Chili - Famers Market


The weather may be warm but the Farmers Market is bringing the heat in September with their annual Chili Roast.

Locals are encouraged to partake in the popular celebration every Saturday at Virginia Avenue Park (2200 Virginia Ave).

The chili roaster has been a part of the Santa Monica market for more than a decade and over the years the reaction has been positive and very popular. Customers have taken roasted chilis home to freeze and use in recipes throughout the year.

“The 13th annual chili roast at Virginia Avenue Park features a Santa Fe chili roaster flame, roasting Anaheim peppers, poblano and jalapeno chilis,” said Laura Avery, Farmers Market Supervisor.

Avery explained the chili roast is special to Santa Monica for a number of reasons and the annual event has become a seasonal celebration of the chilis within the community.

“This year we are excited to have the participation of Executive Chef Nick Shipp from Upper West overseeing the roasting and grilling of some chili quesadillas right next to the chili roaster,” said Avery.

Shipp will be there every Saturday, offering three different chili’s; Anaheim peppers, the poblano, and the jalapeno.

Anaheim peppers are often used in Mexican and southwestern cooking. The Anaheim peppers originated in New Mexico and are typically used for making a specialty Mexican- American dish, chili relleno, where the pepper is roasted and stuffed.

The poblano is a mild chili pepper originating in the state of Puebla, Mexico. The pepper is often roasted and peeled and can then be preserved by either canning or freezing.

The jalapeno originates from Mexico and is one of the most well known chili peppers around, as the pepper can be served fresh, cooked or pickled.

“Chilis can be purchased for $3 per pound or 2 pounds for $5. Nick’s chili quesadillas with his special sauce are $5 each,” said Avery. “The chili roaster starts at 9 a.m. and goes for about 2 hours until all the chilis are roasted. Quesadillas will be served from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.”

The roast will only be taking place at the Pico Farmers Market, every Saturday for the month of September from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

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  • Chef Shipp has provided the Daily Press with his salsa recipe that goes well quesadillas stuffed with roasted peppers and cheese.
  • 1 pound roma tomatoes, halved
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 of medium yellow onion (chargrilled)
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • Pulse all ingredients in food processor until chunky. Shipp enjoys the salsa a bit chunky, however feel free to blend more. Bring ingredients to a boil. Refuse heat a simmer for about 3 to five minutes.