Chefs' $30 Challenge

Chefs from three new market-restaurants make delicious meals with ingredients from their own shops—for under $30.
© Marcus Nilsson
© Marcus Nilsson

Many chefs would sooner part with their sharpest knife than share the names of their suppliers; the first secret to good cooking, after all, is securing the finest ingredients. But during the past year, there’s been a surge of new market-restaurants, in which chefs sell the very ingredients they serve. The one drawback: These epicurean markets can be expensive.

F&W asked three market-restaurant chefs to prepare a meal for four people for less than $30, buying the ingredients at their own stores. Masterfully stretching their budgets, all three used lots of low-cost, in-season produce and staples like bread and eggs. Barbara Lynch of Boston’s Butcher Shop and Plum Produce created an Italian-style meal with chicken cacciatore. Daniel Orr of Farm Bloomington in Bloomington, Indiana, made a Midwestern dinner of sausages and apples. Mike Price of New York’s Market Table crafted a Spanish-inspired blood-orange salad and frittata. Expertise is rarely so affordable—or more delicious.

Delicious Meals From Three Chefs

PUBLISHED February 2008