Edible Monterey Bay

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Carmel Outdoor Artisanal Food Market to Arrive in September

Application deadline for market manager job extended to next week.


Carmel Mayor Jason Burnett drinking a smoothie made
from the kale he grows in his organic roof garden.
Photo by Patrice Ward.

The weather typically never keeps a Carmel-by-the-Sea resident from walking uptown or down to the beach. Whether en route to coffee or lunch, to post mail, attend services, hear music, see a play, admire art, shop or just connect with the community, there is a culture and a practice of getting there on foot.

Maybe it’s because it takes longer to find a parking place than it does to walk up the street. Perhaps it is because walking is a healthy alternative to driving. It could be because people find it a very European thing to do in their cosmopolitan city by the sea. Or maybe it’s just because they can.

Add to this the generalized tendency among Carmelites to prize health and wellbeing, sustainable practices, local products and really, really good food, and you have the ingredients for a phenomenal culinary market. Now in its last stages of development, the up-and-coming “Carmel Artisan Food Experience” is scheduled to open in mid-September.


Victoria Beach, Carmel
councilperson and chairperson
of the committee that is bringing
the Carmel Market to life!

“The goal of the Carmel Market is to cultivate community: from farm to chef to table, through the growing, preparing and consuming of sustainable, local, organic, artisan food,” says City Councilperson Victoria Beach, who chairs the market development committee, which also includes such local luminaries as author Eric Schlosser and restaurateur David Fink, among others. “My understanding is that this has been in the works for many years—it is something the local chefs and restaurateurs and hotels have been asking for. It just needed some momentum. Actually, once we met with Edible Monterey Bay Publisher Sarah Wood, we generated that momentum.”

Mayor Jason Burnett created the committee in his very first council meeting as Mayor in May, and already, acceptance of new applications for the job of launching and managing the market is about to end, and the post should be filled soon.

Operating on an independent contract, the market manager will “create and operate an outdoor, artisan, fresh-and-prepared-foods market in the downtown district of Carmel-by-the-Sea,” the RFQ states.

Applications (a resume and letter explaining your interest in, and qualifications for the job) were originally due on Friday, July 6; due to the holiday weekend, the deadline was extended to noon Monday, July 9.

In this walkable labyrinth of boutiques and bistros, art and antiques, a culture of coming together is as old as the city which, a century ago, played out mostly on Main Street—now Ocean Avenue—where farm-fresh foods will be sold. Cross it with Dolores Street, perhaps the most picturesque of the downtown district, where prepared foods, dining and demonstrations will be staged.

“Some of the best food in the world is grown and prepared along the Central Coast of California—and the Carmel Market offers the best of it.” Or it will: The above tagline is for a market that has not yet opened, but the community seems excited at the prospect.

“This has been a wonderful down-up grassroots effort,” says Beach. “More than 50 people have weighed in on our ideas, and we have a surprising amount of consensus among this publicly crowd-sourced group. This market will be a culinary event, meant to advance our thinking about food, by demonstrating and teaching visitors how to experiment.

“Shoppers will receive recipe cards, so they know the ingredients of what they’re eating, and can and shop for them at the market, to take the whole experience home and replicate it. We want to get everyone connected and communicating about food.”

Despite the fact that Carmel is considered one of the most popular canine communities in the country, dogs are not allowed in the market. But, at least, nowadays, ice cream is.

To view the latest application guidelines and links to further information, go to http://www.ediblecommunities.com/montereybay/event-management-opportunity.htm. Applications will be taken until noon, Monday July 9. Applications may be made by email to vbeach@ci.carmel.ca.us, or by regular mail or in person at City Hall, Monteverde and Seventh.

To read an earlier story about the market and other local outdoor food markets and the exciting new events that they are launching, go to: http://www.ediblecommunities.com/montereybay/online-magazine/summer-2012/urban-foodshed.htm.

About the author

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A fifth-generation Northern Californian, Lisa Crawford Watson has enjoyed a diverse career in business, education and writing. She lives with her family on the Monterey Peninsula, where her grandmother once lived and wrote. An adjunct writing instructor for CSU Monterey Bay and Monterey Peninsula College, Lisa is also a free-lance writer, who specializes in the genres of art & architecture, health & lifestyle, food & wine. She has published various books and thousands of feature articles and columns in local and national newspapers and magazines.