Tips From NYC Chefs on How to Get Farmer's Market Produce

Pepper selection at Union Square Greenmarket  | YELP, Jennifer Z. 

Pepper selection at Union Square Greenmarket | YELP, Jennifer Z. 

With the farm-to-table trend spreading rapidly– farmer's markets have become busier than ever. No longer can Chefs go to Greenmarket at 7 a.m. and expect to get all the ingredients they need.

However, here are some tips on how to navigate these farmer's markets-

  • A little buttering up doesn't hurt. If the farmer likes you, then they will make sure to have the produce you need. "You have to be really nice to make sure your produce is set aside," says Amanda Cohen, the Chef and Owner of Dirt Candy.
  • Paying the farmer in cash, instead of invoicing. This is what José Ramírez-Ruiz, the Chef at Semilla does.
  • Berry farmer, Rick Bishop of Mountain Sweet Berry Farm says that some of his customers pay in advance, give him cookies, and he has even had chefs cook meals for him. 
  • Be flexible with what you need for your menu. Get creative with less known vegetables.  
  • Start your own garden or find someone to partner with to take care of a small farm for restaurant.
  • Dan Barber, Chef of Blue Hill Farm says- "You need to get them during seed-buying time, in January." Then you can start the relationship early. 

Read more tips here