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The City's Best Farmers Markets

Sherry Yard

Photo by David Lauridsen

Sherry Yard photographed outside of Helms Bakery.

To say celebrated pastry chef, author and entrepreneur Sherry Yard is passionate about food would be a half-baked understatement. After spending 20 years as Wolfgang Puck’s executive pastry chef, she now positively buzzes with energy when talking about her newest project, the resurrection of an LA icon, Helms Bakery. Closed since 1969 when the much-loved bakery shuttered and its fleet of yellow home-delivery trucks were mothballed, the new iteration will be housed in the original Helms complex in LA, now a campus of design and home furnishing stores, galleries and restaurants, including noted LA chef Sang Yoon’s Father’s Office and Lukshon. Co-chefs and partners in the new venture, Yoon and Yard are planning to open the new Helms Bakery this summer.

Speaking with Yard, it’s quickly evident that the Brooklyn native has a deep respect for the Helms legacy and sees herself as the custodian of the name. “I like to think: If the Helms evolved, what would it be today? We think it would be something like this.” “This” is a 10,000-square-foot space in the original bakery that is now being re-imagined into what Yard describes as a “chef’s playground” of eight different food areas, including a dinette, a grab-and-go selection of fine edibles, an espresso and coffee area with on-site roasting and a section featuring a wood-burning oven to produce flatbreads and Stromboli. And, oh, yes, they’ll be making various types of artisanal breads as well.

Yard’s approach in general, and with Helms specifically, is to celebrate local and California food artisans whenever possible. A big supporter of local farmers markets, she enthuses, “We have amazing markets and incredible farmers here who are trying new things and listening to chefs.”

YARD'S PICKS:

1. Santa Monica Farmers Market
“Wednesday at 7 a.m. here is church for me. I’ve been going for 20 years, and the farmers are like extended family. A case in point are the people from Fat Uncle Farms who will grow the oats we’ll use in our oatmeal at Helms.”

2. Plummer Park
“A gem of a market on Mondays in West Hollywood. Some of the best local resources show up here, such as Harry’s Berries. It’s less crowded and easy to park, so you can jump in and out.”

3. Hollywood Farmers Market
“You’ll find some wonderful farmers here. Pudwill Farms does excellent berries, like mara de bois mountain strawberries. And you’ll find things like fresh eggs and prepared artisanal foods.”

4. Beverly Hills
"There’s a diversity of farmers here and some beautiful prepared foods, like the ones by Domenico’s Foods. Domenick DiBartolomeo makes his own fresh pastas and amazing sauces.”


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