John Bender (left) and Jakob Paulsrud, taken by Kyle Lehman.

Cooking, for some, is a chore, but for others, it’s a passion. For John Bender and Jakob Paulsrud, it’s the latter. They’re teaming up to host a 10-course Italian dinner, and it’s sure to be a tasty experience for those who were lucky enough to get tickets.

John Bender, also known as Kitchen Technique, has been in food service his entire life. He became an executive chef at 18, and has continued to spread his passion for food wherever he goes. Since we’re lucky enough to have him in Eau Claire, he’s been hosting dinners for the last two and a half years, mostly at Forage. 

Jakob Paulsrud is the mastermind behind CoVizza, and soon to be Leona’s, a pizza joint taking over at 408 Galloway Street. He has experience in tasting menus and small plates, and is excited to bring that part of his expertise to Forage in collaboration with John.

These two incredible chefs are joining forces on a 10-course Italian dinner on Friday, April 19th at Forage. John describes it as a “no-brainer” to work with Jakob, and they have worked together in the past  – they taught a pizza class together, and John offered dishes in conjunction with CoVizza’s menu at times – and both have incredible passion for food. John says that they have similar drive and work ethic, and are both motivated by the people that they serve.

They’re both stoked to bring this dinner to the people of Eau Claire and beyond. “I’m just excited to do something different and really excited for the opportunity to be a part of our guests night,” Jakob says. “We take pride in what we do,” John adds. “We want to show these people all these great things we’ve learned through the course of our career.”

While this event is sold out, keep your hopes up for something similar. These chefs are cooking up some amazing things, and you’ll want to follow along. “[We’re giving] people an opportunity to seek out an event that’s unique and special, that they can make a memory from,” says John.

Find Jakob’s website here, and John’s website here.

The menu for this event.

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