I met local chef and gardener Tucker Hemquist at a party last month for Katherine Leiner’s new book, “Growing Roots: A New Generation of Sustainable Farmers, Cooks and Food Activists.” A former olive oil maker at Skipstone Ranch in Geyserville, Hemquist is spearheading a project to open a cooperative marketplace in Sebastopol that would work hand-in-hand with local farmers.
In his dreams, Hemquist also envisions a café at the marketplace that would showcase the talents of a rotating array of local chefs. If you’re interested in learning more about the project, there’s a potluck from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, at Laguna Farms in Sebastopol. The steering committee will present its vision for the project and share new developments.
The menu includes chile rellenos, rice, beans, salsa and chicken. Please bring a dish to share, your own eating utensils and a plate or bowl. Kids are welcome. Laguna Farms is located at 1764 Cooper Road. If you can’t make it to the potluck but would like to be kept in the loop, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s a simple, apple dessert recipe from Hemquest, who also served as beekeeper at Skipstone Ranch. The recipe comes from Leiner’s “Growing Roots.”
Caramelized Apples with Honey-Mascarpone Cream and Toasted Walnuts
3 to 4 Granny Smith apples (or other tart variety)
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 to 4 tablespoons honey
1 cup mascarpone
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon ground mace
Sea salt to taste
Peel and core apples and cut each into 8 wedges. Saute with brown sugar in butter over medium heat until lightly caramelized. Add vanilla. Mix honey, mascarpone, cream and lemon zest until smooth. Pan roast walnuts, mace and salt in dry sauté pan until lightly toasted. Toss frequently to avoid burning. Place warm apples in a bowl topped with a generous dollop of cream and top with walnuts.