Special Events

Annual Salsa Showdown

Mid-July, when the Market is hot, hot, hot, community contestants battle to make the best Market-fresh salsa in town. Market contestants arrive at the Market early in the morning to shop for their salsa ingredients. They then have one and a half hours to make their signature salsas. Market patrons watch and gather, eagerly waiting for the sampling to begin.

The Salsa Showdown demonstrates how easy, tasty and fun it is to use fresh local veggies to make homemade salsa!

If you’d like to be a contestant, sign-up for our Market newsletter in the website footer area and check back to the website in early summer. Bring on the heat!

Breakfast of Champions: Beer and Brats Brunch

Several times throughout the year the Market partners with their friends at Summit Coffee to bring Market-goers beer, brats, sausages and dogs! Market vendors supply the food samples and Summit Coffee provides the North Carolina beer samples. And for non-beer drinkers, depending on the time of year, we have cool lemonade or hot cider.

This fun, family event is another way the Market likes to highlight farm, fresh vendor goods and get folks excited about eating and buying it!

Chef Demo’s and Recipes

April through October, three times a month, the Market features seasonal chef demos. A variety of local and talented chefs, including restaurant owners, head chefs and personal chefs, visit the Market to demonstrate shopping and cooking with farm fresh foods.

Our Market vendors donate their local harvest to the featured chef of the day and in-turn the chefs talk about the vendors and their beautiful, tasty goods; while preparing seasonal dishes.

Not only do Market-goers get to sample the local fare, but they may learn new cooking tips and techniques too.

You’ll find the chef demo area in the heart of the Market.

Chef Demo Schedule
April through May and Sept. through Oct., 9:30 and 10:30 a.m.
June through August, 9 and 10 a.m.


Chef Demos this Spring

This Saturday, April 11, Chef Vera will be at the Market for a demo at 10 am.

Chefs Breakfast!

This Saturday, June 27th, the Market will be hosting five local chefs, as they whip up delicious Market-inspired breakfast dishes! There will be 125 tasting tickets available at the Market table, and we will be asking for a $5 donation in exchange. The chef demonstrations will start at 9am.


Davidson Farmers Market

DFM Presents: The Second Annual Winter Market Chef Challenge

DFM Presents: The Second Annual Winter Market Chef Challenge

This Saturday, Nov. 3rd, marks the first day of The Davidson Farmers Market’s Winter Market.  To celebrate this new time of year, the bounties that come with the changing seasons, the local vendors that bring their fresh goods to Market, and the local chefs that embrace homegrown ingredients and support local farmers, the Market is hosting the Second Annual Winter Market Chef Challenge.

Five area chefs will prepare dishes on-site using four mystery Market items that will be unveiled when they arrive. Chefs will be allowed 10 minutes to shop for a bonus Market item before they begin cooking. They will have 45 minutes to prepare their dish and present for judging. Market shoppers will determine the winner by majority vote. This event is free and begins at 9:15 a.m. You may taste and vote from 10:15-10:45 a.m.  Come out this Saturday for a farm fresh event that promises to be locally delicious!

“We have a great group of local-minded chefs this year,” says Market Manager Courtney Spear. “Last year was a big hit with both the customers and vendors. It’s neat to see our customers experiencing new dishes and their excitement interacting with the chefs. The vendors love to smell and taste their goods being prepared at the Market.”

Meet our Chef Challenge Chefs: 

Chef Anthony Ascanio, Flatiron Kitchen & Taphouse – Chef Anthony attended CPCC’s Culinary Arts Program. He’s been cooking in the Lake Norman area since 2005. Focusing on simple, properly executed dishes, Anthony enjoys cooking fall and winter dishes and believes heavier dishes and intense cooking techniques can lend to deeper and richer flavors.

Chef Chris Coleman, The Market Kitchen – The Market Kitchen is a moveable, “pop-up” feast that focuses on utilizing locally sourced, sustainable ingredients for modern tasting-style dinners and events. Born from the mind of Chef Chris, this portable dining experience moves from place to place. Guests are  introduced to dining locations they may have never visited before, or never considered part of the fabric that makes up this area’s rich and diverse social scene. By using only local ingredients, Chris hopes TMK will shed some light on our agrarian past, as well as our small-farms future. 

Chef Alyssa Gorelick – a Charlotte Native, Chef Alyssa has been cooking professionally for 10 years. Her passion is creating healthy foods that not only taste delicious, but make you feel good! Alyssa uses wholesome, local ingredients and specializes in vegetarian and vegan cuisine. In June 2012 she was featured in Food & Wine magazine.

Chef Nicolas Daniels, The Wooden Vine Wine Bar & Bistro’s – a Johnson and Wales graduate, Chef Nicolas trained in tasting kitchens in Spain and Chile. He learned about wine, food and pairings, which is a big part of his cooking style. His modern cooking techniques are fused with his traditional French techniques. Overseas his main produce came from farmer’s markets, so he has a high respect for local farmers and their products. 

Chef Joe Kindred, Roosters Kitchen – After graduating from Johnson and Wales, Chef Joe decided to do his internship at Nobles Restaurant in Charlotte where he was introduced to now mentor Chef Jim Noble. He then moved on to Tru, Chef Rick Tramonto’s Michelin star restaurant in downtown Chicago; from there he moved on to Blue, French Chef Martial Noguier; and The Pump Room, with Chef Tramonto; then James Beard’s Delfina, where he developed a strong passion for rustic, farm-to-table, Italian inspired food and wine. Chef Joe is now the executive chef and managing partner for Roosters Uptown.


Schedule of Events

8:30 a.m.             Chefs arrive to set-up and prep their stations.

9:15 a.m.             Chefs receive their mystery baskets.  Chefs may begin prepping (wash, cut and peel only).

9:30 a.m.             Bonus shopping and cooking begins.

10:15 a.m.            Market-goers sample and vote.

10:45 a.m.            Voting ends.

11 a.m.                   Winning Chef announced.


The winning chef will receive a community Market basket and bragging rights for one year!


Fall Community Luncheon

To celebrate the Davidson Farmer’s Market vendors and the loyal volunteers that help set-up the Market every morning, take-down the Market every afternoon, and help the Market function every Saturday – we come together mid-October for a local family feast. Community friends are welcome to join and everyone brings their favorite seasonal entrée, side or dessert. It’s a spread and gathering unlike any other.

Music and Entertainment

Every Saturday, April through October, the Market air is filed with a variety of local tunes. On any particular Saturday you may find a one-man band playing ballads, blues and buffet; a four-piece instrumental group playing folk, brass or Americana; or even a young student musician or a laid-back Bluegrass jam.

Not as often, but just as entertaining, you may experience a dance group sweeping through the Market space or opera singers delighting Market patrons with their angelic voices.

If you want to learn more about being a part of the Market’s music and entertainment, please send an email to the Market Manager.

Seed Spitting Contest

July is watermelon month and to celebrate this juicy and delicious melon, we spit seeds! Market shoppers big and small may compete by launching watermelon seeds from their mouths for the furthest distance. Buy a slice of watermelon for $1; find the perfect spitting seed, step right up and let it rip!

Volunteer judges take special care in measuring each contestant’s seed-spitting distance.

Four divisions to include everyone:
1. Men
2. Women
3. Youth (8-15 years)
4. Children (7 and under)
5. Vendor

Prizes include a combination of place ribbons, melons, market bucks and t-shirts!

Strawberry Shortcake Day

During peak strawberry season, the Market highlights these succulent berries by hosting Strawberry Shortcake Day. Fresh Market strawberries, handmade Market biscuits and local whipped cream are piled high and served-up for $5 each. It’s a family fun event. The proceeds go towards general Market expenses.

This delicious event typically takes place in April or May each year. You won’t want to miss it!