A new “potluck” event series at The Charter Oak, the St. Helena restaurant that branched out from the nearby three Michelin star Restaurant at Meadowood, will showcase the more casual newcomer’s particular blend of fine-dining pedigree and informal atmosphere. The potluck benefit dinners, which begin in March, will bring Bay Area guest chefs to the table, with their own dishes to join food from Charter Oak chef Katianna Hong. Think potluck, but held among friends who happen to be top local cooking talent, and the public can come (if they buy tickets).
The first dinner on March 11 will feature Melissa Perello of Frances and Octavia, Ravi Kapur of Liholiho Yacht Club, David Nayfeld, Angela Pinkerton, and Evan Allumbaugh of the forthcoming Che Fico, and Kevin Farley and Alex Hozven of Cultured Pickle Shop. Their meal will be served family-style, with waves of dishes coming from each chef and chef Hong.
Mercifully, guests from the public don’t have to bring a dish of their own (it would be tough to compete), but tickets are $150 per person. The dinners will benefit the El Cajon Project, a 25-year-old program that takes Bay Area high school juniors and seniors selected by their teachers as “at-risk” and places them in supplemental vocational training at fine-dining restaurants. Restaurant affiliates of the El Cajon Project where their students can study include Alexander’s Steakhouse, Chez TJ, and Evvia.
After the first dinner in March, the next ones are July 22, September 9, and December 2 — lineups to be announced.