Pluck Some Cluck and Earn Good Luck

If karma is enhanced by doing good for others, then Butcher & Cook should add KarmaInc. to their name.

Starting this Sunday, the merry duo of John Lyle (chef and social advocate) and Berry Salinas (rancher and master butcher) are putting together a 10-week series of pop-up dinners where part of the proceeds go towards Sonoma causes, such as the premiere evening’s beneficiary, AIDS Nutrient Bank at Food for Thought in Forestville.

The menu for the meals, offered every Sunday through February 3, 2013 is simple but perfect. Fried chicken and pie, with the non-profit featured each evening receiving $5 for every supper sold.

“We think that everyone has a favorite memory of that perfect home cooked chicken dinner. Maybe it was Grandma’s specialty,” said Lyle. “Those feelings and thoughts are where we want you to go when tasting our flavors.”

To help out and fill up, diners can come to Omelette Express between 4:30 and 8 p.m. each Sunday, the headquarters for the operation since 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.

On the menu is fried chicken, Mile High biscuits, mashed potatoes, gravy, coleslaw, ham hock collard greens and cranberry chess pie. Cost for an 8-piece dinner with all the fixings and half a pie is $58; or $35 for a 4-piece with all the fixings and a quarter pie. The chicken is from Sonoma County, and organic produce comes from Bloomfield Farms of Petaluma.

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 would prefer to dine-in.

This is hardly Lyle’s first pop-up. He 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 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.

Tip: Make dinner a party, by renting a private limo or Town Car and bringing a bunch of friends for a picnic. Pick up the fried chicken, grab some great wine from Cellars of Sonoma just down the street, and you’re set.

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