Peninsula chefs are the spotlight of the Chef at the Market series

Editor’s note: The graphic accompanying this story has been corrected to show that Fine Thyme Cafe chef Bobbi Stelljes will be cooking at the Chef at the Market event on July 3. 

The Chef at the Market series is like being a part of a live cooking show.

“You know how popular cooking videos are on Facebook?” Heidi Chay, district manager of Kenai Soil and Water Conservation District, said. “People should think of this as a cooking video, but so much better because you can see, hear and taste the results, and talk with the person who prepared it.”

Running off and on since 2010, Chef at the Market is a series featuring live cooking demonstrations and free samples prepared by local chefs at farmers markets.

“The goal is really to encourage more people to come to the farmers markets and that supports our community health and a more diverse economy,” Chay said. “People can learn new and creative ways to use our Alaska grown produce.”

For the first time, Chef at the Market features all local chefs, from local restaurants. In past years, the series brought in chefs from other areas or hosted local volunteers and home cooks.

“The last two winters we’ve been building connections between local restaurant chefs and the farming community, and we’ve done that through a series of events called Farmers and Chefs,” Chay said. “So when I called the chefs this time around people were interested and said yes.”

Farmers and Chefs is a networking event for farmers, food professionals and anyone interested in learning more about serving local products.

This summer, Chef Bobbi Stelljes of Fine Thyme Cafe in Soldotna is participating in the Chef at the Market series for the first time.

“It’s a nice way to see what people can do with local produce,” Stelljes said.

She plans to purchase some produce from the Saturday market for her Tuesday demonstration at the Farmers Fresh Market.

“I want to work with some greens and do them up in a special way,” Stelljes said. “If it’s cold I might make a soup.”

The Chef at the Market series is funded through the state’s Specialty Crop Grant Program. Chefs receive a small stipend to purchase ingredients but volunteer their time for the events.

The Chef at the Market series will be held at the Soldotna Saturday Farmers Market in the parking lot next to Soldotna Elementary, and the Farmers Fresh Market on Tuesdays at the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank.

The demonstrations at the Soldotna Saturday Farmers Market will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturdays, under a Chef at the Market tent.

On June 30, chef Quintin Mapes of Mykel’s Restaurant will be demonstrating grilled summer salads. On July 14, Ally Bril and Emma Becherer with Ionian Kitchens will be doing a bruschetta demonstration. The August 4 demonstration has yet to be announced.

The Farmers Fresh Market demonstrations will be at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays under the Chef at the Market tent.

On July 3, Chef Bobbi Stelljes of Fine Thyme Cafe will be hosting the demonstration, July 10, Chef Steve England of Kenai Catering and on July 17, Chef Andrew Agosti of The Flats Bistro.

Reach Victoria Petersen at vpetersen@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Graphic by Ashlyn O'Hara
Borough, school district finalizing $65M bond package

Efforts to fund maintenance and repairs at school district facilities have been years in the making

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Members of the House Majority Coalition spent most of Friday, May 13, 2022, in caucus meetings at the Alaska State Capitol, discussing how to proceed with a large budget bill some have called irresponsible. With a thin majority in the House of Representatives, there’s a possibility the budget could pass.
State budget work stretches into weekend

Sessions have been delayed and canceled since Wednesday

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Alaskans for Better Government members La quen náay Liz Medicine Crow, Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson and ‘Wáahlaal Gidáak Barbara Blake embrace on the floor of the Alaska State Senate following the passage of House Bill 123, a bill to formally recognize the state’s 229 federally recognized tribes.
Tribal recognition bill clears Senate, nears finish line

Senators say recognition of tribes was overdue

The Alaska Division of Forestry’s White Mountain crew responds to a fire burning near Milepost 46.5 of the Sterling Highway on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, near Cooper Landing, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Cooper Landing Emergency Services)
Officials encourage residents to firewise homes

The central peninsula has already had its first reported fires of the season

In this September 2017 file photo from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, beluga whales arch their backs through the surface of the water. Of Alaska’s five distinct beluga whale populations, only Cook Inlet’s is listed as endangered. (Courtesy the Alaska Department of Fish and Game)
Celebrate belugas with virtual programming next week

The three-day event will include conferences and activities

Capt. Corey Wheeler, front, commander of B Company, 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, walks away from a Chinook helicopter that landed on the glacier near Denali, April 24, 2016, on the Kahiltna Glacier in Alaska. The U.S. Army helped set up base camp on North America’s tallest mountain. The U.S. Army is poised to revamp its forces in Alaska to better prepare for future cold-weather conflicts, and it is expected to replace the larger, heavily equipped Stryker Brigade there with a more mobile, infantry unit better suited for the frigid fight, according to Army leaders. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)
Army poised to revamp Alaska forces to prep for Arctic fight

The U.S. has long viewed the Arctic as a growing area of competition with Russia and China

A man fishes in the Kenai River on July 16, 2018, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion/file)
Emergency orders, fishing conditions updated

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game Division of Sport Fish released a Northern Kenai fishing report Friday

My Alaskan Gifts is seen at the Kenai Municipal Airport on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Municipal Airport gets gift shop

Locally sourced Alaska products are the newest addition to the Kenai Municipal… Continue reading

FILE - A sign requiring masks as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus on a store front in Philadelphia, is seen Feb. 16, 2022. Philadelphia is reinstating its indoor mask mandate after reporting a sharp increase in coronavirus infections, Dr. Cheryl Bettigole, the city’s top health official, announced Monday, April 11, 2022. Confirmed COVID-19 cases have risen more than 50% in 10 days, the threshold at which the city’s guidelines call for people to wear masks indoors. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
US marks 1 million COVID-19 deaths; 15 more reported in Alaska

The state Department of Health and Social Services reported 15 more COVID-19… Continue reading

Most Read