Just when you think you've done it all in your local area, an activity like Liz Biro's Top Chef Farmers Market and Tour reignites the local scene and demonstrates how interconnected a town truly is.
Our tour was comprised of seven participants which kept it intimate, friendly, and expedient, but not rushed. We started off the day at the Hot Pink Cake stand which was already hard at work on a Saturday morning. A sample tasting of the sweets and treats offered by this lovely dessert place and a cuppa coffee or tea are included with the tour. It was a great way for us to get to know each other an be briefed on Liz's background in journalism and foray into culinary journalism.
Next, we hopped over to the fabulous Saturday Wilmington Farmer's Market where we engaged and were educated about farm-to-table and organic farming practices, and met up with Chef Kyle McKnight of Manna Restaurant. From the colorful display and tastes of various fruits and vegetables and goat cheese, Liz was a wonderful facilitator for the group between the farmers and Chef - all the while encouraging questions and facilitating our foodie and gardening questions and interests. The highlight of the farmer's market during the tour was the interactivity between Chef Kyle and our next activity: the task was to pick out multiple ingredients for Chef Kyle to pull together at Manna Restaurant - our final stop of the day. Our group managed to pick out some outrageous combinations of herbs (Mediterranean and Japanese) out of sheer fun and to see if we could challenge the chef ... boy were we wrong!
The final stop of the day was a cooking class given by Chef Kyle McKnight at Manna Restaurant. This wasn't your ordinary class where you sit, watch, and then do. Kyle had each and every one of us involved with the chopping, grilling, sauteeing, etc. so much so that we felt like we were his sous chefs! We also got a sampling of his homemade charcuterie (to die for!) which is kind of a lost artisan practice here in the States. All the while, Liz and Kyle also mentioned various events/themed nights that occur at Manna. In the end, we wound up with stuffed bellies and excited palettes from the grilled vegetable medley with homemade charcuterie and included ALL of the herbs that we picked out from the market!
This tour is one of the most dynamic we've ever been on and is highly recommended for foodies ... and even if you're not, this one might change your mind. You'll get a taste of how interconnected Wilmington truly is from farm to table.
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