Alex Roberts and Lucia Watson Are Cooking Me Dinner on Saturday

What did you have for dinner last night? Cold noodles and a banana? Me too. Got something planned for tonight? Bagels from Common Roots if the guys meeting in the conference room leave any over? Me too.

I don't mind. I'm saving myself. I know that on Saturday night, I'm having a fabulous dinner cooked by a bearded James Beard awardee and a French knight. Yes, Alex Roberts (Alma, Brasa) and Lucia Watson (Lucia's) are making me dinner. In a mansion. No, not my mansion.

All this delightfulness is to support Youth Farm and Market Project, a youth organization that has been developing young leaders for 16 years. At farm sites in Lyndale, Powderhorn, and West Side neighborhoods, each year more than 500 young people ages 9-18 plan, plant, grow, prepare, and sell food--good, real, fresh food. These young farmers operate a CSA, teach their peers and neighbors about healthy foods, mentor younger children, and make a mean salsa. Alex and Lucia are cooking because they want to support Youth Farm's work with youth, neighborhoods, and urban agriculture. (I want to support Youth Farm, too, so I am on the board. It turns out I am a better board member than a chef.)

In fact, lots of other folks we at SGT love are fans of Youth Farm as well. The event will include an auction that is a veritable smorgasbord of local food superheroes. Besides a week at Lucia's place in France and dinner for 10 at Alma, guests can bid on Scott Pampuch (to have him cook dinner for you at home, I mean), beef from Grass Fed Cattle Company (I have never gotten a "beef gift box" but I am sure I would like it, hint hint); gift certificates at the Birchwood, Red Stag, Barbette, BLB, Common Roots; Fischer Farms pork; Shepherd's Way cheeses; and a whole bunch of other fabulous things that people whose lives are more well-rounded than Mr. Tasty's and mine would love (in other words, non-food items like baseball tickets, signed stuff, kayaking and karate lessons, lions, tigers, bears, etc.).

Here's the good news: You can come to dinner, too! It will cost you money, yes, but you will (a) eat a delicious dinner; (b) hang out with wonderful people; (c) bathe in the sweet dew of altruism and moral rectitude; and (d) write off most of your ticket as a tax-deductible contribution (note: SGT does not intend to advise you on your taxes, just on your meals). For more information, and to buy a ticket, click here.

I hope to see you on Saturday. Until then, enjoy those office bagels!

Youth Farm and Market Project Annual Fundraising Dinner
Saturday, May 21, 2011
6 to 10 pm
The Alfred Pillsbury Mansion
116 East 22nd Street, Minneapolis
Tickets starting at $125

Laura Zimmermann has the best intentions and worst results growing food, but is a smashing success at eating. She lives with her family in south Minneapolis, and is looking forward to learning more about growing vegetables from some nine year olds this summer. Laura is an editor at SGT.