Lafitte’s School Fund-Raiser; Burgers, Brownies, Beer & Wine for Leap Year; and More

See what Chef Russell Jackson creates with ranch dressing. (Photo courtesy of the chef)

Lunch Break for Schools at Lafitte

How many of you are ranch dressing fans? Everyone? I thought as much.

Then, you’ll want to head to Lafitte in San Francisco at lunchtime on March 1 for the fun “Lunch Break for Schools” fund-raiser.

The event, organized by Hidden Valley Salad Dressings and the American Culinary Federation, will raise funds for Chefs Move to Schools initiative, which promotes proper nutrition and healthful eating habits among kids.

Russell Jackson, chef-proprietor of Lafitte, will be creating a slew of dishes and beverages that day, all using Hidden Valley Ranch in some way, including in ice cream and cocktails. I kid you not. Think Hidden Valley Ranch ice cream in cold carrot broth; Hidden Valley Ranch Leopold Navy Strength gin cocktail; cassoulet of duck, sausage and brioche with Hidden Valley Ranch crumbs; and Hidden Valley Ranch rubbed roast pork loin sandwich with spicy Hidden Valley Ranch “Russian dressing.”

All proceeds from those dishes sold at lunch will go to support the chefs’ initiative.  Jackson joins more than 70 other chefs nationwide to raise money for this cause. Others include “Iron Chef America” regular Cat Cora, Suzanne Goin of Lucques in Los Angeles, and “Next Iron Chef’‘ champ Geoffrey Zakarian. For a complete list of chefs and their events, click here.

A burger that deserves to be called "Epic.'' (Photo courtesy of Epic Roasthouse)

Burger, Brownie, Beer & Wine Special

Celebrate Leap Day, Feb. 28, with a burger, brownie, beer and glass of wine at Epic Roasthouse in San Francisco for $29.

Enjoy the restaurant’s signature 1/2-pound burger,  a 12-ounce Anchor Steam or Trumer Pils draft beer, a house-made brownie and a glass of Epic Cabernet Sauvignon — all in the upstairs Quiver Bar.

I’m not sure what all that has to do with Leap Day, but hey, any excuse for a brownie is a good one.

Trade Homegrown Fruit for Restaurant Meals

Executive Pastry Chef Emily Luchetti is putting out an SOS for homegrown winter citrus for her seasonal desserts at Waterbar in San Francisco.

For each 10 pounds of Meyer lemons, kumquats, limes, oranges or other citrus, the restaurant will trade a half dozen of chef’s choice oysters or any dessert on the menu.

If you can donate 30 pounds, Waterbar will name the dish that incorporates the fruit after you for the day.

The restaurant requests that you email a picture of yourself with your tree in order to verify the origins of the fruit. Also, call ahead to make sure the fruit will be accepted: (415) 284-9922.

Likewise, Spoonbar restaurant at the h2hotel in Healdsburg has a similar program.

Sonoma County residents are invited to bring their homegrown citrus to the hotel’s restaurant, which can accept up to 100 pounds of fruit per person. All fruit must be clean and ripe. In exchange, you’ll get a dining credit equivalent to the market value of the fruit, generally $1-$3 per pound.

The oranges and grapefruit will be squeezed for fresh juices for the hotel’s daily continental breakfast. Lemons, limes and more exotic citrus will be used in innovative cocktails and entrees.

Again, call (707) 433-7222 ahead of time to be sure the fruit will be accepted.

Winner of the Know What App and Food Gal Module

In last week’s Food Gal contest, I asked you to tell me what wondrous app you most wish existed. The winner will receive a free copy of the new “Know What Essentials” app, along with my “Ultimate Guide to Bay Area Dining.

Congrats to:

Sadie S., who wrote, “I would love an app that could tell when the weather changed or was changing and then text me. It would show me selections of sweaters, umbrellas, boots, scarves, sunblock etc and with a touch of a finger I could touch one and it would appear in front of me. No more need to carry a thousand layers with me when I travel. It of course would customize itself over time to know exactly at what temperature I need a sweat shirt etc.”

More: My Q&A With Pastry Chef Emily Luchetti

And: My Q&A With Cat Cora

And: Dinner at “The Plank” at Lafitte

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