Local foods dinners Aug. 25 in Rockford, Aug. 31 in Beloit, Wis.

Staff Report

University of Illinois Extension is continuing its efforts to connect local food producers, restaurants and diners through the third season of the Openfields Local Foods Dinner series, which showcases the creativity, taste and heritage of our region.

The first two dinners were held several weeks ago at Abreo and Social Urban Bar and Restaurant in downtown Rockford, and were great successes. Thursday, Aug. 25, the third dinner in the series will be catered by Toni’s of Winnebago at Severson Dells Nature Center, 8502 Montague Road, Rockford.

The host will be Toni’s of Winnebago chef/owner Michelle Princer, who is well known for her incredible creativity and commitment to quality, local, seasonal ingredients. The dinner will feature a buffet-style service with an assortment of dishes, including vegetarian options, and based on the availability of the local ingredients. To learn more about Toni’s of Winnebago, visit http://www.tonisofwinnebago.com. Appetizers begin at 6 p.m., with dinner at 6:30 p.m.

The fourth and last dinner of the 2011 Summer series is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 31, at Café Belwah, 500 Pleasant St., Beloit, Wis. Owner Christopher Hildreth and his chef will present a four-course dinner featuring Wisconsin beer, cheese soup, summer cherry salad, seared pheasant breast with summer squash and vegetable du jour, and lemon meringue pie. The event begins at 6 p.m. with seating for dinner at 6:45 p.m. To learn more about Café Belwah, visit http://www.cafebelwah.com.

The cost is $45 per person, per dinner. Reservations prior to the dinner are required. Call U of I Extension at (815) 986-4357 or visit http://web.extension.illinois.edu/jsw to reserve seats or for more details.

From the Aug. 24-30, 2011, issue

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