Fresh vegetables in all their glory — eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, green and yellow beans, and more — were the focus of the cooking frenzy Saturday as Landon Schoenefeld, chef/ co-owner of HauteDish, and Drew Yancey, executive chef of Borough (restaurants within a few blocks of each other in the North Loop of downtown Minneapolis), competed in the third annual Master of the Market challenge at the Minneapolis Farmers Market.
Schoenefeld won the title — Master of the Market — for his Chilled Cream of Tomato Soup, which featured a layer of charred eggplant purée topped with ratatouille. The stunning still-life in a bowl was blanketed tableside with a cream of tomato puréed soup.
Yancey was a close second with his Romesco With Market Vegetables, a clever take on the classic Spanish sauce, which served as the first splash of color on a display of carefully plated fresh vegetables.
With 20 minutes and $50, each chef raced to buy his ingredients among the stalls at the farmers market. Then, with a 30-minute limit for prep, the chefs served up their dishes to four judges: Lynne Rossetto Kasper of the radio show “The Splendid Table,” cookbook author Raghavan Iyer; Stephanie Meyer of Minnesota Monthly, and me.
The North Loop Neighborhood Association donated $500 to YouthLink Homeless Shelter in honor of the competition. The funds will be used to continue cooking lessons that emphasize quick and easy meals with local ingredients.
Each of the chefs’ dishes can easily be made at home — and should be, to celebrate the short season of freshness.
Follow Lee Svitak Dean on Twitter: @StribTaste