After growing up in Saint Paul in a household with seven kids, said Shelagh Connolly, “I have lots of fond memories of going to the Farmers Market on Saturdays and filling up our house with produce.” In the summer, that produce would find its way into salads and ratatouilles, in winter into lots of soups and stews.
Later on, Connolly – daughter of Saint Paul Poet Laureate Carol Connolly – drew upon those memories as a master chef working at fine dining establishments such as W.A. Frost, Bravo!, the Dakota, and her own short-lived but dearly beloved restaurant, Mildred Pierce, which enlivened the Saint Paul dining scene from 1999 to 2003.
Now, she is bringing her memories as well as nearly three decades of experience as a chef specializing in local and regional cuisines to the “Pick of the Market” dinner she will be dishing up at the Black Dog Café in Saint Paul on Sunday, August 29. Earlier that day, Connolly will walk across the street from the Black Dog to the Farmers Market where she will choose from the best and freshest ingredients available and then use them to create her menu for the evening.
Although Connolly has done similar dinners at the Black Dog in the past, she is especially excited about “Pick of the Market,” not only because she is a fan of the Daily Planet but because of the timing of the event. “August at the Farmers Market is the peak month for me,” she says. “There are so many good things to choose from.”
Join us for dinner at Black Dog
“Pick of the Market” benefit dinner, 6:30 p.m., Sunday, August 29 at the Black Dog Café in Saint Paul. Click here to buy tickets or here for more information. “Pick of the Market” is a benefit to raise money for the Twin Cities Daily Planet. The dinner’s $40 price includes several courses, wine and dessert. In addition to the dinner, contributing members of the Twin Cities Media Alliance, which publishes the Planet, are invited to an Aperitif Hour beginning at 5:30, August 29, at AZ Gallery, an artist-owned coop located in the same building as the Black Dog. There, attendees will get to meet with Sen. Ellen Anderson, one of the principal sponsors of the Legacy Amendment, while viewing AZ’s collection of contemporary local art.
So what can attendees at “Pick of Market” expect?
In addition to wines selected by Connolly and Black Dog co-owners and fervent oenophiles, Stacy and Sara Remke, Connolly says, “We’ll do a simple starter, then the dinner will feature some kinds of braised summer vegetables, a grilled protein – whether meat or poultry, I don’t know yet – featuring a vegetable side plate. Potatoes are really nice right now, and so are cheeses. And with all the fruit coming in these days, we’ll have lots of choices to make a great dessert.”
Although the dinner will include a meat entrée, vegetarians won’t go away hungry. “This dinner will be heavily vegetable – both fresh and root,” Connolly says. “We are going to take care of everybody!”