Aloha From the Carmel Farmers Market
As we did in last month’s issue of Carmel Monthly, we are pleased to feature another local restaurant and local chef who are participating in the Carmel Farmers Market’s (CFM) Farm2Table program this season. This month, we are featuring Manelé Cafe’s Chef Sarah Holland and some of her favorite products from the market.
What Is the Farm2Table Program?
Farm2Table is aimed at building brands for local chefs and their restaurants, its vendors and CFM as a whole. Last month, we featured Vivante at the Hotel Carmichael and walked with Chef Jason Crouch as he shopped the farmers market.
You’ll recognize the participating restaurants’ presence by the custom logoed John Deere wagons filled with food from the CFM vendors. Chef Holland was “giddy” once presented with her wagon at the market.
“I was giggling with excitement,” Holland admitted. “I was a little more excited than anyone expected me to be! It’s been so fun!”
Manelé Cafe Is All About Fresh, Healthy and Local Sources
If you haven’t had the pleasure of sampling the menu at Manelé Cafe at Carmel’s City Center, we highly recommend that you try it out! It is owned by CLB Restaurants, which also owns Matt the Miller’s Tavern and Tucci’s at City Center.
The expanded menu includes small plates for sharing and daily Ohana specials, as well as large plates for dinner– featuring Chef Holland’s Pan-Seared Tomahawk Pork Chop, Furikake Crusted Salmon and Garlic Chili Seared Ahi Tuna.
Manelé Cafe also features Chef Holland’s pastries and other delectable treats that are inspired by the Hawaiian Islands and Chef Holland’s native Hoosier roots.
“For me, I really enjoy everything at the [Carmel] farmers market from a chef’s perspective,” Chef Holland shared. “Walking around and seeing what is local and seasonal is very inspiring to me. I do a lot of baked goods and specials at Manelé [Cafe], and sometimes I go to the farmers market—I don’t have any idea of what I’m going to do for the week or for the day, and if I see something really cool at the market, I’m like, ‘Oh, perfect,’ and it gives me ideas for what I’m going to do. And there’s really nothing better than local, in season produce and cool local vendors.”
What’s Cooking in the Chef’s Kitchen?
“A couple of weeks ago, I got McClure’s [Orchard] apple butter and applesauce. Manelé [Cafe] is a Hawaiian-themed restaurant, but I’m from ‘small town’ Indiana, so I like to sneak in my Indiana roots when I can. And I made an apple butter layer cake, and it turned out really good. I used the applesauce in the cake and the apple butter and a butter cream for the icing, and that was really cool!”
Chef Holland praised the fresh and flavorful strawberries that she purchased at CFM. And then she tormented us with enticing photographs of her baked goods made with the fresh strawberries. One such photograph featured Chef Holland’s Mimosa Smoothie Bowl that was made with her house granola, champagne and orange sorbet, fresh pineapple, mango, vanilla Greek yogurt and, yes—fresh strawberries from CFM.
“Nothing made me happier than the in season strawberries that I picked up from the market,” Chef Holland expressed. “The [strawberries] are amazing, and they are delicious. I use them in our Acai Bowls that are on the menu, and I get several compliments on how good the strawberries are. I made a Strawberry Shortcake Pie with the strawberries, a little bit of lemon juice, cornstarch and sugar, and I had toasted meringue on top of the short cake part, and I also did a strawberry lemonade tart—I might have gone a little strawberry crazy that week!”
Chef Holland pointed out that one can find beautiful potted plants and flowers at the Carmel Farmers Market in addition to a bounty of quality and delicious produce, meat and other locally produced products.
“A couple of week ago, I got lavender from the market,” Chef Holland said. “And I did a lavender shortbread checkerboard cookie that was lavender and vanilla shortbread, and I checkered in dark chocolate shortbread with it, and that was one of my favorites too.”