Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Junior Chef Cook-off

What farmers market would be complete without a demonstration of cooking prowess?  Well, Montavilla Farmers Market went one step further.  Instead of showcasing just one chef...lets do three!  In a bid to even outdo having three chefs...lets have their kids do the cooking! 

Voila!  We have the first annual Junior Chef Cook-off.  (For more highlights of the Market season opener, visit

The Cook-off is the brainchild of Daniel Miller, who also has Duckspoon, a web site about food, cooking and general goings-on locally and in the region.  Daniel was also the Master of Ceremonies for the Cook-off.  (You can learn more about Duckspoon here:

As part of the opening day festivities, the MFM featured the culinary skills of the next generation of chefs. Three local restaurants donated their skills and time for a worthy cause. Voting for one's favorite team consisted of placing tokens or money into one of three boxes, placed at each of the three cooking stations.  The winner was determined by the amount of contributions in their respective box, and the proceeds went to the Dougy Center, a local grief counseling center. 

The competition also used produce or other stock that is available that day at the market, which was donated by the vendors.

A representative from the Dougy Center shared a few words before starting the competition.  You can learn more about the Dougy Center here:

The three chefs who laid aside their knives and spatulas for their progeny were: Chef Tim Daly from Cheese Bar and his daughter Hannah, age 11.  (

Chef Kenny Hill from Trebol featured his daughters Helena Bockstadter (11) and Iris Roy (3 1/2).  Trebol's link is (Iris was a little shy for the photo)

Chef Adam Sappington of the Country Cat ( featured his sons Atticus (8) and Quinn (6)

Chefs Hannah and her sister work hard to cut those radishes just right.
Chef Helena adds a dash of this and a sprig of that...hey, remember I'm just  the photographer.  My role in the kitchen is usually limited to the sink and the dishwasher.  

Here a lucky judge samples one of Chefs Atticus and Quinn's offerings - a pancake with chocolate.  I think he likes it.

The winner of the 2011 Junior Chef Cook-off is...(drum roll, please), Chef Helena and her assistant, Kenny Hill!  Congratulations, Helena. 

Each Cook-off team received a trophy for their efforts.  Of course, the real winners were those of us who were fortunate enough to sample the delicious food...not to mention the contribution of almost $200 to the Dougy Center.

The Vegetable Express has Arrived

Many of us wait with bated breath for that day in June, when we can stride out of our homes, still pale from the gloom of winter and the dreariness of the rain-soaked Pacific Northwest into the June sun...and the first day of the Farmers Market.  Down the street we go, toting our reusable sacks or baskets, and if we live too far away we ride our bicycles...onward towards that Shangri-la of produce, provisions and perhaps a little partying.  Opening day for the 2011 season of the Montavilla Farmers Market has arrived!

 After the rains, we didn't know how to move about while our eyes are blinded by the brightness of the sun...yet we did, and we loved it.

 Groundworks Organic Farms is one of the Market's main vendors

 Zenger Farms also provides fine organic produce.

Sweet Chaos is the perfect stop for some sweets...dunno about the chaos, though.  They seemed pretty calm to me.
 Food Lush makes her debut to the market with varieties of cheesecakes

 Frog Meadows specializes in biodynamic farming practices.

Robert Richter is an energetic performer creating music that blends different genres from folk to blues to rock to Celtic played with passion and energy.

If one's musical tastes lean more towards the classical, then Vibe of Portland’s Creative Outlet gave us some  fun, market inspired art projects for the kids...and music.

It isn't just about produce.  Flowers to brighten one's home is also available.

A couple of our illustrious volunteers

For more information about the Montavilla Farmers Market, visit their web site at  You can also see photos of the Junior Chef Cook-off at