This Sunday, Dec. 2, is opening night for Butcher & Cook, a 10-week series of pop-up dinners where the menu is fried chicken, and part of the proceeds go towards Sonoma County causes, such as the premiere evening’s beneficiary, AIDS Nutrient Bank at Food for Thought in Forestville.
It’s the project of chef and social advocate John Lyle, rancher and master butcher Berry Salinas, and restaurateur Don Taylor, who owns Omelette Express in Santa Rosa and Windsor, and is donating his Santa Rosa space for each week Butcher & Cook is offered through Feb. 3, 2013.
Here’s how it works. Diners come to Omelette Express between 4:30 and 8 p.m. each Sunday, and pick up a pre-ordered meal of fried chicken, Mile High biscuits, mashed potatoes, gravy, coleslaw, ham hock collard greens and cranberry chess pie.
Cost for an eight-piece dinner with all the fixings and half a pie is $58; or $35 for a four-piece with all the fixings and a quarter pie. The non-profit featured each evening receives $5 for every supper sold.
To help hold down cost and staffing, Lyle wants to emphasize pre-orders and takeout. Some dinners will be available for walk-ins, and people who choose not to walk out.
“It’s in the chicken shack style, so we don’t expect to have servers,” said Lyle. “If people would care to eat-in, we will offer them a seat and provide a place for them to share their meal on their own.”
Besides excellent food – the chicken is Sonoma County sourced, and organic produce comes from Bloomfield Farms of Petaluma – the goal is promote local, sustainable dining while benefiting those in need.
Lyle is founder of Hardcore Farm to Face, with a mission, as he says, of “bringing farms, food and fundraising to your face.” We’ve seen his work earlier this year, when he hosted pop-ups called Chosen Spot, Harvest Moon, and Welcome Table, benefitting Luther Burbank Home & Gardens, the AIDS Nutrient Bank, and the Teen Program of the Jewish Community Center of Sonoma County.
Salinas was a natural partner for this new venture, as a “meat farmer,” who raises hogs, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits at her Raising Organic Family Farms, offers homesteading classes that teach home meat processing and butchering through her Meat Revolution group, and donates her meats to a Sonoma County charity kitchen program.
Taylor, meanwhile, is opening his breakfast and lunch eatery to the group because he believes in the concept of shared space, and, well, it’s for a great cause.
Details: Butcher & Cook pop-up dinners, Sundays from 4:30 to 8 p.m., Dec. 2, 2012 through Feb. 3, 2013. Offered at Omelette Express, 112 4th St., Santa Rosa. To pre-order: 707-695-2169 or butcherandcook.com.