On July 19th, the Gardiner Food Co-op & Cafe held a recipe contest at the Gardiner Farmers’ Market. The smells of grilled cheese and hearty soups wafted from the Gardiner Common as more than 50 judges (from the general public) tasted the 10 competing recipes.
The contest was held for the purpose of building the menu at the Gardiner Food Co-op & Cafe, set to open later this year.
In addition to purchasing from the various vendors, Market goers enjoyed music by Ian Pillsbury and got to sample recipes that members of the community entered in the contest. “The Co-op is all about community ownership and involvement, and what better way to do that than through the food we will serve everyday! Having the café menu come directly from the community ensures us that they will love what we serve them.” said Sarah Miller, member of the board.
On the menu: Mom’s Soup (chunky vegetables), The Asian (chunky vegetables in a curry coconut milk, with ginger and lemon grass), Chicken Chili, Italian Wedding Soup, and Williamsburg Turkey Soup. For the specialty grilled cheeses we had an “Oven Roasted Tomato Grilled Cheese”, “Pickled Summer Squash Grilled Cheese”, “Me-so-cheesy: vegan Grilled Cheese”, “the Gardener”, and “The Gardiner AuJus”.
Votes were tallied after the end of the farmers market. The race was very close for the soups and it was the Chicken Chili recipe (from Karen Jacques) which took the lead by 4 votes. As for the grilled cheese recipe contest, the result took us all by surprise as the number one choice leading by 10 votes ended up being the only vegan (non-dairy) option on the menu. Me-so-cheesy (from Alex Rosenberg) is a cashew cheese and miso-pesto sandwich.
Since cooperation is the opposite of competition we are excited to announce that everyone is a winner! So, if you didn’t get a chance to participate in the contest that took place this weekend at the farmers market, you will get to try all of these soups and specialty grilled cheese sandwiches on our menu later this year.
The Gardiner Food Co-op & Café will be located in downtown Gardiner and will offer local, wholesome, bulk and fairly-priced food. In addition to its grocery store, the Co-op will be a gathering place for events, workshops, live music and more. Everyone will be welcome to shop and gather at the storefront but those who choose to purchase a member-owner share will actually become part owner, have a voice in store policies, in how the business is run, and have a myriad of member-owner benefits.
“You know what they say: we are what we eat! So surely we can expect café eaters to be sharp and intriguing, just like the food on the Co-op’s menu ” says Véronique Vendette, chair of the Co-op board. We look forward to seeing you at the café later this year!