I get regular e-mail blasts from Fresh Market about the store’s cooking demonstrations, but I had never stopped by until Saturday afternoon. The store’s featured recipe “Smoky Shrimp and Sweet Potato Chowder” hooked me, due to the lonely bowl of sweet potatoes on my kitchen counter.
Things are busy at Fresh Market on Saturdays, but the crowds didn’t deter Davona Patterson, who was happy to discuss the lovely smoked flavor of her chowder and ladle out a taste. Patterson, who is a personal chef, had tried out the recipe at home, and she was enthusiastic about the results: “The longer is sits on the stove, the better it gets,” she said.
There were several other stations with sample dishes using products from the store. Cheryl Crawford demonstrated a caprese salad, drizzling chestnut honey and reduced balsamic vinegar (bubbling in a pan at her station) on heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil, and Ggocery clerk Cameron William handed out generous samplings of Dorset cereals, a granola made with fruits, nuts, and seeds from around world.
Since we had all the chowder ingredients at home, except for the soup’s smoked paprika, which we dutifully purchased, Tony whipped up a batch the next day, adding slices of chicken sausage to the fragrant pot. Paired with thick slices of kalamata whole-wheat bread from Shoaf’s Loaf and raw milk cheddar from Easy Way, our Sunday dinner was simple and satisfying.
For a schedule of upcoming cooking demos, go here.