Organic Farmstand Foods’ chef, Marnita Hadnot-Baird, brings her gourmet flavors to Incline Village every Sunday | SierraSun.com

Organic Farmstand Foods’ chef, Marnita Hadnot-Baird, brings her gourmet flavors to Incline Village every Sunday

Forget choosing between breakfast and lunch, late Sunday mornings are meant for brunch with family and friends.

Elevating the standard brunch experience with wholesome ingredients and unique flavors is chef Marnita Hadnot-Baird, founder of Farmstand Foods.

She first fell in love with food while working with Wolfgang Puck and Spago in Beverly Hills and learned most of what she knows during her seven years at the restaurant.

For more than 25 years, Hadnot-Baird has been serving dishes using only local, organic, grass-fed, pastured meats and produce, keeping in stride with her advocacy of building strong, healthy bodies for overall wellness.

"I'd like people to know that they can use the farm-to-table lifestyle to not only enjoy their food, but to change and support their health," Hadnot-Baird said.

"I believe that you'd rather pay the farmer than the doctor. The food I prepare is uniquely delicious, and surprisingly healthy."

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Hadnot-Baird said Farmstand Foods started when a friend of hers noticed her Facebook posts of dinner. The friend did not like cooking and asked Hadnot-Baird to deliver three meals twice a week. Word spread like wildfire and soon the chef and her team were preparing up to 40 meals a week.

"She's just so gourmet," said longtime local and semi-retired public relations professional, Millie Szerman, of chef Hadnot-Baird.

"We were at Glasses Wine Bar for her brunch on July 3rd, and there were eight of us. No one left a morsel of food on their plates … it was scrumptious," Szerman said.

For people looking for an especially exciting brunch experience, head over to Incline Village where Glasses Wine Bar transforms into a bottomless-mimosa, early-day entrée haven for locals and visitors in North Lake Tahoe.

Every Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Glasses Wine Bar owners Rob and Kathleen Martens welcome brunchers to sip mimosas or the beverage of their choosing as they enjoy breakfast and lunch options from a pop-up, outdoor kitchen run by Farmstand Foods' culinary staff.

Brunch is served either on the outdoor patio or inside the wine bar, offering elevated, traditional favorites like eggs benedict featuring two pastured, poached duck eggs atop nitrite-free ham, covered in hollandaise sauce, and served beside asparagus spears topped with shaved parmesan.

On the more daring side of the menu is the Maple Bourbon Chicken and Waffle Sandwich, a delicious medley of sweet and savory, using cornbread waffles, boneless organic chicken thighs, nitrite-free bacon, and bourbon maple syrup to top it off.

Dessert features specialties like house-made watermelon ice cream with Meyer lemon and rosemary cookies, a refreshing and sweet bon-voyage to a Sunday brunch.

The atmosphere of Glasses Wine Bar during Sunday brunch is a friendly group of locals and first-timers, sipping mimosas and contributing to the "Buy A Friend A Drink" wall, where names are scrawled on a chalk board and someone just might be the lucky recipient of a pre-paid beverage.

"We've been here for six and a half months," explained Glasses co-owner, Kathleen Martens.

She and her husband Rob used to have demanding commutes and long workdays in their previous jobs and enjoyed learning about wine and trying new flavors in the evenings.

"I was an elementary school teacher for 33 years, and after 7 year olds all day, I drank," Martens joked. "We wanted this place to have a coffee house vibe, but for wine," she said.

Rob Martens mentioned how tough it can be to afford to try several wines.

"There's usually a limited variety of wine at restaurants or bars," he said. "And they can get so expensive that it's tough to try something new without knowing if you're going to like this expensive wine or not, so people typically stick to their same old wine."

The Martens offer 26 wines by the glass in their lounge and bar, and guests can even use a wine dispenser to try just an ounce or more of a new varietal — simply insert your pre-paid "wine card", hold a glass under the spout of your desired wine and push a button for a one-half, 3- or 6-ounce pour.

In addition to Sunday brunch, Glasses also hosts a yoga-themed Vino and Vinyasa night and will launch a grass-fed burger night called the Pop-Up Burger Bar (including a portabello mushroom, vegetarian option) each Tuesday, also in partnership with Farmstand Foods.

Their events have gained enormous popularity in the weeks since their partnership launched, and locals can't seem to get enough.

Jeff and Tracey Petrizzi frequent Glasses Wine Bar and were excited to try the brunch event for the first time.

"The owners are awesome, it's just fun, a great atmosphere, relaxed and comfy," Jeff Petrizzi said.

"We can try so many new wines," Tracey added, "I wish we had a dispenser at home!"

After enjoying their pastured egg salad sandwiches on dark rye, he gave his official review of the meal.

"It's very different and gourmet-style food," Jeff Petrizzi said. "You'd get this in a high-end hotel in New York and it's great that it's all local; and presented beautifully."

Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at cwalker@sierrasun.com, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.