Piacere Chef Cooks Up Local Feast

San Carlos chef Miriam Russell-Wadleigh values using fresh local ingredients and puts them to the test with Piacere’s 'Eat Local Challenge.'

San Carlos chef Miriam Russell-Wadleigh, at Piacere, values using fresh local ingredients in the same way as chefs like Alice Waters (Chez Panisse), who introduced Americans to the concept of eating locally and the importance of sustainability.

Wadleigh treasures these values and incorporates them as part of her kitchen’s daily routine. What sets her apart, though, is her commitment every Thursday from May through September.

Coinciding with San Carlos' "Hot Harvest Nights" farmer’s market, chef Wadleigh puts these values to tghe test with Piacere’s 'Eat Local Challenge.'

The Piacere "Eat Local Challenge," which began as a way to embrace the San Carlos farmer’s market on Laurel Street, has been on featured CBS 5's "Eye on the Bay."

The concept is simple; customers shop at the farmer's market, bring in the purchased ingredients, and, following a table-side chat about likes and dislikes, chef Wadleigh takes the bounty of fresh ingredients into the kitchen and returns with an inspired two-course family-style meal.

"I’ll use every ingredient they give me," Wadleigh said. "Often folks will bring in unusual items that they don't know how to cook, so they get a bit of an education."

Wadleigh often supplements the ingredients, which are largely produce. Meats, seafood, or poultry can be incorporated in the dishes if a customer requests it.

The "Eat Local Challenge" has a loyal following, and each year has become increasingly popular, especially with familyies.

"Parents have discovered it’s a great way to expose their children to the exploration of food," Chef Wadleigh said. "When families walk the market and choose ingredients, they get wonderful, personalized culinary adventure. What better way to spend time together."

The 2012 Piacere Eat Local Challenge books eight personalized meals each Thursday, through September 20th. Customers are encouraged to call ahead to reserve a space. Large groups are welcome.

727 Laurel Street
San Carlos, CA 94070
The two-course family style customized meals are $32.00 per person for adults and $10.00 per person for children. For reservations or more information call (650) 592-3536 or visit their website.

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