The Greenmarket for Poor Culinary Students

One of the best things about going to culinary school in New York, or just living in New York, is the Union Square Greenmarkt. Much has been written about this urban farmer's market – it's not one of the many hidden culinary gems that food writers in this city are always uncovering. But it is a marvel, even to a regular patron like myself.

If you're a culinary student in NYC, chances are you're probably under the financial strain of tuition and too cooked-out from class to make meals at home. Still, the Greenmarket is worth a weekly venture for any aspiring cook. First, it gives you a sense of what produce is in season. If you're going to be a chef, it's essential to know what fruit, vegetable or herb is just in, what's at its prime, what's on the way out. Even if you're not making purchases, it's good to do the homework and practice for the future.

Besides a general knowledge of seasonal produce, the Greenmarket is a great way to discover new things. I'm a culinary bookworm- I read cookbooks, magazines, study menus. Still, I'm frequently surprised to find an entirely new vegetable, fruit or homemade product. Just yesterday I encountered Mexican Sour Gherkins for the first time at Windfall Farms. The size of a robin's egg with the appearance of a miniature watermelon, I purchased a few out of curiosity. The taste was something like a bitter cucumber, crunchier and tangier than the familiar gourd. Such discoveries are important to both chefs and writers. Unfortunately an article in New York Magazine beat me to the punch with Mexican Gherkins, but I'm sure there will be more exotic produce to cover.

And finally, there are celebrity sightings. I've never seen Brangelina purchasing vegan pastries, but Union Square Greenmarket is rife with culinary celebrities. I spotted Dan Barber of Blue Hill one Saturday afternoon, and Jeffrey Steingarten walking out with an armful of shopping bags. It's fun to see the people at the forefront of the American culinary scene, and know that they're browsing the same products you are.

Perhaps it's coming from cities with lesser farmer's markets that inspires awe whenever I emerge from the subway station into the bustle of merchants and buyers, chefs, cheese makers, vintners, seafood mongers, produce farmers, pasta maidens and everything in between. Unlike others, Union Square is large, bountiful, diverse and never seems to run out of even the most sought-after items. In this light, it's much like NYC itself.

For current info on the Greenmarket, check out this website.

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            Baker College is the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. Our mission is to prepare you for meaningful employment.

            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            Good for Working Adults
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            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
            • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
            • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
            • Has campuses in Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, Florida
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            Salter College , West Boylston
            • Offers training programs in preparation for professional careers in business, health care, and computers.
            • Provides associate and certificate programs in medical assisting, massage therapy, culinary arts, and more.
            • Places students in externships to gain real world experience before completing their respective program.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
            • 2 campuses in Chicopee and West Boylston, Massachusetts.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
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            4 Program(s) Found
            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
            • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
            • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
            • Hosts regular career fairs for employer recruitment.
            • Has student housing available.
            • Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
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            Sullivan University is a private institution of higher learning dedicated to providing educational enrichment opportunities for the intellectual, social and professional development of its students. The institution offers career-focused curricula with increasing rigor from the certificate through diploma, associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree levels. Throughout those curricula, the university seeks to promote the development of critical thinking, effective verbal and written communication, computer literacy, and teamwork as well as an appreciation for life-long learning, cultural diversity and the expression of professionalism in all activities. At the graduate level, the university also seeks to promote a culture of research.