As businesses start to reopen and guests start to feel more comfortable frequenting their old favorites, several restaurants and hospitality businesses are looking to share the love they felt from their customers during this difficult stretch. One such business is Olive Tree in Overland Park. The specialty store is putting together a multi-course takeout meal featuring the talents of several local chefs, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Harvesters Community Food Network.
Owner Mindy Riley had already planned on this year being special, as it's Olive Tree's 10th anniversary (and its third in the current space at 105th and Metcalf). But the coronavirus pandemic made her change her approach a bit. "The ability to host cooking classes was a big reason why we moved to this space," Riley says. "But we had to transition to online courses and pop-up dinners during the pandemic. We knew that, if we made it through this, we'd have to come up with a way to show our appreciation for the community."
Riley, alongside local chefs and her instructors, came up with "Giving Back to KC: A Pop-Up Dinner." This five course, to-go dinner will feature dishes from five different chefs, and 100 percent of the $60 per person price will be donated to Harvesters. Pickup for the dinner will be Fri., May 14 between 4 and 5pm from the Olive Tree store. Tickets are limited, so Riley encourages guests to reserve their spots sooner rather than later.
"Most of our instructors are private chefs, so online classes and pop-up dinners were how many of them kept the lights on during this past year," Riley says. "We were all so grateful to have the support of our community during this time, and couldn't wait for an opportunity to give back the best way we know how."
The chefs contributing courses to the Giving Back to KC dinner include Culley Freese, chef de cuisine at Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar, and a number of catering and personal chefs who work closely with Riley at Olive Tree, including Brian Huppe, Raven Naramore, Paige Vandegrift and JC Gregg. The five-course meal includes a duck prosciutto crostini appetizer, wedge salad, a surf-and-turf style main course of sliced filet and grilled shrimp, and mushroom risotto. The meal finishes with panna cotta, macarons and a shortbread cookie for dessert.
Although wine is not included with the ticket price, Riley is also working with Lukas Liquor for some pairing suggestions. These suggestions will be sent out to everyone who has purchased a ticket for the event about a week before the pickup date, so picking up a few bottles to accompany the meal is an option as well.
In addition to this pop-up dinner, Olive Tree is celebrating its 10th anniversary a few other ways. Each month, the shop is spotlighting a different featured pairing of oil and vinegar and providing recipes and tasting notes for the selection across its website and social media. Customers receive a 10 percent discount if they purchase both together. In addition, storewide discounts and celebratory giveaways are being offered in-store on Sat., May 15. Finally, online classes and pop-up dinners will continue at Olive Tree, and spots are also starting to reopen for in-person classes at reduced capacity.
Riley and her team recognize that it's a testament to our community that they were able to make it through the challenges of the past year. They hope that their contribution through the Giving Back to KC pop-up dinner can help the community continue to come back stronger than ever. Reserve your ticket now before they sell out, and make sure to continue to support your local KC businesses.
Olive Tree, 7044 W. 105th St., Overland Park, Kansas, 913.338.2700, olivetreekc.com