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Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson serves up the best info and tips on Northwest food, cooking, dining and restaurants.

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August 19, 2008 10:52 AM

Ready, Set, Go . . .Cook! Plus, an Incredible Feast

Posted by Nancy Leson

While I'm crazy about my neighborhood farmers market -- as much for a chance to blab with my neighbors as to shop for just-picked produce -- I've been looking for an excuse to get out of my 'hood and hit the University District Farmers Market. This weekend I plan to do it in good company. You coming? I hope so.

As part of the 15th anniversary-season celebration, the U-District Farmers Market is hosting its annual Ready, Set, Go . . .Cook! competition on Saturday, August 23rd -- and I'll be on hand to judge it.

Beginning at 10 a.m. I'll join Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis (standing in for Hizzhonor the plastic bag-man) and Janet McDevitt (the Farm Fresh Family blogger) judging the market's mini-version of an Iron Chef competition. This year's contenders are two of the city's terrific talents: the mondo-mustachioed Joseba Jimenez de Jimenez of Harvest Vine and Txori, and that hunka-hunka-burning-lovage, Jason Wilson of Crush.

Come cheer Joseba and Jason as they spend 15 minutes shopping the farm tables -- before doing the voodoo that they do so well -- and concocting a recipe on the spot. They'll have 45 minutes to impress the judges with their creativity, eye for the artistic, and unerring ability to tantalize our tastebuds.

But wait! There's more!

Can't join the farmers market fun on Saturday? Or maybe you need a double dose of farm-fresh festivity?Come join Brasa's chef/owner/uber-organizer Tamara Murphy and company at the Phinney Neighborhood Center Sunday evening from 4:30 to 7:30 for "The Incredible Feast -- Where the Farmers are the Stars." She's done it again, bringing together 30 chefs who are donating precious time and talent to play supporting roles to 40 fabulous farmers at the site of the Phinney Farmers Market.

Live music, fair-style games, and plenty of food and drink (at a no-host beer and wine garden) are part of the fun. Tickets are available along with additional info via Brown Paper Tickets, cost $65 (adult), $10 (kids 6-13, under 6 free). Proceeds go directly toward the Good Farmer Fund and Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance, helping raise awareness of our local family farms, and offering disaster relief for farmers in need.

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Food for Thought | Nancy Leson on KPLU

Listen to Nancy at 5:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. during Morning Edition, at 4:40 p.m. during All Things Considered and again the following Saturday at 8:30 a.m. during Weekend Edition on KPLU 88.5.

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