With today marking the start of fall, it seemed the appropriate time to start a new series. This series will features chefs and restaurants who are hosting Fall Harvest dinners that utilize locally sourced produce, meats, cheeses, and more. The series will highlight many delicious events from California to Florida to New Jersey and a few other locations in between.
Our first Harvest Dinner is taking place this Sunday, September 25th, at 5:30 p.m. at the Lucky Bucket Brewery in La Vista, Nebraska, in conjunction with The Food Localmotion (Sierra Club Omaha, Green Omaha Coalition, and Slow Food Omaha). Preparing the food for this event will be Chef/Owner Nick Strawhecker of Dante Pizzeria. As a member of the Slow Food Association, which is an organization that advocates the use of local meats and produce, Chef Strawhecker is the perfect choice to prepare this meal.
Most of the dishes that Chef Strawhecker will be preparing will be pizzas; however, the variety of toppings is quite amazing. The mozzarella for the pizzas will be sourced from Branched Oak Farm in Raymond. Rhizosphere Farm in Waterloo will be supplying the produce for the event. The list of items being supplied by Rhizosphere is overwhelming. It includes:
hot peppers (jalapeno, serrano, banana), chives, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, La Ratte fingerlings, carrots, baby head lettuce, purple opal basil, Yellow of Parma onions, Ailsa Craig onions, sweet potatoes, Crimson Forest or He Shi Ko green onions, green peppers, Swiss Chard, parsley root, shallots, celeriac, thyme, oregano, sage, rosemary, dragoncello tarragon, lovage
Chef Strawhecker uses ingredients similar to these at Dante Pizzeria, a sophisticated, casual Italian restaurant and bar in Omaha. The menu changes weekly, as only the freshest seasonal ingredients are featured. In addition to sourcing local ingredients, Chef Strawhecker prepares his pizzas in a brick oven, in Neapolitan style using fresh mozzarella and dough that is made on premises daily. In addition to pizza, you will find an array of Tuscan and Southern Italian entrées, small plates, and salads.
Explaining why he believes in the Slow Food movement, Chef Strawhecker explains, “I love working with local farmers. It is hard for me to describe how much better the product is compared to product shipped in from California or Mexico. I am a seasonal cook so I know what I get from the farmers is seasonal in Nebraska ¬which is the mantra of many Italian cooks as well¬ cook with what you can get your hands on locally.”
To partake in the Green Pizza and Beer Local Foods dinner, you will need to purchase a ticket. The price of admission is twenty dollars and includes pizza, one 20-0unce beer, and a tour of the factory. If you are interested in attending this events, you can find more information on the Sierra Club website.