Shopping the farmer’s market with Chef Tucker

JACKSON, WY – Summers are short and the growing season is long-cherished by all who call the valley home. Inspired by showcasing fresh, seasonal ingredients in his dishes at The Kitchen, chef Ash Tucker is no stranger to navigating the area’s farmers market. With so many incredible vendors, last month we tagged along chef Tucker to see how he navigates the market.

The Executive Chef of The Kitchen, chef Tucker can be found at the market most Saturdays, where he seeks out ingredients to be utilized in his weekly specials. “I usually have a protein in mind that I’ll be getting in, like fresh fish, local steak or game fowl. When I go to the market, I keep this ingredient in mind but let the other ingredients I find dictate the special, such as finding fresh herbs, greens or a specific vegetable to build a salad around.”

First on the agenda: arrive at the market and head straight for the coffee
“My habitual first stop is always for fresh coffee to get me jump-started. From there, I pop by the Bovine + Swine booth for a little protein boost after a long work week. With some quick samples in hand, I fill Bovine + Swine’s butcher/chef Joel Tate in on how the product I source from him has been selling at The Kitchen.”

Stop by Cosmic Apple Gardens
“Cosmic Apple is always a go-to for me at the market. Earlier this summer I found beautiful chive flowers, heirloom carrots, mountain sorrel, golden beets, and kale. I love that you never know what you’re going to find at the market, but local, organic, farm-fresh ingredients are always on my radar.”

Fresh garlic curls found at the market.

Focus on the flavors of the area
“When I’m walking around, my favorite find is when a vendor has something very specific to the area that I can use to present a plate where those eating it get a geographic connection to where they are.”

Don’t miss the meat
“I was recently sold on some locally fattened and butchered goat from Matt Lovely at the Lockhart tent. It was a total score.”

Talk to the farmers and ranchers
“As a chef, I’m inspired by stopping by the market and mingling with the local folks who bring passion, care and creativity to what we consume. I love being able to show them what I’ve come up with and have them eat something I composed out of an ingredient they put so much care and time into growing, nurturing or raising. Eating and supporting these local efforts is very important and a great way we can all grow within our industry and as human beings living in this amazing place.”

With his farmer’s market finds in hand, we followed up with chef Tucker to see what he put together for his restaurant’s specials. They included:

Roasted Golden Beet Salad with Cosmic Apple kale, mountain sorrel, house-smoked feta cheese, fennel, candied almond, lemon, olive oil and sea salt

Swan Valley American Waygu Delmonico Steak, served with confit fingerling potatoes, heirloom carrots, morel mushrooms, spruce tip tallow butter, chive flower and leek ash

For more on how chef Ash Tucker presents seasonal, fresh ingredients on the menu at The Kitchen, visit thekitchenjacksonhole.com or make a reservation here.

Sponsored by:

Fine Dining Restaurant Group

Fine Dining Restaurant Group was born in Jackson Hole, Wyoming by leading culinary minds Gavin Fine and Roger Freedman Now encompassing six restaurants, a catering company, specialty grocer/bottle shop, craft sausage company and artisan

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