the chefs’ favorite farmers markets

From The Viand Zine, Issue 1 April 2007


pteri shops at the Hollywood farmers market on Sundays from 8am-1pm. Ivar and Selma Avenue (that’s between Sunset & Hollywood and between Cahuenga & Vine)  A full-service local market with a great atmosphere.  They not only have all the fresh produce you desire in abundance and variety, they have plants, jewelry, clothes, gifts, baked goods, juice, fresh pasta, honey, eggs, mushrooms, ladybugs, cheese, meat, fish, flowers, live music, kittens and many stalls of prepared food.

DV shops at Hollywood and at the Venice Friday Market at Venice Blvd and Abbot Kinney. this tiny market has almost everything we need, and a neighborhood atmosphere.

sybs I buy just about all of my produce at the Farmer’s Market, it tastes so much better than anything you can find in the store, and I love meeting the people who grow the food. The whole experience is so much more pleasurable than going to a store. My favorite markets are the Wednesday Santa Monica (Arizona & 2nd) and Pico Market on Saturday. (Pico at Cloverfield).There is also a Saturday Market at Santa Monica, it is a bit smaller than the Wednesday.

At the Wednesday market you can find everything from six different kinds of avocados, several seasonal choices of honey, free-range eggs (both chicken and quail), grass-fed beef, goat cheeses, Santa Barbara pistachios, Kiwis grown near Bakersfield, a nice assortment of breads, raw butter (tastes like you always thought butter should taste; this is  the REAL thing, it’s amazing) and of course fruits and greens of all kinds. Once you have tried the wild arugula there is no going back to store-bagged. The wild-grown has a great spicy-peppery kick to it- it has become a staple in my kitchen, can’t live (well) without it. Weiser Farms is always worth a stop (ask for Jim). Take home some of their “Atomic Red” carrots, the beautiful deep color comes with taste to match. As a bonus, at this “Queen Bee” of the markets, you can see chefs stocking up for their restaurants, loading up dollies with crates of great ingredients for their creations.

The flavor of the Pico market is more on the low key side, very relaxing. It is set on the edge of Virginia Park and you can catch a glimpse of a ball-game on your way in. They have several good flower and plant vendors. Buy a bouquet of delicate sweet-peas. Sit in the sun and sip a coffee or eat a tamale. Watch Dad asking his little girl “Do you remember what we call this vegetable? This is a leek.” A young chef in the making?

To discover a favorite market in your own neighborhood, go to for a complete listing of days, locations and times.