Fresh demonstrations

Published 4:35 pm Monday, June 29, 2009

Wafting from the back corner of Buck Creek Park come scents of roasted pork and fresh basil.

Throughout the summer chefs from across the Birmingham area will bring their love of fresh food to Helena’s Market Days.

This past weekend, Chef Randall Baldwin of Highlands Bar & Grill offered his culinary wisdom to market goers. Baldwin said Highland Bar & Grill, owned by renowned Chef Frank Stitt, aims to always

provide fresh, locally grown produce.

“It’s our philosophy to use a lot of local ingredients, support the local famrers and just have a great bounty of local produce that we can use for our restaurant,” Baldwin said. “It’s one of the things we pride ourselves in.”

Baldwin produced a pink–eyed pea relish with a roasted pork shoulder to tempt the taste buds of those perusing the market.

The relish was filled with fresh veggies including the pink–eyed peas, sungold tomatoes, fresh basil picked that morning, red onions, olive oil and red wine vinegar. The mixture needs to sit in the refrigerator for about an hour so the flavors can meld, Baldwin said.

“This is great just by itself. You can eat it as it is on a hot summer day when you don’t want anything too hot,” Baldwin said.

The pork shoulder may have taken 10 hours to cook, but Baldwin said this doesn’t mean it was overly complicated.

“You don’t have to go to an expensive supermarket to have a great meal at home. And it doesn’t have to be too complex,” Baldwin said. “You can go get great squash, great zucchini … great okra this time of year. That’s what we need to push more.”

Future chef demonstrations include: July 11 Chef Bernard Tamburello of La Dolce Vita; July 18 Chef Cliff Holt of Little Savannah; and August 28 Chef Steve Walton.