We can't imagine that restaurateur Michael McCarty, owner of his eponymous and Santa Monica restaurant since 1979, hasn't thought a lot about a Wednesday farmers market tie-in event. So even if it's been years in the making, McCarty is finally launching Michael's Market Meet-Ups at Michael's on Wednesday, October 13. McCarty and executive chef Mikey Stern welcome early risers to gather at 8:30 — which actually isn't all that early compared to the chefs who arrive at dawn to duke it out over golden raspberries, chanterelles, ramps or whatever is in feverish demand that week — for coffee and pastries, followed by a cooking demo featuring a single seasonal ingredient, plus wine pairings, recipes, and a visit to the market.

Kabocha squash is in the spotlight (or rather, in the restaurant's dazzling natural light) at the first in the series. The menu features kabocha ravioli with lemon brown butter, pomegranate and hazelnuts; and brown butter kabocha squash purée with wild mushrooms, grilled quail and thyme. Michael's Market Meet-Ups cost $60 per person, and the fee also includes a copy of McCarty's newest book, Welcome to Michael's: Great Food, Great People, Great Party! This will be a monthly event and future dates are TBD; call Michael's at (310) 451-0843 to RSVP.

And over the course of the three hours, just be sure to visit the restaurant's restrooms.

Michael's: 1147 Third St., Santa Monica; (310) 451-0843.

LA Weekly