The Good, The Big & The Ugly Tomato Festival Saturday, July 31


If you are a summer tomato stalwart like Gut Check, this is the time of year you have been waiting for. The first red spherical joy bombs have been hitting the farmer's markets with the promise of more to come.

Slow Food St. Louis
and Farm to Family Naturally understand our delight. This Saturday, July 31, they will celebrate all things tomato at the Sappington Farmer's Market (8400 Watson Road, Marlborough; 314-843-7848) from noon until 4 p.m. with The Good, The Big, & The Ugly: A Homegrown Tomato Festival.

The event centers on a homegrown tomato contest but also includes demonstrations about seed saving and preservation as well as a children's booth.

For the parents, Absolute Vodka and the United States Bartenders' Guild will be presenting a tomato cocktail contest. Three of the city's top mixologists will be paired with three small farmers to craft some free-style cocktails.

And the contenders are: Matt Seiter of Sanctuaria and Justin Leszcz of Yellow Tree Farm, Ted Kilgore of Taste by Niche and Karrie Johnson of Red House Farm, and Nate Selsor of Monarch and Gabriel Walbridge of Ozark Harvest Farm.

Kilgore, coming off of his top five showing in May at the USBG's Manhattan Cocktail Classic and last week's triumph at the Yellow Tail cocktail competition, appears to be the man to beat. He hints to Gut Check that he is thinking about something "spicy and hot, with tomato, watermelon and jalapeño."

In all, he promises something "pretty inventive while still maintaining taste and probably won't see any bloody marys."

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