Chicago's Green City Market opened the first Saturday in May with a gathering of celebrated chefs and other visitors who were in town for the acclaimed James Beard Awards.
The market, which debuted for its 17th season on May 2 this year, features more than 50 vendors offering everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to roasted pecans, crepes, popcorn, jams, herbs, flowers and much more. Various Indiana purveyors and farms are also part of the market.
Hosts for this year's opening celebration were past James Beard Award-winning chefs Sarah Stegner, Carrie Nahabedian and Bruce Sherman.
"This is very exciting. We have a perfect day for the opening," said chef Stegner, of Prairie Grass Cafe. "For us to be here 17 years is an accomplishment."
Stegner said she focuses on seasonal ingredients when preparing dishes and her menus are always seasonally driven. "Green City Market has always been about what's happening now," she said.
The mission of Green City Market is to provide a marketplace for purchasing sustainably grown food and to educate, promote and connect farmers and local producers directly to chefs, restaurateurs, and the greater Chicago community.
Stegner said the market is not only valuable for chefs but for everyone including the casual home cook.
Chef Bruce Sherman of North Pond said the opening of the market every year is always exciting because it brings out many people who believe in "eating green."
"There's a rebirth in the food scene in Chicago," Sherman said, pointing to the many visitors who frequented the market that day seeking wholesome, fresh ingredients.
Various chefs met at the Nomad Food Company booth where the business was sampling various pizzas, meats and other items. Among other chefs in attendance was Martial Noguier of Bistronomic in Chicago, who helped the staff at Nomad Food Company carve some of its freshly grilled meat.
Green City Market is located at 1817 N. Clark St. in Chicago. It's open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays May through October. In the colder months, the market goes indoors at The Peggy Notebaert Museum.