And the Master of the Market is….
Staff from Country Financial were at the market to hand out bags with their original artwork on it.
When Sue Zelickson and I showed up at the Minneapolis Farmers Market’s Lyndale location on a Saturday morning in August to emcee the Country Chef Challenge, we weren’t expecting to see a video crew from New York with multiple cameras, a sound board and a slew of producers readying us for a live Facebook feed.
Chef Laura Bonicelli of Bonicelli Kitchen and Chef Todd MacDonald of Red Rabbit were the two brave souls competing in the challenge sponsored by Country Financial. The chefs had $50 and 20 minutes to shop in the market and then 30 minutes to prepare a dish. Judges then ranked their finished product on presentation, taste, creativity and adaptability for the home cook. The chef with the most points got Master of the Market bragging rights.
Judges were Joy Summers, editor of Eater Twin Cities and co-editor of the Taste section of Minnesota Monthly magazine; Stephanie Meyer, a writer, photographer and cooking instructor; and the winner of last year’s competition, Chef Gerald Klass, owner of Klassics, a catering company that fuses hip hop and soul food.
Bonicelli prepared a Farmers Market Soup using lots of fresh produce—an easy find at the market—in a milk-based broth. A seasoned veteran of the markets, where she’s been shopping for years, Bonicelli even had a few dollars left over to buy flowers for the judges.
But as delicious as that looked, MacDonald’s crispy-seared chicken with a fresh herb salad won the judges’ palate. The win was MacDonald’s second in a row, the previous weekend he was the winner of another culinary challenge at the Uptown Art Fair.