Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 1:58 PM on Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Visiting chef says keep it simple, local

By COLLEEN Rindlisbacher
For the Homer News

For two weeks the Anchor Point Farmers' Market has been enriched with beautiful weather, pleasurable people and delightful entertainment.

Two weeks ago Chef Michael Roddey graced us with his presence while entertaining the public with his light and easy-going cooking techniques.

Roddey, a distinguished professor from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, is traveling all around Alaska, due to a grant, promoting the university as well as educating the public on how to easily cook at home, while using the best ingredients out there, the local kind.

"My mission and what I'm here to do is basically what the program is," he said.

"People come out to farmers' markets and buy goods but become intimidated when it comes to raw foods."

His advice: "Keep it simple — oil, vinegar, sweet and heat plus salt and pepper. Add seasonings as you cook and as you add other items. This allows the items to absorb and produce flavor. The result is flavor throughout the eating, not only when it gets first tasted.

"If flavors are not layered in such a manner the taste might be good at first, however it then becomes bland or flat due to the initial flavor being gone because they were not layered. Add fresh herbs at the end of cooking, as heat can make herbs bitter and turn the vibrant colors."

Roddey said buying local and in-season produce decreases our carbon footprint and supports local agriculture.

He stressed how unnatural and damaging barging in food from places such as Chile and Mexico are, when we could just learn how to live with what we have and when we have it.

It is easy to see Chef Roddey is passionate about educating the public about sustainability — something Alaskans know a lot about.

This past week Chef Roddey generously visited for a second time, this time around pro-bono. He was happily greeted back to the Anchor Point market.

Waiting to see him were some fans that came all the way from Soldotna. In the short period of time Roddey has been on the Kenai Peninsula he has managed to congregate a fan club.

Chef Roddey spends much of his time volunteering and promoting food sustainability throughout Alaska. For more information on him, check out the story on this page and follow him on Facebook.

In addition to Chef Roddey, the Anchor Point Farmers' Market warmly welcomed the musical tribute to Mrs. Beulah Poindexter. The live tribute was performed by Grandma's Hope Notes, a local family orchestra that often volunteers, performing throughout Alaska and the Lower 48.

The group came entirely professionally equipped with matching costumes, a tent and stage, complementary cookies and coffee, and endearing personalities that shone through their performance.

People came from all over to honor Beulah. Her twin brother Ray, came all the way from Texas, and eight other family members from all over the country.

In preparing her biological grandchildren for large performances like this one Grandma Anita, 79 years old, diligently manages this ever so talented family.

"All of the musicians sing and play three or more instruments, making up an orchestra which consists of an interchangeable 10-member choir, eight dancers, 10 guitarists, 10 violinists, two accordionists, one concertina player, one flutist, one Irish tin whistle player, four bassists, 10 pianists, two ukulele players, two mandolinists, two cellists, five harmonica players, two steel guitarists and one jaw harpist, " according to the Grandma's Hope Notes website.

Stay posted for any new up-coming events. The Anchor Point Farmers' Market is located at the Anchor Point Greenhouse off the Sterling Highway. Turn on Rose Avenue and look for the signs. It is open from 3-7 p.m. Mondays.

Colleen Rindlisbacher is part of the Anchor Point Farmers' Market.