Chefs collaborate at Thursday benefit for farmers markets
The East Coast Grill serves its share of seafood and wine, and Chez Henri isn’t known for its simple farm fare. But the chefs of each are adapting for a good cause Thursday: The fourth annual Urban Barn Dance, a benefit for the nonprofit Mass Farmers Markets starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Dante Alighieri Center in Kendall Square.
Chris Schlesinger (East Coast Grill), Paul O’Connell (Chez Henri) and Bob Sargent of flora Restaurant in Arlington are to build a menu from locally grown food — including Globe Fish of Boston, Danish Pastry House of Medford, Austin Brother Farms of Belchertown and Hamilton Orchards of New Salem — before a live band and caller get attendees contra dancing (no experience required, organizers say) and the bidding begins in a silent auction.
The auction “offers a wide array of [goods from] the best local businesses from the culinary world and beyond — a perfect opportunity for early holiday shopping,” said Karin Turer, of Mass Farmers Markets.
Tickets to the event are $50, but there are other suggested levels of support (the $500 Golden Watermelon includes admission for two, as does the $250 Silver Queen Corn, while the $100 Bronze Fennel includes admission for one) that “provides the opportunity for guests to toast the hard work of their favorite farmers,” Turer said.
“The Urban Barn Dance is a harvest celebration of our markets, our farmers and the supporting community members who shop farmers markets. It is a delicious and fun way for people to support a bright future for the over 250 markets in our state,” said Mass Farmers Markets executive director, Jeff Cole.
Cambridge alone has four farmers markets listed on the group’s website: Kendall Square’s, running 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Oct. 26 on Main Street, near the T stop; Central Square’s, running from noon to 6 p.m. Mondays through Nov. 21 at the parking lot at Bishop Allen Drive and Norfolk Street; Harvard Square’s, running 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays in the Charles Hotel Courtyard at 1 Bennett St.; and a winter market running 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays starting Jan. 7 at 5 Callendar St., near Putnam and Western avenues in Cambridgeport — and still seeking a name, via a contest that can be entered here. There’s also Farmers’ Market at Harvard, running noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Oct. 25 at Oxford and Kirkland streets.
This post took significant amounts of material from a press release.