RYE BROOK, N.Y. When Rye Brook Deputy Clerk Elizabeth Rotfeld was charged with creating Rye Brook's first indoor farmers market , she immediately thought of Port Chester personal chef, Maria Reina.
"With Maria's help I began contacting vendors that she had established relationships with," Rotfeld said. "I also started to find vendors through my own research."
Reina, a resident of Port Chester, began getting involved in the farmers market circuit last summer as a way of filling the hours and spreading the word about her catering business. She soon found that conducting chef demos at the PepsiCo Farmers Market, although unpaid, was extremely rewarding.
"I used to do demos on Tuesdays in July and August, and it was just so much fun for me," Reina said. "In the beginning I used to just do things on the fly, but as the summer progressed became friendly with a lot of the farmers and would reach out to them in advance. They would give me their stuff and then I would work on a recipe, and tell everyone to buy from the farmers."
Reina said once she starting making contacts in within the circuit she started fielding multiple phone calls from other markets asking to conduct demos. Reina has since conducted demos at farmers markets from Chappaqua to Ridgefield, Conn. and almost everywhere in between.
"Farmers markets are really good things," Reina said. "People are getting back to cooking a little bit and kids are really interesting in cooking and preparing things. They want to know what's going into their body."
Reina, who also offers cooking classes at Tarry Market in Port Chester , is excited about adding the Rye Brook Indoor Farmers Market to her list of demo stops.
"I think its going to be great," Reina said. "Hopefully with all the buzz well get a bunch of people from the community going. It'll be really nice to have a market around here."
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