5 Bites: Ann Yonkers

DC native, owner of the organic Pot Pie Farm, environmentalist, cooking teacher and local food advocate Ann Harvey Yonkers is all about transforming the way Washingtonians eat. As co-executive director of FreshFarm Markets, the leading farmers market organization in the region, Ann’s favorite place to be is at one of the 11 weekly FreshFarm markets.

She is compelled by the idea that eating locally makes sense from every point of view — flavor, the environment, health and sustainability. The food is so fresh and the market stands are so beautiful that it's a pleasure to make the commitment and make the switch to buying, cooking and eating food that is raised close to home. She’s especially attracted to fruits and vegetables this time of year because they are abundant but nearing the end of the growing season.

Mark your calendars for FreshFarm's great annual fundraiser, the Farmland Feast on Monday Nov. 7, the "DC locavore event of the year."

When not shopping for dinner, cooking for crowds or helping her grandchildren collect fresh eggs from under the Pot Pie farm hens, Ann enjoys:

1. Making a favorite Sicilian dish — pasta with burst cherry tomatoes — using a variety of cherry tomatoes from one of FreshFarm's vendors. Sources: Blueberry Hill, Spiral Path, Tree and Leaf and Next Step Produce.

2. Tasting and discovering new varieties of melons at the farm stands from French hybrid cantaloupes to small canary or Christmas melons. Sources: Big Riggs, Spring Valley, Quaker Valley, Three Springs Fruit Farm and Twin Springs.

3. Selecting deep purple Italian prune plums to make a crostata for weekend company. Sources: Kuhn Orchards, Toigo, Black Rock and Knouse.

4. Gathering fresh shelling beans to make a bean sauté with fresh garlic, rosemary, thyme and olive oil  — one of the world’s most delicious and least appreciated dishes. Sources: Sand Hill and The Farm at Sunnyside and Pleitez.

5. Picking up a handmade wood-fired pizza (ask for half-baked if you want to take it home for dinner) from Red Zebra at By the White House market on Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m.

Bonus 6. Composing a salad made of fresh lettuces, herbs, vegetables and cheeses from the market. I love the tender texture of fall lettuces this time of year. Sources: Gardeners Gourmet, Butter Pot, Next Step, Endless Summer, Garner's Produce, ricotta cheese from Keswick Creamery (by the White House & Dupont) or Blue Ridge Dairy.

Curious where DC's top culinary pros eat in their off hours? Check out Chef 5 Bites.