If there’s one thing that both the Lazy Cook and the Crazy Cook agree on, it is that we luuuuuv summer for its abundance of gorgeous, fresh produce. And so we set out early one (HOT!) recent morning, meeting up at the Chicago Green City Market for a little shopping expedition, and are sharing our finds with you in a fun little video!
Chicago’s Green City Market was started by the amazing Abby Mandel back in 1998, with a handful of farmers in an alley next to the Chicago Theater. Today it is a thriving center of local farmers offering the best locally, sustainably grown foods. Alice Waters has even called it, “the best sustainable market in the country.” From locally grown and/or produced microgreens to artisanal ice cream (I’m talkin’ to you, Snooklefritz ice cream!) to fresh meat, eggs and honey, you can find amazing ingredients and prepared foods (check out the fresh berry crepe we splurged on at the end) that delight the senses.
And here’s an interesting side story: Abby Mandel, founder of the Green City Market, was an early catalyst for my whole family’s passion for food and cooking. My mom started working with Abby in the 1970s, when she started teaching cooking classes in Glencoe – sewing custom aprons. Then she found herself as Abby’s right-hand at those very cooking classes, and she progressed to working full-time with Abby, helping manage her growing empire and editing her cookbooks.
Before I knew it, I was pulled into the ranks, usually during high school summers, assisting with cooking classes and large catering jobs. I will never forget staying up all night with my friend Amy (author of the World Plates blog) making 100 pounds of spinach fettucine for a big gala at the Art Institute. By 6 a.m., we had ribbons of fresh, green pasta dangling from yardsticks, dowels and hangers on every possible thing in the house – doorjambs, kitchen chairs, you name it. Or the time Abby sent me down to her basement tore-assemble, box up and return about 80 food processors that had been sent to her after she made a huge splash introducing the Cuisinart to the America, thanks to Carl Sontheimer. So I have a special place in my heart for Abby Mandel and for the Green City Market she started 12 years ago!
Come back soon as we post videos of what we created with our haul from the Green City Market! Happy shopping and happy summer to you!