Popular Austin chefs go head-to-head in farmers market battle and auction
Buying gifts for the holiday season can be stressful, and the last thing you want to do is buy a gift that the receiver will throw away, put in a closet and forget about, or worse: regift. Thankfully, Texas Farmers Market is providing Austinites with a unique way to purchase holiday gifts while giving back in the process.
The Texas Farmers Market’s annual silent auction began on October 23 and runs through November 19, providing the opportunity to bid on various Austin-themed gifts and experiences, such as a membership to the Zilker Botanical Garden, film passes for the Paramount and Stateside theaters, a bundle of books from BookPeople, or gift cards to some of Austin’s most popular restaurants.
The fundraiser will culminate on the final day at the Mueller market, at the first-ever Farmers Market Mystery Box Throwdown. At the event, two of Austin’s most notable chefs – Phillip Speer of Comedor and Colter Peck of Elementary – will compete Top Chef-style.
Speer and Peck will be given a mystery box of ingredients from vendors at the market, and they’ll be tasked with creating a dish. This should be just another Sunday for these chefs, who both regularly use ingredients straight from the farm and cook on-location at outdoor events. Speer has started multiple healthy living clubs for runners and sober people, and Peck's most recent job before moving to Austin was working on a farm in Boulder.
Guests will be able to sample the competing dishes and vote on which they think should win.
Texas Farmers Market is a nonprofit, so revenue from the online auction will go toward supporting its missions. It will also benefit the Ag Producer Support Fund, the grant-making arm of the farmers market which supports farmers, ranchers, and other producers in times of crisis like medical emergencies or and severe weather. Proceeds will also benefit the BIPOC Farmer Scholarship, which provides financial support to farmers of color who join Texas Farmers’ Market as vendors.
“Every time there is an extreme weather incident, it reinforces why it is so important to have access to fresh, local food,” Texas Farmers Market executive director Laura McDonald said in a press release.
The organization hopes to raise $4,500 in the fundraiser. As of publication, the Texas Farmers Market was nearly halfway to that goal.
View the auction items that are still available at 32auctions.com.