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

From right, Soldotna City Council members Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings, Dan Nelson and Jordan Chilson listen to testimony during a council meeting on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Council to mull limits on use of Soldotna ADUs as short-term rentals

Accessory dwelling units refer to subordinate, detached units

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Wildlife Troopers and CES rescue hunter missing for 12 hours

State troopers were notified around 6 p.m. Wednesday that the hunter hadn’t returned

The Alaska State Capitol awaits a legislators forming new majority coalitions and the return of Gov. Mike Dunleavy after the winners of the general election were announced Wednesday. The Senate will have a 17-member bipartisan ruling coalition, while the House arrangement remains uncertain due to at least one likely recount and questions about partisan alignments. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Bipartisan majority formed for new state Senate

Eight Republicans join nine Democrats after many years of Republican rule

Dr. Michael Reyes manipulates ROSA during a demonstration at Central Peninsula Hospital on Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Knee surgeries get assist from robot arms

Robotic Surgical Assistant, called ROSA, is a new addition to CPH and the first in Alaska

During a hearing at the Juneau Courthouse, 34-year-old Anthony Michael Migliaccio pleaded not guilty after he was arrested on a first-degree murder charge in the killing of a 55-year-old Juneau woman. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Man arrested in Juneau killing pleads not guilty

News follows a two-month investigation.

Kenai Finance Director Terry Eubank presents during a budget work session on Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai tries again to fill city manager position

After 1st round of negotiations fall through, Kenai to pursue Eubank for role

Soldotna Montessori Charter School kindergartners parade with balloons around the school playground on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Balloons on parade

Montessori kids put spin on traditional Macy’s parade

Most Read