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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Local Mission Eatery's Harvest Dinners Feature Stuff the Chef Grew in Lodi

Posted By on Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 10:51 AM

click to enlarge Recent salad of beets and green tomatoes at Local Mission Eatery. - JOHN BIRDSALL
  • John Birdsall
  • Recent salad of beets and green tomatoes at Local Mission Eatery.
Just about every chef in town yearns to cook food with a close connection to the field, though usually that means cultivating connections with wholesale produce dealers. For Local Mission Eatery's Jake Des Voignes, it's meant cultivating actual growing things.

This week at Local Mission, Des Voignes is cooking nightly harvest dinners designed to showcase the late flowering of summer produce from the garden he's been tending. The chef's in-laws own some 15 acres of former vineyard land outside Lodi, half an acre of which he's been tending with Frank Hartwick, father of Des Voignes' wife, Shauna, who runs Knead Patisserie.

"It's a pretty cool resource," Des Voignes tells SFoodie. "There's something fun about planting, growing, harvesting, cooking, and serving the food."

click to enlarge Jake Des Voignes. - CHRIS MACARTHUR/SF WEEKLY
  • Chris MacArthur/SF Weekly
  • Jake Des Voignes.
The garden is free of pesticides and sprays, the produce grown from seed. Flowers and other natural deterrents keep some pests away. "There are hawks who get the ground squirrels," Des Voignes says, "though there always seem to be more ground squirrels than hawks."

The dinners, which start tomorrow, take the shape of four courses: marinated green tomatoes (plus, says Des Voignes, possibly some yellow Nebraska wedding tomatoes) with ricotta and chiles, tomato mussel bisque, crispy pork with romano beans and pickled mustard seeds, and black pepper panna cotta with tomato and basil. Wines are from Chris Brockway, winemaker from Broc Cellars and Broadside (Brockway himself will be pouring on Wednesday).

Harvest Dinners from the Farm

When: Weds.-Sat., Sept. 15-18

Where: Local Mission Eatery, 3111 24th St. (at Folsom)

Cost: $48; $29 for wine pairing

RSVP: Call 655-3422, or reserve via OpenTable (reservations available on the half hour)

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie. Contact me at John.Birdsall@SFWeekly.com

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