March 12 was a spectacular day for the Crescent City Farmers Market and all those who showed up to attend the celebration of its book release. Crescent City Farmers Market Cookbook, 13 years in the making, tells the story of the food community-family farmers, chefs, fishermen and market shoppers. The book is written by local food activist Poppy Tooker, who began the Slow Food Chapter in New Orleans with a mission to promote the preservation of local food traditions. The book includes more than 125 seasonal recipes.

The book signing took place at the Uptown Square, where the market is held twice a week. The courtyard was decorated by marketumbrella.org’s signature orange and white umbrellas, and more than 200 guests showed up to celebrate. A patron party began at 6 p.m., and of course the food included farm-fresh ingredients. Cocktails were served, and guests were able to mingle with renowned Chef Alice Waters of Chez Panisse (who penned the forward of the cookbook). Other guests included the original founders of the Market, Sharon Litwin, John Abajian and Richard McCarthy (who’s also executive director of marketumbrella.org). Co-chairs of the event were Margaret Saer Beer and Leah Whann.

The Crescent City Farmers Market is the public face of marketumbrella.org, a nonprofit organization with a mission of cultivating the field of markets for public good. Proceeds from the event and book sales support programs to grow the market community, including Meet Me at the Market – to get kids and seniors into the world of markets; Marketeer Club for young shoppers, featuring monthly kids activities; and other efforts to “green” the markets.