October 8th, 2021

A Farmers Market Tour – À la Chef Rebecca Clarke

Chef Rebecca Clarke visits Pablo Munoz Farmsbooth at the Downtown McMinnville Farmers Market. All photos by Fiona Gwozdz Mancill.

From fresh produce to some of the world’s finest wines, to most of the world’s hazelnuts, McMinnville and its surrounding areas have plenty to boast about in terms of agricultural offerings. Our people, perhaps our greatest resource, are experts at turning those offerings into an experience

If you’re looking to elevate your culinary experience with a private dining option during your next adventure to the valley, look no further than Chef Rebecca Clarke

A graduate from Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney, Australia who has worked on private and charter yachts in seas the world over, Chef Rebecca has honed her skills to become a master of her craft. A native Oregonian with years of global experience, she now curates the most memorable private dinners for visitors and locals alike. Her mission? To bring the world to your table and showcase Oregon’s bounty, one course at a time.

A plate with a salmon fillet served atop a bed of couscous.  Tomatoes and microgreens are on top of the salmon.
Are you hungry yet?

Working directly with local purveyors of produce, meat, dairy and wine, Chef Rebecca leaves no detail of her private dinners to chance. During farmers market season (May/June – October) she takes the time to visit each vendor, hand-selecting ingredients booth by booth.

In preparation for two different, five course (yes FIVE COURSE!) meals, for two different sets of visitors, Chef Rebecca makes her weekly visit to the McMinnville Farmers Market. It’s a perfect afternoon for it –– a touch of autumn tickles the air and the backdrop of changing leaves adds to the golden hour ambiance.

Her first stop is to the Pablo Munoz Farms booth where the very helpful Joel helps her load up on freshly cut fennel, juicy peaches, and an aromatic bushel of basil. Just one whiff of the bright green bunch would have you convinced you were in Italy. The peaches, fuzzy to the touch and so juicy they’re tempting on their own, will be transformed into a beautiful, bright Confit for Chef Rebecca’s Lavender-Glazed Drake Farms Duck Breast. Swoon.

Chef Rebecca's lavender-glazed Drake Farms duck breast.

Next, it’s a skip across the aisle to the Guerrero Farms booth where Chef Rebecca is seduced by perfectly ripe pears on offer from the very friendly Gustavo Guerrero himself. They’re just what she needs to prepare her delectable Saffron & Pear Chutney which she’ll use to light up Briar Rose Creamery’s Butterbloom and her enviable, homemade crostini. The Butterbloom is exactly as indulgent as it sounds, and available alongside Briar Rose Creamery’s other fantastic market offerings including their creamy Formage Blanc, perfectly nutty Callisto, and to-die-for truffles. 

Farmer, Gustavo Guerrero hands Chef Rebecca a golden pear at his farmers market booth.
Guerrero Farms is a McMinnville favorite.

In the next section of the market, Chef Rebecca hits up Bernards Farm for their earthy red and yellow heirloom tomatoes. “I like ‘em firm,” she notes, carefully pulling her choices into her basket. These beauties will serve as the base for her Heirloom Tomato Salad and Dungeness Crab course, a surprising partnership that is known to delight taste buds, coast to coast.

From Bernards’ it’s a few peek-a-boos at an art booth, the lemonade stand, and even a distillery. She then ambles across the street to nab a few microgreens from Black Box Microgreens that will serve as garnish for her perfectly plated dinners. 

Chef Rebecca strolls through the farmers market with basil and fennel in her hands.

Arms heavy with produce now, Chef Rebecca mentally ticks through her shopping list, making sure she’s got everything she needs to wow her out-of-state visitors from the kitchens of their local rentals. The only thing left? The wines. Just this week she’s working with Atticus Wines, Audeant Wines, Arlyn Wines, Carlton Wine Makers Studio, and Pike Road for a broad selection, but says she could never pick a favorite. For the day that’s in it, she decides to hit up Jacob Williams tasting room on 3rd street for a post-shopping sip – when in Rome!

If you are ready to be wowed by a private dining experience beyond the traditional (and yes, delicious!) restaurant options McMinnville has on offer – connect with Chef Rebecca. She’ll provide a locally sourced, uniquely inspired, and carefully curated event you’ll be dreaming of for years to come. Snag a spot on her schedule for your next trip to McMinnville – you won’t be disappointed. 

By: Fiona Gwozdz Mancill 

Fiona lives in McMinnville with her husband, Duane, and their three dogs, Chloe, Daphne and Zip. She is the founder of The Snug – A Makers Pub (COMING SOON!) and Mnácill Enterprises.


To plan a unique, locally sourced dinner party with wine pairing options curated by Chef Rebecca reach out directly for details and pricing.


Get your taste buds fired up and stroll the booths of the McMinnville Farmers Market every Thursday afternoon from noon to 6 p.m. May – October at Cowls Street between 2nd & 3rd streets.



Now with its own brick and mortar shop at 207 NE Ford Street in McMinnville, this market favorite will tickle your taste buds in all the right places, all year round. They even offer jam tastings to go with their fine baked goods on site. Call Danny or Jennifer at (503) 883-9725 to confirm shopping hours.


Offers fresh produce, plants, eggs, packed hazelnuts, cider, jams, and even candy, daily and year-round, at 18755 SW Highway 18 in McMinnville. Fancy yourself a farmer? Try out their U-Pick options – fun for kids and the young at heart alike! 


Outside of the Farmers Market, you can find Briar Rose Creamery’s indulgent offerings at local shops including Mac Market and Harvest Fresh


Boasting a lovely selection of farmhouse treasures ranging from skin care to home goods, as well as more than 40 different cuts of beef from their cattle farm, this shop is as local as it gets. Open Wednesdays and Fridays from 12-6 p.m., and Saturdays from 12-5 p.m. at 7140 SE Booth Bend Rd, McMinnville.


This family farm’s delights are available in the “Local Goodness” section of the Mac Market, located at 1140 NE Alpine Ave. McMinnville, OR. Tuesday – Sunday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.