The trophy this year comes home to Pleasant Hill.
And no one is happier about that than Lesley Stiles - chef, garden activist, farmers market advocate and, on Thursday, the woman who rustled up the winning recipe in the Fourth Mayors Annual Healthy Cookoff Challenge. The event, held each year at Concord's Todos Santos Park, challenges Contra Costa mayors and a chef from their city to concoct dishes using only the ingredients provided by the local farmers market.
Stiles came up with the winner.
"We had an hour and a half to prepare," she said, "and it was a chopped-type competition."
Stiles and Hanecak found in their basket: ground turkey, red and green bell peppers, pasilla pepper, jalapeño, cilantro , onions, tomatoes, strawberries, nectarine, plum, okra, quinoa, summer squash, basil, tarragon, parsley, and garlic.
While that might have presented a daunting challenge for many, for Stiles, who owned and operated her own successful restaurant in Martinez before she was 30, it was a delightful opportunity. Within the alloted time, and with assistance from the mayor, she presented the judges with:
Quinoa mixed with sautéed okra, red and green bell peppers and garlic; ground turkey sautéed w/ onions, garlic, bells, summer squash and herbs, all mixed together to stuff into red bell peppers and steamed stove-top in a court bouillon, served with raw kale and romaine salad with sour cherries, nectarine and cherry tomato with a balsamic vinegar.
The trophy will be on display throughout the year at Pleasant Hill City Hall.
Read about Stiles' experience in her next Pleasant Hill Patch blog post.
Tomato and chile salsa to garnish the peers
Chimi churri type sauce to garnish the peppers – parsley, basil and tarragon blended w/ olive oil, lemon peel and lemon juice and salt