Festival Honors Local Chefs at Mercado Mayapan

Friday, September 28, 2012 - 8:41pm

When local chefs use local food, we win.

That's why Mercado Mayapan is working with local chefs to put on El Paso's first ever farm to chef festival. Tune in to our newscast interview for specifics from Ruby Orozco and Jack Stalling.

In a time of increasing public awareness about the importance of fresh, local foods and the development of sustainable food systems, festival organizers said they will bring together community members, farmers, and area chefs to celebrate local foods and cuisine.

Local chefs will be faced with the enjoyable challenge of conducting cooking demonstrations with ingredients brought by growers from the region including tomato, onion, cactus, watermelon, pecans, butternut squash, and different varieties of fresh, roasted, and dried chili.

"My favorite part of conducting cooking demonstrations is hearing from community members who approach me with their own recipes that include nopales and other traditional foods," said Chef Antonio Lopez of Project Chicomecoatl, which he co-founded with Jessica Ruizquez. He will demonstrate how to make various recipes including a grilled watermelon, feta, and mint dish. "Sharing our family's traditional recipes and stories can lead to improving our community's health."

Chef Ruli (Raul Gonzalez, III), owner of Ruli's International Kitchen and advocate of the farm to table philosophy, will also be conducting a demonstration.

The event is hosted by La Mujer Obrera's Mayapan Farmers Market, which is currently in its second season, and the Texas Department of Agriculture, Go Texan Program.

It takes place tomorrow at Mercado Mayapan Saturday, Sept. 29 from 10am to 2pm. The address is 2101 Myrtle Avenue, admission is free.

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