Something extraordinary started Friday morning in downtown Las Vegas: a confluence of fresh food and fun that might prove every bit as revolutionary as anything going on at the Mob Museum or the Smith Center. And it did so in something of a false start, in an ad hoc location, with only a fraction of the vendors that will one day make the Downtown 3rd Farmers Market a happening every chef and foodie in town will want to attend.
By false start we mean the grand kickoff failed to materialize in the old Regional Transportation Center next to the Mob Museum. Due to some insurance snafu, all the vendors had to move around the corner to an open-air space right in front of Triple George restaurant. This deterred neither them nor the crowds a bit, as hundreds streamed down the street every hour, from 9 am until it closed at 2 pm. From the looks of things, getting there early is soon to be the watchword for vigilant buyer of voluptuous veggies — just like it was at the old Batali Market on Dean Martin Drive, twelve miles south.
Kerry Clasby — The Intuitive Forager — is the superstar purveyor providing the proper pedigree that connects the old market with this new one, and she brings a loyal following from both her prior tenure, and her current other one at the Springs Preserve on Thursdays. Between her, and Quail Hollow Farm, and Brett Ottolenghi’s Artisanal Foods, and the coming chef demonstrations and food truck convocation, this could prove to be a watershed event in the history of our local food scene.
Next Friday morning, things move indoors to the old bus terminal, parking will be even easier, and the final shape of what this promises to become will start to reveal itself. You’re not going to want to miss it, just like you shouldn’t miss out on Executive Chef Ro Fernandez’s farm fresh Downtown 3rd lunch salad — featured every Friday at Triple George — made entirely from ingredients purchased that morning from the market. It was a healthy meal in a bowl that provided just the tasty snap you need after all that foraging.
For those who didn’t make it, this video (from the R-J no less! Wonders never cease!) provides a better look than ELV’s tasty snaps above: