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Uptown has joined forces with local restaurants, chefs and C-CAP Arizona to host a Fall Chef Series at the market each Saturday through October. Every week we will feature a different chef from the valley. These chefs inspire and educate by transforming seasonal Arizona products, many of which can be found right here at Uptown Farmers Market, into delicious, simple tastes for the community. We continued the series with Chef Akos Szabo of FOUND:RE Phoenix and Match Cuisine & Cocktails.
FOUND:RE Phoenix and Match Cuisine & Cocktails, downtown Phoenix’s soon-to-open gathering space for eclectic, globally inspired street food served in a fun and vibrant atmosphere, is where Chef Szabo now proudly calls home. He started his professional culinary career under the guidance of renowned Chef James Boyce at the AAA five-diamond Phoenician Resort & Spa and has since worked his way through Phoenix, Chicago, Southern California and Spain, providing him with a diversified culinary style that melds Spanish and American traditions, with touches of refined Mexican flare. Additionally, a love and deep understanding for Spanish cuisine runs through Chef Szabo’s veins. During his ten-month internship in the country, Chef Szabo was able to submerge himself in the traditional Spanish style cooking and the intricacies of fine extra-virgin olive oil from the famed Valderrama family.
Chef Szabo arrived with several members of his FOUND:RE crew on hand, as well as the help of a few C-CAP Arizona students, prepared to WOW us with his Thai Green Papaya Salad. The students of C-CAP zested Lemon Grass, Ginger and Lime, halved Grape Tomatoes, chopped a bunch of fresh Cilantro (discarding the stems), scallions (green only), Pichuberries, and carefully sliced Mint and Thai Basil leaves. The team then got to work shredding the Papaya and combining Coconut Sugar, Red Thai Chillies, Lime Zest, Garlic, Ginger Zest, and half of the mint in a mortar. Once combined, they set aside.
Uptown-goers eagerly gathered around the Chef Tasting Booth in anticipation of the final product! They combined all the diced and chopped ingredients with the handmade dressing, and topped each serving with Scallions, Cilantro Sprigs, the rest of the Mint and Nutsack Food’s Salted & Roasted Cashews. Chef Szabo recommends “chilling the dish for 20 minutes or so” if you are making at home, as it allows the flavors to come together or “serving in Bibb Lettuce Heads for an even prettier presentation.”
Thank you to Chef Szabo and the rest of the FOUND:RE crew for joining us at Uptown Saturday and sharing a beautiful, seasonal dish that Uptown-goers absolutely loved! We also extend our thanks to the students from C-CAP for helping slice, dice, and assemble and to Maya’s Farm for contributing spearmint, lemongrass, and thai basil, McClendon’s Select for ginger, limes, green onions and cilantro, Salted Serenity Sweets for caramels (a delicious addition to the dressing!), Majestic Garlic for fresh garlic puree, Sogno Toscano for Tangerine and Basil Olive Oil, Pichuberry for fresh pichuberries, and Citi Farms for uncut red cabbage sprouts. Congratulations to everyone who won gift cards to FOUND:RE (they are opening in October!) — it’s our favorite way to say thank you for shopping local and supporting the valley’s local chefs. We hope you will join us for our upcoming demonstrations in our Fall Chef Series — view full schedule here. Stay in the know about upcoming demonstrations and events at Uptown by subscribing to our weekly e-mail newsletter and following us on social media (find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).