Café Allegro invites guests to go local

Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 26, Café Allegro is inviting guests to participate in the Eat Local Challenge. Each September, Bon Appétit Management Company challenges its chefs to create a single menu dish from local ingredients that all come from within 150 miles of their café, except for salt.

This year’s theme is “That’s Local?!?” and chefs are asked to highlight at least one unexpected local ingredient. The ingredient of choice for Chris Lenza, executive chef of Café Allegro, will be mesquite meal flour, which he and his culinary team will use to make Sonoran-style tortillas. Guests can enjoy house-made mesquite meal and Supai red corn quesadillas with Crow’s Dairy goat cheese curds, Two Wash Ranch chicken, and squash blossoms, with a side of Maya’s Farm roasted pasilla pepper salsa, foraged purslane, and Ramona Farms tepary beans.

Mesquite trees are indigenous to Arizona and are commonly planted as an attractive ornamental plant that needs little watering. Mesquite pods can be picked from the trees and are high in protein with a low glycemic index. When the pod is dried, it can be ground into flour and used for both baking and cooking.

“Eat Local Challenge is a great way to support and educate our community. We are purchasing sustainable ingredients grown locally that are both nourishing and wholesome,” says Lenza. “It’s beautiful to create a menu and know that all the ingredients were grown within a short distance of an extraordinary museum.”

The year 2017 is Café Allegro’s eighth year of participating in the Eat Local Challenge. Café Allegro is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and offers dishes on an ever-changing menu made entirely from scratch with locally sourced ingredients.