Flavors of Italy to shine in annual Celebrity Chef & Harvest Dinner | NevadaAppeal.com

Flavors of Italy to shine in annual Celebrity Chef & Harvest Dinner

Karel C. Ancona
For the Nevada Appeal

The annual Celebrity Chef & Harvest Dinner, a benefit for The Greenhouse Project, showcases the culinary talents this year of Kevin Ashton, Zozo's Ristorante, Reno, who joins hosting Chef Charlie Abowd, co-owner of Cafe at Adele's.

The limited-seating event takes place Nov. 13 at 5:30 p.m. at Cafe at Adele's and features six wine- or beer-paired courses inspired by the flavors of Northern Italy, which have long been showcased at Zozo's.

"My love of cooking goes back to childhood," Ashton said. "I grew up cooking and have always had a passion for it."

It was this passion and fearless approach to cooking that prompted Abowd to request Ashton in this year's evening.

"I have loved Kevin's interpretations and enthusiasm and ability to translate all of that into beautiful flavors," Abowd said. "Coming up with the menu has been a collaborative effort."

Ashton is also known for his "spoons," and those with any time spent at Cafe at Adele's know this is a passion the two chefs share.

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"Charlie asked me to design a course of spoons that are unexpected in their flavors," Ashton said. "And we're collaborating on other courses."

Using locally-sourced meat and vegetables has been a new experience for Ashton, whose restaurant volume doesn't allow as much freedom to do that.

"I've been learning a lot and connecting with local producers and farmers, and Charlie's passion is rubbing off," Ashton said. "I do cook with my own children using organics and such, which has given them an appreciation for foods most children aren't interested in, and I have enjoyed that aspect of working with Charlie."

Guests begin the evening with a glass of champagne or house-made cocktail, while enjoying pass-around appetizers and root vegetable pizzas, featuring vegetables grown at The Greenhouse.

Ashton then presents Spoon Tango, followed by a pasta course, then a bowl of local porcini and braised onion soup. The main course is fire roasted and slightly smoked entrecote of strip loin, followed by Meyer lemon candied citrus cannoli.

Full menu details can be found on The Greenhouse Project's Facebook page.

"As always, we would not have the quality event we do without the participation of our growers and producers," Abowd said. "Thanks to Hyde Farms, Glorious Garlic Farm, Bently Ranch, Nevada, Alpine Ranch and to The Greenhouse Project."

The silent auction has a new addition: two limited-addition prints donated from his private art collection by Jeffrey Pace, owner of Artsy Fartsy Gallery. Minimum bid is $1,800. Other items this year include a Rolling Feast for eight at Glorious Garlic Farm; minimum bid, $2,000; and a Progressive Dinner for six chauffeured by Karen and Charlie Abowd aboard their 1981 'Burner Mobile,' at the homes of Attorney Laura Fitzsimmons, Stephanie Tyler, president of AT&T Nevada, and Nancy Saitta/Senior Justice, Nevada Supreme Court; minimum bid, $1,800.

The Bangles and Booze raffle features a handmade necklace and bracelet set donated by Mimi Bertrand and a selection of wines chosen by Abowd from his private wine collection.

Reserve your seat today for $200 per person by calling Cafe at Adele's, located at 1112 N. Carson St., at 775-882-3353.

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