Helena Market Days begin June 2
By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist
Helena Market Days will kick off its fourth year Saturday, June 2, at the Amphitheater. Held each Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon through Aug. 25, the market is a must for those who appreciate fresh and locally grown seasonal produce.
The chef demos at 9 a.m. are a weekly highlight. Coordinated again this year by volunteer Mary Perko, everyone looks forward to names such as Chef Chris Hastings, Hot & Hot Fish Club; Chef Austin Davis from Bright Star; and Fox Valley Chef Sue Lemieux.
Making a first appearance this year are chefs from La Dolce Vita, Café de Paris, Rio’s Bar and Grill, which is a new Helena restaurant on Shelby County 58, Dyron’s Low Country Cuisine and Ocean.
Chef Chris Vizzina, executive chef and president of Campus Dining Inc., headquartered at Samford University, oversees food service operations at multiple sites across the Southeast, serving a combined 10,000 mouthwatering meals each day.
Nominated on two occasions for the Silver Plate Award, Chef Vizzina works to educate on the unmatched benefits of healthy cuisine inspired by local flavors.
His greatest community contribution has been his adoption of Homewood City Schools as part of the First Lady’s Chefs Move to Schools initiative.
Chef Serge Pambo has cooked at some of the most elite French restaurants — Les Grand Bofinger, Les Grandes Manches and La Suite, where he trained under Cyril Lignac.
After moving to the United States and arriving in Birmingham, he gained even more knowledge by working under Frank Stitt.
Chef Evans Estinfort has 10 years of experience cooking authentic French cuisine and opened his own restaurant, Les Jontons, in the heart of Paris in 2002. These two chefs have combined to bring to Birmingham Cafe de Paris. Enjoy their beautiful website in advance at: Cafedeparis.us.
Chef Chris Reis of Ocean offers fresh oysters and fish from around the world. Ocean has won several awards including the AAA Four Diamond Award for 2007 through 2011 and the Wine Spectator Award for 2004 through 2011.
Familiar vendor faces will also be returning this year, including Keith Evans of Evans Farms, Allen Mills with Prattville Honey Farm, Taylor Hatchett of Boozer Farms, Wanda Anderson with Nana’s Herbs, Brenda Scott with BB’s Bread, K&S Farms’ Misti Brasher and Kenneth Scarbrough and Reggie Holsumbeck with Papa’s Garden.
Anyone interested in volunteering with our all-volunteer run market can contact Cris Nelson, 296-6153 or Ron Holly, 410-4496.
Laura Brookhart can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.