Loam Collaboration: Chef Fest Houston Delivers Big Flavors with a Small Farm Vibe
The sun may have been hiding, but the veggies were shining at Chef Fest Houston 2018!
It was a perfect recipe for a breezy March afternoon of fun and local food discovery at Harvest Green, a 12-acre affiliate farm of Loam Agronomics. Both farms donated their sustainably grown produce for the chefs to experiment with and wow festival attendees, who came to eat of course, but also to enjoy some brews, live music and the small farm atmosphere, including goats and chickens!
Harvest Green Village Farm’s 2nd Annual Chef Fest showcased local produce and proteins, expertly crafted into impressive bites by 12 unique chefs (like Chef Robert Lyford’s Beets and Rye, pictured above, or Chef Ara Malekian’s 44 Farms Brisket and Kale Slaw, pictured below).
This collaboration of local food and talent closes the gap, from farm to table, by spotlighting local ingredients and presenting creative ways to use them — all while also benefiting four Houston organizations in the process: the Houston Food Bank, Houston Food System Collaborative, I’ll Have What She’s Having, and Urban Harvest.
I got a chance to chat with each chef (between bites, that is) to talk about home cooking, buying local, and of course, radishes:)
Head over to the Loam Agronomics site to read the chefs’ expert tips for cooking in-season and supporting the local food chain »
Or keep scrolling here to read their responses to a special question just for The Humble Radish:
What is your favorite preparation of radishes?
“Lay loose — grass-fed butter and some salt, really good salt, like Blue Heron spicy salt. There’s a reason why it’s a classic French thing: It works. Plus, the radishes grown around here are so awesome.”
– Chef Monica Pope | Sparrow Cookshop | Houston
“I love radishes with butter and salt.”
– Chef Rebecca Masson | Fluff Bake Bar | Houston
“Raaaaaw. But I also like to pickle radishes because they smell like little farts — it’s true.”
– Chef Jason Kerr
Chefs Kerr and Reyenga | Little Kitchen HTX | Houston
“Pretty classic: With butter.”
– Chef Adam Brick | Marinas (coming late 2018) | Austin
“Simple, man — French status, where it’s just butter, radish and salt. Or lightly grilled, but I like a crunch still, so maybe just a little char.”
– Chef Matt McCallister | FT33 | Dallas
“Radishes and butter. Salt…and a bit of really nice bread.”
– Chef Jill Bartolome | Aqui | Houston
“Depends on the type of radish, and the time of year — you have to taste them before you decide what to do with them. I like to pickle radishes, but they’re also really good roasted.”
– Chef Chris Zettlemoyer | Renegade Kitchen & Catering | Richmond
“Raw radish with salt, lemon juice and some good butter.”
“I pickle radishes — it works really well for their flavor.”
– Chef Stephanie Hoban | Ripe Cuisine | Houston
“I like radishes and butter with sea salt, and I love caramelized radishes in a cast iron pan with a little butter, sea salt and vinegar to finish it.”
– Chef Ned Elliott | formerly of Foreign & Domestic | Austin
“Soaked in a little bit of lemon juice, then salt and pepper. That’s it.”
– Chef Ara Malekian | Harlem Road Texas B.B.Q. | Richmond
“Raw with butter and sea salt. Just simple and classic.”
– Chef Robert Lyford | Patina Green Home and Market | McKinney
Hungry for more cooking advice from these innovative chefs? Check out their tips for making the switch to local ingredients on my Member in Residence blog for Loam Agronomics.
(Pictured below: Chefs Elliott, Bartolome and Masson)