I just got back from the Chatham’s Local Foods Showcase. I should have mentioned this earlier to everyone to encourage you to attend, but I obviously dropped the ball. Let’s say it’s fair warning for next year. And definitely go next year, because it’s great food and great information from local purveyors for just $10.

Dinette was in excellent company, Trevett Hooper from Legume, Keith Fuller from Six Penn, Bill Fuller of Big Burrito and James Gray from Dozen, among others. All their foods were delicious and really the best part of these events for me is catching up with those guys.

My father chauffeured us to and from which was much appreciated and brought along an example of the container gardening system he uses on Dinette’s roof. When he wasn’t showing off his wick system at our table, he visited the farmers’ tables to find out which crops they found to be most successful. I guess they all agreed bosc pears were the best pears to grow in PA, but I don’t think we will be able to fit that tree on our roof.

Dinette served turnip soup made with Clarion River turnips and my father’s thyme, topped with creme fraiche that we made from Turner Dairy, and pancetta from Parma. There wasn’t exactly a line for turnip soup, even though I overheard Bill Fuller kindly encouraging people to try it, and even though it really is delicious. So I had time to mingle. I finally met Domenic from Piccolo Forno who was very friendly and fun to talk to. I saw our friends from Penn’s Corner, and scored a gallon of chocolate milk from Nathan at Clarion River Organics, a cooperative of 10 family farms. John Jamison introduced himself to me, I sampled Sukey’s lamb barley soup, available for order at jamisonfarm.com, and soon we will be getting in some of their merguez sausage. I was also happy to see Sean, Dinette’s old bartender, representing his new beer operation Full Pint.

I always worry about these events. A good amount of preparation is required to do hundreds, sometimes thousands, of food samples off-site. And unfortunately just being away from the restaurant for 4 hours is difficult to arrange. But they’re always so much fun in the end, I really should just relax.

I hope this is stuff you want to hear about and not just ramblings. I am still new at these chef notes and want to make sure I am doing them correctly. If you have anything you would like me to write about, please send me a note at dine@dinette-pgh.com