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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Celebrating Chico

Many of you know that I recently relocated to Chico, California, having completed my master's degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and needing a break from school for now. I have moved to California's North State, where I have the chance to bake in the sun and explore new opportunities.

One of the things I vowed to do more is photography. I'm working on new media for a local gourmet tabletop retailer Zucchini and Vine. While this involves an e-mail newsletter and website, I'm most excited about the photography opportunities it is going to present me with.

Most recently, I was the guest columnist for the Sweet Basil & the Bee column in the Chico Enterprise-Record. My job was to capture the 10th Annual Salsa Contest at the Chico Certified Farmer's Market. I wasn't quite sure how this would shape up, but I had a fantastic time photographing elaborate salsa presentations and then tasting them all as a judge.

The winning red salsa, from Dan Turner, was titled "Big Dan's Inferno." I was nervous because, as many of you know, I just can't stand hot food. Dan had promised me that his salsa carried a kick, as if the name wasn't enough. However, the combination of heat from habanero chiles and a nice smoky flavor from chipotles in adobo sauce and smoked habaneros created one of the most sophisticated salsas I've tasted. Below is a photo of it.

Big Dan's Inferno Salsa

You can view my column in the Style section of tomorrow's Chico Enterprise-Record, along with the rest of my photos from the contest.

Since I had some time to kill before the salsas arrived, I explored Chico's farmers market, which while small certainly packs a punch of flavor and color.

Breakfast, Farmers Market Style


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