Farmers and Rock Star Chefs Meet Restaurant Fans
Last Wednesday, Michael’s Santa Monica held the May Monthly Market Meet-Up where restauranteur Michael McCarty and Chef John-Carlos Kuramoto (former lead line cook at Campanile and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America) led a tour of the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market to introduce attendees to their favorite farmers and pick the best ingredients of the season. The group then headed back to the restaurant and enjoyed dishes specially created by the Chef featuring the ingredients just purchased – along with wine pairings.
Before things got started that morning, the group met at the restaurant and enjoyed freshly made cinnamon buns, with firm instructions by Michael to use lots of butter. While he’s definitely a butter pusher, I have to say, those buns were worth almost any problematic consequence later.
One real highlight of the tour was Michael pointing out the rock star chefs seemingly around every corner such as Josiah Citrin of Melisse (that halo affect in the photo is somehow perfectly fitting, don’t you think?) …
… and the buzzed about Brian Dunsmoor of(who said he’s only going to continue his pop up through June so we better get over there!) …
Another benefit of the tour were the Insider Tips to the Market, helping us learn where Michael’s gets his amazing products. Some of his favorite providers include:
- Weiser Farmers – for potatoes, melons, squash +
- Flora Bella – for Little Gems lettuces +
- Pudwill Farm – for Berries
- Zuckerman’s Farm – for giant asparagus +
- Harry’s Berries – for all of their strawberries
- Garcia Organic Farms – for citrus
- Briar Patch – for squash +
- McGrath Family Farms – for carrots +
- Coleman Family Farms – for greens +
- Windrose Farm – for Heirloom Apples +
And, wow, this is some incredible product …
Part 2 of the Tour was back at Michael’s on the patio to await a lunch created by Chef John-Carlos with the produce just purchased at the market that day.
Michael entertained by answering Foodie questions, such as:
- Best oysters? NYC’s Grand Central Oyster Bar … he orders one of each (80 varieties there!), then orders 6 more of the two varieties he likes best … all paired with Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc;
- Rose and Sancerre wine? It’s best to drink the current vintages; and
- Molecular gastronomy? He has strong opinions (to be seen on video post of the event coming soon).
So what was for lunch? Two absolutely delicious dishes that featured the produce just bought from the market, including Fennel and Blood Oranges …
So, rock star chef sitings, insider Farmers Market tips and incredible, freshly made food at Michael’s? Pretty much a to-die-for Farmers Market experience. If you’d like to go to a future Monthly Market Meet-Up, you may call the restaurant at 310.451.0843 to reserve ($75 per person).