How A Chef Shops The Farmers' Market

Instagram is so full of #EEEEATS these days, it’s hard to scroll through your news feed without salivating — especially in the summer, when shots of fresh produce are more popular than selfies. It's the perfect motivation to get over your fear of cooking from scratch and wow your own followers with foodie-approved snaps.
...Except, we're no Danny Amend. So, we teamed up with Ford to invite our friends from The New Potato over to the R29 Montauk Beach House for a lesson in DIY organic cooking. Never ones to avoid a kitchen (even when it's not their own), sisters Danielle and Laura Kosann hopped into a Ford Escape and hit up the town's produce stands for the best locally grown ingredients. Oh, and they shared their secrets to navigating the markets on (where else?) Instagram, so anyone can DIY these dishes.
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Not only did they earn their keep for the weekend with an amazing spread, they convinced us that even we can serve up a 'gram-worthy meal using just local ingredients. Ahead, they walk you through their farm-to-table adventure. Get inspired to cook up a dish to remember — seconds (and thirds) are highly encouraged.
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Photo: Courtesy of The New Potato
Know your (local) sources.
"It may be ‘trendy,’ but farm-to-table really is the healthiest way to eat," says Danielle. "The emphasis restaurants are putting on it is amazing, and it's made eating as a 'foodie' healthier and more enjoyable. It's nice to know where your food is coming from."
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Photographed by Danielle and Laura Kosann.
Consider shelf-life: Shopping fresh doesn't mean shopping only for tonight.
"We originally wanted to plan this weekend's menu around what was fresh and local. Corn is always an obvious choice in summer, so we definitely had that in mind, too! If you buy in bulk early in the week, it's easy to portion out and use throughout the week in various dishes or as snacks," says Laura.
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Photographed by Danielle and Laura Kosann.
Don't limit yourself to what's edible.
"Fresh flowers are a lot like local, fresh produce. They kind of do the work for you when it comes to setting the table!" says Danielle. "The Amagansett market is one of our favorites in the Hamptons. It's small enough that it's not overwhelming, but it still has everything you need."
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Photo: Courtesy of The New Potato
Get to know the people behind the stands.
"When you're shopping at farmers' markets, there’s also a great story behind the food. Now we're more familiar with the people behind what’s on our plates, which is really special," says Laura.

Photographed at Eli Zabar's Amagansett Farmer's Market, 367 Main Street, Amagansett; 631-267-3894.
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Photographed by Danielle and Laura Kosann.
Take advantage of what's in season.
"When we saw the abundance of amazing tomatoes, we decided on the spot to scoop up some heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella for a Caprese salad," says Danielle.
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Photographed by Danielle and Laura Kosann.
A little bit of dirt never hurt anyone.
"People think that the produce at farmers' markets is dirty because it's outside. That's so not true! You can't even imagine what goes on in grocery stores — you should always wash your produce. But, you should never be afraid to buy from a farmers' market," says Danielle.
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Photo: Courtesy of The New Potato
Don't go crazy with ingredients — the simpler, the better.
"There are a million different ways to prepare greens: in salads, grilled, sautéed. But, we like vegetables best simply with a little olive oil and salt, grilled or raw," says Laura. "Lately, we've been really into grilling romaine with some crumbled blue cheese — it's so simple but so good."
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Photo: Courtesy of The New Potato
Head straight for the good stuff.
"There’s a reason why chefs say that when you go to mass grocery stores, you should stay on the perimeter rather than going in the inner aisles — that's where all the processed stuff is. Really, grocery stores should be comprised of just ‘the perimeter'; that’s why green markets are so popular," says Laura.
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Photographed by Danielle and Laura Kosann.
Soak in your environment, and maybe snap an Instagram or two.
"Produce can be so beautiful — it's actually visually inspiring. Wandering through farmers' markets inspires ideas for new dishes and also stories on The New Potato in general," says Danielle.
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Photographed by Danielle and Laura Kosann.
Don't plan your whole menu before you go. Check out the goods, and buy what looks delicious.
"We kind of cook based on our moods and what we want to eat that day," says Laura. "For example, if farm-fresh tomatoes are catching our eye at Whole Foods, we feel a Caprese salad is a must. Or, maybe there are peaches that are so ripe they'll definitely spoil within the next few days...time to grill them for dessert!"
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Photographed by Danielle and Laura Kosann.
Enjoy the spoils!
"Food shopping is exhausting and rewarding," says Danielle. "Laura's dog, Scout, loved the fresh produce as much as we did! He confuses fresh peaches with tennis balls sometimes."
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