Bill Fujimoto, the former manager of Berkeley’s Monterey Market, recently took a stroll through the Derby Street Berkeley Farmers Market with Bob Klein, owner of Oliveto restaurant. Klein had his video camera in hand to shoot some footage for the Oliveto Community Journal.
Fujimoto, a produce expert who left Monterey Market in 2009 and is now at Diablo Foods in Lafayette, chatted to farmers about the fruit and vegetables coming to market. He spoke with farmers from Full Belly Farm, Riverdog and Lucero. The report is one in an ocasional series created by Klein where he talks to the producers and farmers supplying his restaurant, often with his friend Fujimoto in tow.
Under discussion at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market was the erratic nature of tomato growing and the effect on crops of the unusual summer weather we’ve been having. According to Klein, the real local tomato season has yet to begin, and most farmers can only speculate on when their first bumper crops will materialize.
At Oliveto, Executive Chef Jonah Rhodehamel will be hedging his bets by preparing special Early-Season Tomato Dinners (August 23 through August 26) featuring the earlier ripening varieties, and half a month later a set of Late-Season Tomato Dinners (September 13 through September 26).