "Buying the best product doesn’t mean always getting the same products," says Wilson. "Certain farmers, like Josh, will pull me aside and tell me about a really cool ingredient that no one, or just one other chef might be using."

In the end Wilson created two dishes: a lionfish crudo with plums, and a butter-basted mushroom and egg plate. Both proved just as tasty as they looked.