Spread throughout Detroit’s borders in the nearly 140 square miles of land that makes up the city are about 1,000 farms and vegetable gardens.
Peter Dalinowski co-founder of permanent pop-up space Revolver in Hamtramck, is determined to shine a light on as many of the farms as he can. Dalinowski has teamed up with FoodLab Detroit’s Devita Davison — who Dalinowski calls a “sustainable food warrior” — and chef Maxcel Hardy to launch the Detroit Grown & Made dinner series.
The series kicked off Sunday at the Oakland Avenue Urban Farm just outside of Hamtramck at 9227 Goodwin. Chef Hardy used as many ingredients from the farm as possible to cook and serve six courses.
During two seatings, around 80 guests were treated to not only wonderful weather, but also grilled heirloom tomato salad, quinoa pilaf and strawberry-pear-rhubarb crumble for dessert. (You can’t get more farm-to-fork than that.)
Dalinowski told me he started Detroit Grown & Made to raise awareness of the lack of black chefs at notable restaurants in Detroit and the lack of understanding that there are farms in Detroit owned and run by African-Americans.
“The most natural thing you can do is eat what’s around you,” he said.
“He’s an eastside boy, grew up there and then moved down to Miami and New York, where he lives right now,” Dalinowski said, referring to Hardy. “He’s actually moving back in November ... he came back and he saw the opportunities here and he said ‘I’m from here, it’d be crazy not to come back and see what I can do.’ ”
Dalinowski, who is also a Detroit-area native, said he connected with Davison when he was looking for more black chefs to host at Revolver and he came across a Pinterest board she created.
The trio’s next dinner in the Detroit Grown & Made series will be Oct. 2 at Plum Street Market Garden near MGM Grand Detroit at 2202 Third Street. The 1.75-acre farm is run by Keep Growing Detroit, which promotes the city’s resident-grown food production.
The menu and details for Oct. 2 aren’t decided yet, but Dalinowski says he’s going to have just one seating, and he’s going to try to price it a little cheaper than the $75 he charged for last Sunday’s event.
Because dinners like these often sell out quickly, I wanted to let readers know about it before that happens. The best way to get in on this is to visit revolverhamtramck.com and sign up for the mailing list. Dalinowski says he’ll put the dinner on sale within a week.
■The Seasoned Chef’s Dinner Series returns to C.A.Y.A. Smokehouse Grill on Sept. 21. Six of Metro Detroit’s top chefs will prepare a seven-course meal with wines paired by Michael Korn of Woodberry Wines. For this installment of the ongoing series, enjoy plates from Aaron Solley of Craft Work, Alan Merhar of Strada, Jay Gundy of Cork Wine Pub, Eric Voigt of Big Rock Chophouse and C.A.Y.A.’s own Jeff Rose. Tickets, $120, include food, wine, tax and tip. Call (248) 438-6741 to reserve.
■Primanti Bros. Restaurant and Bar’s Novi location opens Thursday at 43335 Crescent Blvd. The first 100 customers who line up at 5 a.m. will get free sandwiches for a year. The restaurant opens to the public at 3 p.m. The Pittsburgh-based chain opened its first Michigan restaurant in Taylor in July.
■The Chick-fil-A in Somerset Collection in Troy is scheduled to open at 10 a.m. Oct. 13. The first 100 people in line that day will receive one free chicken sandwich combo per week for a year. A standalone location in Lansing also opens Oct. 13.