There are a handful of culinary experiences I’m determined to cross off my long list before I die — luckily for me, I’ve made lots of progress already! High on the list was a visit to the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market (one of the finest in the country) alongside one of my culinary crushes, Amelia Saltsman, author of The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook. We met up at the market bright and early, and as I swooned at the sight of perfectly ripe fruit and abundant greens, Amelia navigated the bounty with brisk efficiency… “These taste early,” she’d proclaim about a nectarine that seemed pretty incredible to a rookie. “Try this. Now this is worth the splurge,” she’d offer me a bite of what her nose and long relationships with growers and producers told her was the crème de la crème. I tasted, and the flavor nearly brought me to my knees, over and over again. Wine-dark strawberries, perfumed apricots, delicate golden raspberries, musky green garlic just developing into cloves, buttery fingerling potatoes, peppery greens: we loaded our bags until they burst at the seams.
In Santa Monica? You can have a market tour with Amelia, too! Check her website for dates.
*photography by Thomas Winslow
What do you do?
I write and teach about local, seasonal foods and cooking. I’m endlessly inspired by hardworking passionate farmers and the foods they grow and how what they do makes our lives so much better in so many ways. So, I also advocate at the state level for small family farms to have opportunities to sell directly to people like me!