Dinner Oct. 10 for Mental Health

For a dinner at New York’s legendary Beard House, local chef Lynn Pritchard prepared this salmon dish (detailed in story).

By Wini Moranville

“One in five American adults experience mental illness,” says Lynn Pritchard, chef-owner of the Clive restaurant Table 128. And, he estimates, “It’s double that in our industry.”

To help, Table 128 is hosting an exclusive wine dinner with Staglin Family Vineyards to benefit Broadlawns Medical Center Mental Health Services. The dinner will be held on World Mental Health Day, which is this Thursday, Oct. 10.

Located in Napa Valley, the Staglin winery is renowned both for its highly regarded premium wines and for its commitment to mental health: The company donates 100% of the proceeds from its Salus Estate wines to mental health research. Limited to just 42 guests, Table 128’s intimate, five-course dinner sounds like a culinary masterwork; the braised short rib with dark cherry, cocoa and cippolini onion especially caught my eye. Check out the entire menu and purchase tickets here. The cost is $186, inclusive of service, tax and a $30 donation to the cause.

Apropos of Pritchard, the chef recently showcased his talents at New York City’s historic Beard House, the headquarters of the James Beard Foundation. Cooking at this Greenwich Village brownstone, which hosts culinary events to support the foundation, is a top honor bestowed on chefs of national or regional reputation.

The dinner featured six chefs from across the country. They were selected by the hosting sponsor, Skuna Bay, purveyors of salmon that’s raised by a small group of farmers in a natural ocean environment off the coast of Vancouver Island. The company is dedicated to providing chefs with quality salmon while reducing pressure on wild fish populations.

Each chef offered a starter and a small main plate featuring the salmon. Pritchard’s main-plate contribution was pan-seared Skuna Bay salmon with lobster gougère, sweet corn-sweet pea chowder and white sturgeon caviar.

Since returning from the Sept. 24 event, Pritchard has offered the dish on two separate Saturday nights at Table 128. He said he might do so again, but don’t hold your breath. This chef once told me that he hated signature recipes. “Creation and innovation course through our blood,” he says of his team. “We’re not satisfied with what we did yesterday. We want today to be better.”

So could your next Skuna Bay salmon dish at T-128 be even better than what was served at the iconic Beard House? It’s nice to know that’s the goal.

Table 128 is at 12695 University Ave. #140; 515-327-7427; table128bistro.com.

Wini Moranville writes about food, wine and dining for dsm magazine and dsmWeekly. Follow her on Facebook at All Things Food–DSM.

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