Executive Chef Jonnatan Leiva of Jack Falstaff (398 2nd St.) has planned a whole new set of "Growers Dinners" for 2009 in order to bring diners closer to where their food comes from and the people that are responsible for it, from the farmers to the chefs.
We spoke with the affable Leiva back in November as he was preparing a bison and beer dinner. His passion for food, cooking and bringing people together is infectious.
The first event of the year takes place tomorrow night, followed by one Growers Dinner per month. The current schedule is as follows:
•Tuesday, February 24: Hamada Farms Dinner with exotic fruit and vegetable grower Cliff Hamada and chef Staffan Terje (Perbacco)
•Tuesday, March 24: Liberty Duck Dinner with Jim Reichardt of Sonoma County Poultry and chef Jen Biesty (Scala's Bistro/Top Chef)
•Tuesday, April 21: Pozzi Lamb Growers Dinner with Joe Pozzi and chef Jonnatan Leiva
•Tuesday, May 19: Wine Forest Mushroom Dinner with Jamie Lauren (Absinthe/Top Chef) and Connie Green of Wine Forest Mushrooms
•Tuesday, June 23: Bohemian Creamery Cheese Dinner with cheese makers Miriam Block and Lisa Gottreich and chef Dominique Crenn (Luce)
Growers Dinners at Jack Falstaff are $85 per person (excluding tax and gratuity, including wine pairings), and begin with a reception at 6 p.m., with dinner served one hour later. Call 836-9239 for more information and reservations.