People around town are talking, and word’s getting out that this is the sweetest community farmers market in the area. The concept of planning weekly food shopping around what might be available at the market is catching on, and Thursday afternoons are buzzing with more activity than ever at Clark Park!
Joining the growing ranks of fine vendors this year is Paul Stevens of Wolfeboro, with his Jazzy Chef BBQ. Paul’s secret to the aroma wafting out from his tent? Well, that’s simple! “It’s the wood that makes it good,” he says. Paul uses locally sourced meats, smoking for 10 hours or more over over oak, cherry and apple wood coals. Spices are important (and secret), but there’s no replacement for wood smoke and time, according to Paul Stevens. Texas style brisket, available in sandwiches or by the pound, is his most popular menu item, with Carolina style pulled pork, Memphis style ribs and Alabama smoked chicken close behind.
Of course, we’ve always had delicious foods to offer at the market, but this year is better than ever. Stopping for a yummy lunch, ice cream treat, iced coffee or fresh lemonade is a draw indeed—what’s new is that an increasing number of people are planning their week around taking home something delicious for dinner—already cooked, that is. Jazzy Chef BBQ has a growing clientele who make this their first stop every week for a few pounds of brisket or other meat to take home for dinner. Add a salad and a loaf of bread, and dinner is made.
Stevens, who grew up in Wolfeboro, was classically trained as a chef, and spent recent years working as an estate chef, including time on private yachts in Florida. Most recently, he traveled throughout the south, sampling down-home cooking and training in BBQ techniques. Though BBQ is clearly his passion, his versatility as a chef is serving him well as he grows his local catering business. Serving groups of any size with a flair comes easily to him. Working alongside him at the market is his mother, Rita Georges, and friend Maureen Bowers.
Cooking runs in the family. “What brought me to cooking was seeing my grandparents Avis Stevens and Paul Stevens around the kitchen and garden,” Stevens said. His grandmother passed down a tradition of bringing home-baked sweets to family gatherings, with young Paul happy to help out at pie-baking time. His grandfather cultivated a big family garden, and brought fresh food to the table. Together, they inspired Paul as a child to find ways to please others through food. “I have never tasted a tomato as good as my grandfather’s,” he added.
The summer farmers market is continuing to fulfill that dream of bringing pleasure to people through food, and he’s glad he made the decision to participate. “It’s a great community,” says Stevens. “Everyone at the market helps each other out, and it’s been such a welcoming crowd.” Beyond his own work at the market, Stevens has been pleased to see the huge variety of quality products coming from the Wolfeboro area.
Stop by for lunch, or plan to take some meat home for supper. (Or both!) If you’re planning a family reunion or other event, talk to Paul Stevens about his catering services. For more information, visit the Jazzy Chef BBQ website or on Facebook.
We appreciate the community’s welcoming spirit with this year’s market, as we grow and branch out. With each vendor we’ve added, we’ve seen the community’s response grow and strengthen. Thanks for all you do to spread the word, support the vendors and support our local agricultural economy. We’re creating a good thing—and we’re doing it together!