Larimer Square grows a chefs-driven farmer’s market

May 21, 2014

The idea is so brilliant that you would have thought the Larimer Square brain trust would have planted seeds for a farmer’s market years ago.

But the seeds have finally sprouted into a full-grown, fruit, vegetable, bread, cheese, spice and meat market in the courtyard adjacent to restaurant Bistro Vendome, owned by Larimer Square lassies Beth Gruitch and award-winning chef Jennifer Jasinski.

To help establish the “chef-curated” open-air vendor space, Euclid Hall and Stoic & Genuine (opening July in the Union Station redevelopment) chef Jorel Pierce lent his culinary prowess to the project with the support of Larimer Square honchos Jeff Hermanson and Joe Vostrejs.

The result? Le Jardin Secret, which debuts with the Denver Chalk Art Festival at 9:30 a.m. May 31 and continuing on Saturdays through Aug. 23.

Le Jardin organizers hosted invited guests to a sneak peek of the bounty offered by local merchants including Grateful Bread Company, Western Daughters Butcher Shoppe, the Truffle Cheese Shop, Sugarmill and Blooming Fool.

At this chefs’ market with a French accent, foodies can shop for fine artisanal fare with a mimosa or Bloody Mary in hand.

“Larimer Square is Denver’s oldest and most historic block, and we take a lot of pride in it,” Vostrejs said. “This year we’re going to step up the game.”

Hermanson, whose family trust owns the Square, concurred with his colleague.

“Joe and I have been working on Larimer Square for two decades and the evolution has been pretty satisfying for us, and we think for the public,” Hermanson said.

Chef Pierce was tagged to choose participating vendors. “I think this space was made for a farmer’s market,” he said. “We wanted to invoke somewhat of a French farmer’s market motif. This is your chance to shop from the people that chefs shop from.”

For more information on Larimer Square’s summer events, go to

(Photos courtesy of John Imbergamo/Facebook)

(Photos courtesy of John Imbergamo/Facebook)le jardins2


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