A Considerable Loss
During her visit 1994 visit to Austin, Catherine Brandel sought out some small Austin growers. I will never forget Brandel's joy and enthusiasm as she photographed the various projects at Carla Marshall's award-winning Green Classroom at Becker Elementary. At the time, she and Chez Panisse founder Alice Waters were trying to get a garden project started on the campus of a junior high school in the neighborhood near the restaurant and Brandel wanted the photos for inspiration. Later that day, she walked the rows of Boggy Creek Farm with Larry Butler and Carol Ann Sayle, asking questions about local crops and discussing the all-important farmer/chef connection. Larry Butler still quotes Brandel posing the question, "How can chefs prepare a great meal with produce that's one to two weeks old?" She made an indelible impression on all of us who met her on that visit. Catherine Brandel died of cancer two weeks ago at the young age of 56. At a time when too many food professionals merely pose as advocates for causes in order to build name identification, Brandel was the genuine article. Her early death represents a considerable loss.
Busy Farmers Markets
The best way to honor Catherine Brandel's memory would be to go out and shop at one of our many local farmers markets this weekend. There might still be some blackberries around, tomatoes are here in all their glory, and the first cling peaches are showing up. The five markets supported by the Sustainable Food Center (385-0080) in east and southeast Austin are open from now until September. Contact coordinator Efrain Alvarez for locations and hours of operations. The Westlake Farmers Market (Westlake High School parking lot) is open Saturday 10am-1pm, the Wednesday afternoon farmers market at the downtown Whole Foods store is open 2-6pm, the South Austin Farmers Market (2910 S. Congress) is open Saturday 9am-1pm, the farmers are back at Austin's Historic Farmers Market (6701 Burnet) on Saturdays and, as always, Boggy Creek's farmstand is open Wednesdays and Saturdays 9am-2pm.
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