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How to engage local chefs to do farmers market cooking demos

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

If you have any ideas on how to better engages local chefs to volunteer with the farmers market to do cooking demonstrations, please let me know. Currently, we go around and ask each restaurant. All of their food is supplied as well as a commerial kitchen, etc. We can't really give them money since we are a non profit and not making alot to begin with, but any ideas to bring more chefs on would be appreciated! Thx, LF
post #2 of 9
Put on a mystery basket cook off for professional chefs. No ego driven chef in either his right or wrong mind can pass up one of those!:o
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #3 of 9
Design a promotional package and work with the local Restaurant Assn. They'll send it to all their members.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #4 of 9
Speaking on the competition idea, which I think is excellent, some will focus on financial compensation, but most will do it for the glory.
It has to be publicized with local media coverage, even if it's just a blurb in the food section of the local paper, but TV exposure is very nice.
An inexpensive trophy is also a plus.
Also, if you can get a local Chef or two enthused, have them get the word out.
They might have better luck convincing their friends in the industry to participate.
A competition could inspire the Chef's to do the demonstrations, as they will then be comfortable with the kitchen, etc.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #5 of 9
consider that you're asking for time&effort and offering <....> in exchange?

publicity - as an add-on, it's 'mostly' free. if you have chef/owners, publicity has value - big signs, outside/inside, add-in to the fish wrapper flyers. if the fame&fortune publicity is sufficiently effective, you might even get an establishment to pay their staff to attend/demo.

freebie drawings: solicit a gift certificate (uhm + chef...) in exchange for the pub./exposure - raffle time! freebies are always a big crowd draw. when's the market run? twice a week? drop your name here for a Named Restaurant gift certificate. be sure you got a big drop box....

>>We can't really give them money
okay, got that. who gets all the food/leftovers? any goodies in the sponsor kettle the chef can feed his kids with? say Mr Butcher could you spare a tenderloin for my chef?..... with individuals, quite often it's not about "the money" or even the dollar value of the "gift" - it is recognition of a tangible effort on your part that shows you recognize and appreciate the chef being there and doing his thing - kinda like a warm&fuzzy you can eat....
post #6 of 9
Publicity is good, that's a fact. Contacting private chef's in the area would also be a good start(google..etc). Most these guys and gals are aggressive in their self promotion or they would not be private chefs. I didn't see your location so don't know how citified or rural your farmer's market is.

Personally, if anyone was to offer me a legal kitchen and enough product to make a sampling of various dishes featuring little more then meat or veg with a dash of various local herbs and a little olive or butter,l I would be all over it just to promote the local farmer.
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #7 of 9
You are making money on this I assume, So why not the chef.? He is already working 50=60 hours a week and values what little time he has off to be with family. Find a local culinary school and work with them.
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #8 of 9
We do this type of work for the local Thursday night farmers market in downtown Grand Junction.

I work the deal where I get produce for doing the demo. Saves me money, sells product for them.
I am a reduction of my youthful mistakes mixed with the roux of a few adult successes
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I am a reduction of my youthful mistakes mixed with the roux of a few adult successes
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post #9 of 9
localfoodie, are you with Red Stick Market in Downtown Baton Rouge? New Orleans has several markets run through Loyola, which I thought Red Stick was an offshoot of.....CBD market on Julia has had chef cooking demonstrations for years.....I based Clayton Farmer's Market off their format. One of the things I altered was to have the cooking demo on site with product selected from the market.
My market box had equipment so that any visiting chefs wouldn't have to scrounge for burners, fuel etc....

The chefs I worked with did not want to compete against each other.
Amatuers would compete though.

Guest chefs would participate in festivals.

One of the ways I brought in top chefs was to make it easy on them....just showing up early on a Sat morning is a huge task for many of them that work the line Friday night, then go in and work a full Sat. I had a one say, "Julie, I love doing the demo but I fall asleep on Sat night line when I demo Sat morning".......

MTPC, have guidelines. The cooking demos will use product from the market, explain it's cross marketing. Recipes are important. Even if you have to write them, having a recipe for the homecook @ the demo is again marketing for the market and the chef.

Chef's already buying local are more apt to support you. Chef/owners especially.

Cookbook authors doing demo/signings are another option.

You have a cooking school downtown with a cafe, network with them.

ACF juniors may want to do a fundraiser at the market, just make sure they source local for what they sell.


Good Luck, Baton Rouge has a warm place in my heart.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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