Food, Home & Lifestyle

The Farmer’s Market: Learning From the Source

Alice Waters

Lesson time 09:13 min

Alice teaches you how to become a discerning shopper whether at the farmers’ market or grocery store. Learn her guidelines for selecting ingredients, including questions to ask vendors and farmers.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Meal Planning After the Market • Unpack, Imagine, and Plan Your Meals


ALICE WATERS (VOICEOVER): Finding the best ingredients might feel daunting. But there's nothing mysterious about it. You just need to learn to follow your senses. I urge you to find a farmer's market where you live. But if you shop at a grocery store, you can apply the same principles. - These are beautiful. Are things from around here? - The centrals? Yeah, those are Mendocino. - Mendocino. ALICE WATERS (VOICEOVER): Ask where your food comes from. And ask for them to support local, sustainable farmers in your area. Shopping at a farmer's market will allow you to talk directly to the people who grow your food. - This year all of our whole wheat flour is 100% California grown. And in our white flour-- ALICE WATERS (VOICEOVER): This is where I've learned almost everything I know. And I'm still learning. - Next week. - Next week. ALICE WATERS (VOICEOVER): Farmers know the most about ripeness and taste. Ask them for help picking produce. - The nice thing about pears is they store well. - But you have to have a kind of cool place to put them. - Right at 32. - Oh, really? - Yeah, we keep them right at freezing. - How long do they last at 32? - Four months. - Four months. What I don't know. What I don't know. - We picked these in August. ALICE WATERS (VOICEOVER): Ask whether to use it that day or to let it ripen. - Yeah, when they start to shrivel right around the stem is when they're really sweet and juicy. ALICE WATERS (VOICEOVER): Always ask questions. This is the foundation of your edible education. I'm looking for food is good, clean, and fair. Here are some of the questions to ask at the grocery store or the market. All of the best cooks I know are sensualists who take pleasure in smell, taste, feel, and the beauty of real food. Tasting is the very best way to evaluate something. - Oh, my god. Yuzu, I've never seen this. ALICE WATERS (VOICEOVER): This is how you will develop your intuition and reawaken your ability to taste and discern. - That's fantastic. ALICE WATERS (VOICEOVER): You may think you know what a tomato or a carrot tastes like. But nothing compares to in-season, just picked produce. - We're just starting to get into that transition time from the summer crops and moving into a little bit of the chicories and the escaroles. ALICE WATERS (VOICEOVER): It should look and feel alive. - It's really beautiful. - This looks like a rose. ALICE WATERS (VOICEOVER): When you handle food that's alive and living, it will inspire you. Go to the market before you decide what to cook. Decide your menu based on what you find there. That will free you from an over-dependence on recipes. Every day when we cook at Chez Panisse, it's almost as if we're doing it for the first time. We don't work from recipes. We see what we have to cook with and build a menu together. I do the same thing at home. ALICE WATERS: Now I've got this chicken that needs to be unpacked-...

About the Instructor

Alice Waters started America’s farm-to-table revolution. When she founded the iconic restaurant Chez Panisse, her local, organic ingredients sparked a movement and earned her the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef. In her first-ever online cooking class, Alice opens the doors of her home kitchen to teach you how to pick seasonal ingredients, create healthy and beautiful meals, and change your life by changing the food you make at home.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Alice Waters

In 16+ lessons, learn to cook beautiful, seasonal meals at home from the James Beard Award-winning founder of Chez Panisse.

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