Chefs at the Farmers Market


Chefs at the Farmers MarketThe Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers’ market is located on N. 7th Street, in historic, downtown Fernandina Beach, Florida. Open from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, every Saturday, rain or shine, this popular open air market continues to bring a special charm to Amelia Island. And that charm is found in the people that prepare all week by farming, planting, baking, clipping, snipping, pouring, stirring and packaging a wide variety of goodies just for you.

While we encourage you to come to the Market Place to check out our farmers and their seasonal produce, our bakers and their fresh pastries and breads, our meat and dairy farmer’s specialties and more, this week I wanted to tell you a little more about two of our very special, local chefs found in the Market Place.

Brian Grimley, of Lulu’s at the Thompson House, was born in the West Country of England. An engineer by trade, Brian is a self-taught chef who relocated to Fernandina Beach from Colonial Beach in Northern Virginia, about 35 miles from the Harry Nice Memorial Bridge into Maryland. If you have ever been to The Old Line State, you already know, “Maryland is for Crabs” and Chef Grimley orders crab for his restaurant directly from the Chesapeake Bay. A fan of local sourcing, Brian uses local shrimp, fruits and vegetables when he can find them.

This Chef prefers the low country menus and flavors, and Brian reads the newest cook books coming out of Charleston, Savannah and New Orleans for pleasure. An up and coming area of the country he likes to watch for new chefs, experimenting with delicious trends in dining, is Alabama.

Lulu’s at the Thompson House is at the farmers’ market every Saturday. Brian’s lovely wife Melanie brings their famous crab cakes, and they also specialize in both plain and spicy pimento cheese spreads that often sell out, so stop by their booth early in the day.

Lulu’s is located at 11 S. 7th Street, in Fernandina Beach. They are open Tuesday – Thursday from 11:30 AM to 9:00 PM, Friday and Saturdays from 11:30 AM to 10:00 PM, and they are open for lunch on Sunday from 10:30 AM to 3:00 PM. Trust me when I say the calamari rings with Anaheim Chili peppers is a great start to a fully dressed oyster Po’boy.

Another wonderful local chef we have at the farmers’ market is Adam Sears, the owner and chef at Merge Restaurant. Adam comes to the Market Place every other Saturday with his delicious jerk chicken patties, and more often his Low Country sausage and shrimp patties. Chef Sears has been cooking professionally since he was 14 years old when he began grilling steaks, when steaks made to order and all you can eat buffets were all the rage.

A culinary graduate of Johnson and Wales University in South Carolina, Adam’s dishes are inspired by music and art, and he is always trying new flavors, and flavor combinations. His favorite Chef is Hubert Keller, a creator of imaginative, modern French cuisine. Keller has won numerous awards and is regarded as one of America’s most talented Chefs.

Most of all, Adam enjoys being a part of an international food group whose members preserve the pleasures of the table, bringing together the best of food and wine. Join Adam every other Saturday at the farmers’ market and find out what seasonable delight he is creating in his kitchen.

Merge Restaurant is located at 510 S. 8th Street, in Fernandina Beach. They are open seven days a week from 5:00 PM – until. Adam mixes up the menu, but likes to keep the same proteins like scallops, salmon, and steak, but his art is found in the combinations of flounder, lump crab, mushrooms and artichokes finished with a Champagne cream, or a sirloin filet over potato puree, with bacon jam, tomato gratin, and bourbon molasses glaze. Catering and private parties are available at the restaurant.

Our featured non-profit on March 29, 2014, will be the Friends of the Fernandina Branch Library and music will be provided by Sam Bone and Hambone Stumps. The Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers’ market hosts over 30 vendors each week, we are family friendly, and your well behaved, leashed pets are always welcomed. For more information about the market, or how you can become a vendor, please call (904) 557-8229.