Sneak Peek of HomeGrown: An Underground Harvest Feast

Chef Fresh and Alvin Yu

Chef Fresh, PGP’s Resident Chef, and Alvin Yu, owner of Fyusion Dining, are the minds (and hands) behind the menu for HomeGrown–An Underground Harvest Feast.

Fall is time for harvest–buy your ticket now to join us for our first Underground Harvest Feast to celebrate what we’ve grown this year in our gardens and in our community!

This special collaboration dinner between Chef Fresh, PGP’s Resident Chef, and Chef Alvin Yu, PGP board member and owner of Fyusion Dining, will feature four courses highlighting what “homegrown” means to them.

We asked Chef Yu a few questions about his inspiration for the evening:

Can you tell us a little about your culinary roots?

Originally from San Francisco, California, I have spent a large portion of my life in the kitchen. Our family owned and operated several restaurants during my childhood. Growing up in a large family, I was amazed at how my aunts and uncles could produce plentiful amounts of high-quality food for 20 to 30 people in a few hours.

My family believed that we work to eat, and we were always in search of the perfect meal–whether it was a dinner at home with the family or exploring the variety of cultural cuisines that San Francisco had to offer. This emphasis on food as more than daily sustenance sparked my interest to experience, learn, and eat all the things in the culinary world.

How did the idea of “homegrown” or harvest season inspire the menu for this dinner?

Fresh ingredients are a cornerstone to any dish and ingredients grown in your own garden are second to none. When I though about the harvest season, I thought of all the fruits, vegetables, and flowers my mother would cultivate in our backyard, from the most delicious strawberries, buttery avocados, and the most fragrant herbs.

The backyard garden was  cornerstone of our daily diets. This led me to think about all the family recipes that I had growing up and how that is such a big part of my life. Chef Fresh shares a similar story and weaving those stories together just seems fitting for the finally of the harvest season.

Which ingredient or dish are you most excited to share, and is there story behind it?

Green onion pancakes with smoked turkey. Green onion pancakes remind me of how close my family is and this dish evokes the emotional connection I have with them.

Growing up on the same block with all your extended family built a very close tie with my cousins. Saturdays were family days when all the families would gather for Saturday night dinner. The adults would play mah jong and the kids would play together all hours of the night. At the end of the night we would have a midnight meal, usually comprised of re-purposed leftovers and what was on hand, but the highlight was always the one thing that Uncle Shing would make. Green onion pancakes were always one of our favorites.

The labor of love of kneading and hand-rolling dozens of pancakes at midnight is just one example of the sacrifices my family would make for each other. Every cousin went to bed happy every Saturday night. And I when I return home to visit, there are always green onion pancakes waiting for me at midnight.