Despite the devilish wind on Saturday morning, plenty of vendors still showed up to the Union Station Farmers' Market
, albeit without awnings. With one week to go, the availability of produce dwindled, but chef Christian Graves of Citizen Rail
was on track to shop for a splendid meal of local fresh foods. In fact, he whipped up three fantastic plates showcasing the bounty of the farms as well as the dry-aged beef the restaurant is known for. And if given the opportunity, he could have easily done twice as many dishes.
"I cook on mood and feeling," the chef says. "And, as it's brisk this morning, that will probably have a lot to do with it."
Graves didn't come to the market with set ideas for what he would make, but after a tour around the stalls he had developed a whole menu of tasty, market-driven meals. At Native Horns Dairy
out of Larkspur we got some sweet and mellow goat cheese, which, the owner says, will be sold at Il Porcellino Salumi
in Denver after the market ends. We picked up a bunch of broccoli rabe from Boulder's Cure Organic Farm
and an equally bright bag of baby mixed greens and a carton of "ugly" cherry tomatoes from Micro Farms, a collection of suburban plots. Like most chefs, Graves gravitated towards Josh Olsen's ACRES at Warren Tech
stand to check out the chef's cooler. Then, at Toohey & Sons Organic
we got honeynut squash, a hybrid butternut variety developed in New York at Cornell University.
The menu was set to feature a steak with a tangy tomato relish with burnt anchovies; whipped house-made ricotta with herbs and cucumber; and the honeynut stuffed with goat cheese and topped with frisee and a sauce made with charred broccoli rabe and green onions.