Shopping with Rosie Daley is like boarding a roller coaster –you just hold on and go along for the ride. A dedicated locovore, this vivacious chef believes that good food shared with friends and family is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Perhaps it was her enthusiasm for fresh food and healthy living that motivated Oprah Winfrey to hire Rosie in the 1990s as her personal chef. The two collaborated on a book, “In the Kitchen with Rosie: Oprah’s Favorite Recipes.” Rosie co-authored another book, “The Healthy Kitchen: Recipes for a Better Body, Life and Spirit” (Knopf, 2002), with integrative medicine expert, Dr. Andrew Weil.
Most Sundays you can find her at the Farmers Market in Leucadia (Sundays 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. /185Union Street (at Vulcan) Encinitas, CA. / Map / on the school playground of the Paul Ecke Elementary School) where she shops and chats with neighborhs like fire fighter Steve Meichet who plays with “TheLeucadia Locals.” (See related story, below.)
Rosie, who calls herself a culinary artist, takes a spontaneous approach to cooking, planning her meals according to the food available at the market, in her own garden, and the staples on hand in her kitchen. “There’s nothing pre-meditated about coming here,” she says. “That’s the fun of it.”
Because it’s at the school yard, it’s more like a family outing. The kids get to meet the farmers and see where fruits and vegetables come from. It’s a chance to talk with your neighbors, get some fresh air and exercise. There is also music, and smiles. It’s a social occasion. - Rosie Daley
Cruising along the rows of more than 65 vendors, she stops at a stall to get composting tips from Richard Frost, a geologist and passionate gardener who sells seeds, starter plants and mulch.
At another stall, she inquires about a farmer’s health. “He’s been sick and we haven’t seen him for a while,” she explains. “Whenever anyone is not here, we miss them.”
Tasting a gigantic plump date, she pronounces it “delicious” and considers how she can used dates in the meal she will cook later on for guests.
“I can serve them in a salad with greens and feta cheese, or stuff them and bake them for an appetizer. Apple date bars for desert is also good.”
Guavas are in season, so she scoops some up to decorate her kitchen counter. Moving on, Rosie buys feta cheese and greeens, and some locally-grown blood red oranges; she will freeze the juice in ice cube trays and add them to hibiscus flower tea.
Making the case for locovores, Rosie Daley says locally-grown food stays fresh longer and requires little preparation. “When you have fresh ingredients you don’t have to do that much to them.” She says she likes to shop regularly at the market because the items on offer change frequently. “If you don’t come for a week or two, you can miss out on something.”
A few more items go into Rosie basket and her shopping is complete. At the shaded picnic area, she joins Donna Butnik, a fellow members of the 101 Artist Colony. Both women painted banners for the Arts Alive Banner Contest and volunteer to work with kids to make art from recycled materials.
The market has seven certified organic growers, a drawing card for the many health-conscious surfers, runners, bikers and practitioners of yoga who live in the area. Locovores say they make the Sunday Farmers Market in Leucadia part of their weekly routine. Many like to walk or ride their bikes there, whiling away part of the day shopping, listening to music, visiting with friends and eating – Jamaican, Indian, French, Mexican, etc. Parents love the market because the fenced-in schoolyard is free of traffic and it has a play ground.
In cooking demonstrations she occasionally hold around the country, Rosie talks about how people can incorporate healthy foods and healthy living into their lives. “I try to show them how to make food fun. And I tell them to make sure that they don’t miss out on what’s important in life.”
Rosie Daley’s trip to the Sunday Farmers Market in Leucadia shows she likes to practice what she preaches.
Leucadia Farmers Market - Sundays 10 a.m. p.m. /185Union Street (at Vulcan) Encinitas, CA. /Manager: Ron La Chance / (858) 272 7054/ Map / On offer: 65-70 vendors (7 certified organic vendors). You’ll find produce, prepared food, plants, jewelery etc. Covered picnic tables, fenced-in playground and music most Sundays http://www.sdfarmbureau.org/BuyLocal/Farmers-Markets.php
Loco and Laid Back: The Leucadia Locals Garage Band
The Leucadia Locals are a garage band without delusions of grandeur. “We like playing for our neighbors,” says guitarist Steve Meiche, who claims the Sunday Farmers Market in Leucadia is a perfect venue for them. “When you play in a club, the audience can be very critical. The vibe here is so accepting.”
These guys are in it for the fun, playing a mix of Honky tonk, country and rock, a style that Meiche calls “a funky blend, much like Leucadia itself.” In May, the Leucadia Locals will be play at another hyer-local venue, The Encinitas Sports Festival on Moonlight Beach (May 15-16th). You can also hear them throughout the summer on the last Sunday of the month at the Farmers Market in Leucadia.
Most of the musicians have other gigs: guitarist Steve Meiche (fire fighter), drummer Harley Feinstein (attorney), guitarist
Oliver Kolpin (C.P.A), Tony Horner (pediatrician) steel pedal guitarist Bob Siggins (neuroscientist) and saxophonist Baird Whatley (architect). Guitarists Kirk Cumming and trumpet/guitar player Tim Winter are full-time musicians who play occasionally with the band.
The group’s size changes from five to seven members – or more, depending on who is around at the time. It’s an easy-going approach to playing together that is reminiscent of the neighborhood brass bands in New Orleans.
The group came together when Meiche was practicing in his garage and his neighbor came over and asked if he could join in. In time, other neighbors and friends came on board. (It’s how things seem to work around Leucadia, an informal place full of creative people.)
“When you walk through the streets of Encinitas, you can always her music, “ says Meiche who who books gigs for the band. “From professional musicians to amateurs… jazz musician Peter Sprague lives around here, so does guitarist Nina Anderson and Ben Redmond of Super Wave.”
In April, they played at the Encinitas Garden Festival and Tour, where plenty of local art – including art by of his wife, tile artist Roz Light, was on display in backyard gardens, fences and walls. “There are a lot of artists here,” explains Meiche “ It’s all about art and music.”
For more info on the Leucadia Locals, email Steve Meiche: firstname.lastname@example.org