I'm not sure how he does it, but I'm convinced that chef Jorel Pierce has tapped the 25th hour in the day. While manning his post as the chef de cuisine at Euclid Hall, he's also working with chef Jennifer Jasinski to open Stoic & Genuine at Union Station in July. That task includes creating menus, sitting in on design meetings for every inch of the historic space, and flying to the coasts to secure branded oysters (the Stoic, the Genuine, and the S&G) for the seafood restaurant.
In between all of this, Pierce, along with Larimer Square and Mile High Business Alliance, has managed to create what might be the best thing to ever happen to Larimer Square: Le Jardin Secret. This French-inspired chefs’ market will unfold in Bistro Vendôme’s courtyards every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., starting May 31 and running for 14 weeks, not including Labor Day weekend. (Le Jardin is also staging a soft opening on May 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) “We decided to step away from the farmers’ market [concept] and go with a chefs’ market because we wanted to add a level of selection and curation,” Pierce says. “We really want to give people access to the ingredients chefs look for.”
No detail has been overlooked: There are custom-designed vendor booths, wicker baskets, bread racks, and a flower pushcart. “We tried to curate a furniture package with textures, materials, and fabrics that enhance the historic nature of those courtyards and maintain the integrity of a Parisian market,” Pierce explains. Among the seven product categories—dairy, produce, meat, bread, etc.—there will be no redundancies (i.e. only one purveyor will sell a certain type of tomato). Vendors, as you might expect, are among the best in town, including Grateful Bread Company, Western Daughters Butcher Shoppe, the Truffle Cheese Shop, Sugarmill, and Blooming Fool. Produce will be coordinated by Grower's Organic. Mile High Business Alliance is creating chef-generated recipe cards that customers can shop with and collect over the weeks.
The market will coincide with brunch at Bistro Vendôme (we already know where the hottest tables in town will be on Saturday mornings). To mitigate parking hassles, Larimer Square has arranged for valet and free parking options during market hours. And, perhaps, best of all, Pierce has secured a liquor license, so you can shop the market with a mimosa in hand.
Tip: May 31 is the same day as Larimer Square's annual Chalk Festival. Either make a day of it, or plan your market visit accordingly.
The courtyards outside of Bistro Vendome (1420 Larimer St.)