A feast for the culinary senses at the Downtown 3rd Farmers Market
Best of Las Vegas
The downtown area suffered a blow last year when the runners of the Fremont East Entertainment District (FEED)
farmers market decided to cease operations, but fans of farm-fresh
produce and artisanal foods north of the Strip now have another rapidly
growing option—the Downtown 3rd Farmers Market.
Held in the neighborhood now being called the new metropolitan center
of Las Vegas, the market takes place at 201 N. Third St., inside the
old bus station. The space was donated by Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn
Goodman for use by the market on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Kerry Clasby, who founded the market with Cheryl MacPherson in March, called the location a dream come true.
“We’re protected from the elements, there is incredible parking and
just the history of the building…” Clasby said. “It was a train station
from the 1920s, all copper and brick and marble counters inside.”
The list of vendors continues to grow and includes local farmers and
food vendors along with select goods from California. The idea, Clasby
explained, was to bring more exotic, organic produce — the same items
available to top chefs in the area — to the people.
Clasby credits developer Seth Schorr of Fifth Street Gaming with the initial concept. “Seth’s a visionary,” she said. “It was his vision to put a farmers market in the bus station.”
“I think people here have been looking for authentic and specialty
produce, and prepared foods as well,” Clasby said. “Our goal is to make
this market about healthy, organic living. One of our food truck vendors
buys his produce from the market and makes his delicious lunches on the
spot. Last week, he made a blood orange and purple mustard greens salad
with pistachios that was so delicious.”
Chris Herrin, founder and chef of Bread & Butter, Las Vegas, a Henderson-based bakery, is one of many culinary professionals who has chosen to offer his goods.
“Everyone has a great time hanging out down there, and the positive energy keeps you coming back for more,” he said.
“We’ve been at the market for about three weeks or so now, and
business is good,” Herrin, who sells a variety of baked goods, said. “It
isn’t about the money for us. We just want to hang out, get to know
people and welcome them to visit the bakery.”
In case the average shopper isn’t sure what to do with produce like
wild ramps or fiddlehead ferns, the vendors and many chefs who frequent
the market are happy to suggest recipes or methods of preparation,
“We also have chef demonstrations every Friday at 11 a.m.,” she
pointed out, citing accessible fare such as shrimp scampi, fresh salsas
and guacamoles as examples.
Clasby and Schorr share a vision of the marketplace one day growing
into a thriving community, like San Francisco’s Embarcadero. In the
meantime, she’ll be happy if enough support is forthcoming to keep it
going in the present location for a few years.
“(The city) was good enough to hold off on developing the property
for at least two years,” Clasby said. “After that, we’ll see. Hopefully
it does well enough that we can stay.”
“We hope this market continues for years to come with the help of the
community,” Herrin said. “And maybe it will grow so much that they will
need to find a bigger venue.”
(starting around 11:10 mins:secs into the show)
Top of the Food Chain
talked with Chris
about three often-maligned holiday food offerings; fruitcake, mincemeat, and gingerbread. (Chris and Al actually eat a fruitcake. Who knew you could eat those things?)
- Guest: Chris Herrin, Executive Chef – Bread and Butter, Las Vegas
- Email and LIVE chat questions
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