4 Chicago Chefs Spill Their Favorite Farmers' Market Finds


2-Lamb meatballs_Galdones PhotographyChicago's farmers' markets will be opening in just a few weeks, which means it's time to temporarily give up the grocery store for one of the city's 70-plus meccas. Between downtown and neighborhood options and big boys, like Green City, it's never been easier to scoop up some locally grown, farm-fresh produce. But if you're not sure what to do with your sunchokes or greens beyond a humdrum salad, we've got some shopping (an eating!) inspiration from four top Chicago chefs. Don't worry — if you're not a whiz in the kitchen, you can just head to their restaurants and try one of their creations instead.

Chef: Bryan Moscatello
Restaurant: Storefront Company
Favorite farmer: Lloyd Nichols at Nichols Farms
Favorite produce: Squashes, baby lettuce, sunchokes, blooms, and more
Restaurant dish that uses the produce: Consomme with clams, potatoes, lapsang tea, and blooms

Chef: James Beard Award-nominated chef Andrew Zimmerman
Restaurant: Sepia
Favorite farmer: Tracy Vowel at Three Sisters Farm in Kankakee
Favorite produce: Sweet corn, coarse and fine white cornmeal, pea shoots, zucchini, buckwheat shoots, winter squashes
Restaurant dish that uses the produce: Pan-roasted halibut with curried sweet corn and clam chowder

Chef: Nicole Pederson
Restaurant: Found
Favorite farmer: Slagel Family Farm
Favorite Produce: Lamb and beef
Restaurant dish that uses the produce: Lamb meat balls with pistachio chimichurri and yogurt

Chef: William Johnson
Restaurant: Filini Bar and Restaurant
Favorite farmer: Farmer Jeanne Sexton at Meadow Haven Farm
Favorite Produce: Organic pasture-raised eggs
Restaurant dish that uses the produce: Crispy soft poached egg with truffle emulsion, root vegetables, and frisee

Photo: Courtesy of Galdones Photography