On Tuesdays, Mike Doyle is on a mission. Doyle, chef at Maurepas Foods, is on the lookout for the best, and most delicious, deals at the Crescent City Farmers Market's uptown location. He frequents the market in search of new seasonal produce items to incorporate into his menu. This week, Doyle’s looking for fresh blueberries and sweet peppers to add to his restaurant's selection. We caught up with Doyle last Tuesday for a conversation about local foods, seasonal produce and friendly farmers.
Just under a decade ago, Doyle visited the Crescent City farmers market for the very first time. “My chef at the time gave me some money one Tuesday and told me to run a lunch special. Ever since then, I’ve been coming 2-3 three times a week.” Evidently, the market’s welcoming atmosphere and plethora of fresh foods keeps Doyle coming back. He particularly values the personal relationship he’s forged with local farmers over the past years. For Doyle, friendly conversation often inspires culinary creativity for Maurepas. “I try to communicate with farmers regularly to have some idea of what will be around but really nothing goes into action until we see the product available that that week.”
Doyle’s restaurant, Maurepas Food, is widely known for sustainable and scrumptious cuisine. But how exactly do you communicate the importance of local foods to New Orleans foodies? “We let the results speak for themselves. When we can no longer source a product locally because of the season or adverse weather, we simply take it off the menu.” Lucky for us, summer’s only just kicked into full swing, replete with new summertime fruits and veggies arriving every week at market. At Maurepas, expect to see peaches and sweet peppers making their seasonal debut on the menu. “We make a delicious salad featuring peaches and sweet peppers tossed with lemon balm, mint and coriander.”
Not sure what to buy on your next market trip? Try Doyle’s favorite market staples, tamales and beet lemonade, at the Crescent City Farmers Market's Tuesday market.
Thanks to Mike and his staff for their dedication to local farmers, fishers, and food producers. Support those who support us by visiting Maurepas Foods and tasting the season for yourself!
Market Umbrella is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), based in New Orleans, whose mission is to cultivate the field of public markets for public good. Market Umbrella has operated the Crescent City Farmers Markets (CCFM) since 1995.
The Crescent City Farmers Market operates weekly year-round in four New Orleans neighborhoods. The CCFM hosts nearly 80 local small farmers, fishers and food producers, and more than 100,000 shoppers annually.