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Duluth chefs to team up for Community Garden Program fundraiser

Chefs from some of Duluth's most popular fine restaurants will be serving up dishes during an upcoming fundraiser.

Six restaurants will be represented at the second annual Art of Local Food event, a dinner and silent auction to help raise awareness of local food and support the Duluth Community Garden Program. It takes place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at the Duluth Depot's Great Hall.

The five-course meal will feature products grown by local farmers, including squash, the program's vegetable of the year for 2013.

"We're excited about the participating chefs, the use of squash in the menu and our partnership with the Arrowhead Chef Association," said Alison Wood, a board member for the Community Garden Program.

The dinner will be one of the program's first events this year to feature squash. Kevin Ilenda, a chef at Restaurant 301, will be preparing a vegetarian squash bisque at the dinner.

Chef Glenn D'Amour and students from Duluth Public Schools' Food For Thought Restaurant will be providing appetizers, and Francois Medion of the Duluth Grill will be making bread.

The main courses will include smoked fish salad, quail in cameo ravioli and rolled flank steak, prepared by Chad Nurminen of Essentia Health, Kirk Bratrud of At Sara's Table at Chester Creek Café and Louis Hanson of the Duluth Grill, respectively.

And if diners can save enough room for dessert, German chocolate cake will be served by the Kitchi Gammi Club's John Martin.

Each chef will also be on hand to talk about his dishes and the use of local products.

The event also includes a silent auction featuring the visual, culinary and gardening arts. A cash bar will offer local and organic wine, beer and spirits.

Tickets are $65 and seating is limited to 150 attendees. Tickets are available at Whole Foods Co-op, Duluth Grill and At Sara's Table at Chester Creek Café, as well as online at brownpapertickets.com.

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