When I think of the word "ambassador," Chef Rodney Worth warmly comes to mind. Worth, executive chef of The Peasant and the Pear, is a passionate ambassador of great food...good deeds...and Danville/San Ramon. If you've ever met him, his friendly energy and broad smile are as authentic as his "Mediterranean comfort food" cuisine.
This past Monday, at the invitation of the chef, friends and I stuffed ourselves into the crowd-packed restaurant to partake of what Worth called a "Guest Appreciation Party." Then, we proceeded to stuff ourselves again with satays, hummus and fresh veggies, beef Wellington puffs, mini-crab cakes, cheeses, chicken salad, pulled pork buns, luscious desserts and more. It was an evening of fun with many other P&P fans.
To add to the satisfaction, everything was free although guests were asked to bring non-perishable food donations to The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Counties (collected at the door by cheerful Boy Scouts). In a time of economic recession, home value declines, job layoffs and other challenges, it was an event that we Peasant & Pear customers welcomed heartily. But I suspect that's why Worth sponsored it.
Worth is a local hero for multiple reasons. After establishing his culinary "props" -- degree, stints at top local restaurants -- Worth opened The Peasant and the Pear in a small space in San Ramon in 2004. Within a short time, diners beat a path to his restaurant door for the dinners he served three nights a week. They found his menus to be exciting, cutting-edge and always appetizing. In 2006, he moved the restaurant to larger digs in downtown Danville and, not long after, was recognized as Diablo Magazine's "Best New Restaurant of 2006." In 2008, Rodney again won Diablo's Best of Award, this time for "Best Chef of the East Bay." Last year, customer popularity led him to open a second dining room in Alamo, The Peasant's Courtyard (home of the former Courtyard Cafe). The spot serves casual-yet-still-delectable meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
When he's not heating up the kitchen, Rodney can often be seen chatting and laughing with diners during their meal. So, it's no wonder the restaurant just garnered Diablo Magazine's 2009 "Top 10 Restaurants" honor. Worth's community service is also well known to his regulars. He donates food, time, and student education to Pleasanton and San Ramon schools. And his commitment to good works encourages others to do more.
Rodney, the next time you host a celebration, let's call it "Chef Appreciation Party." You've earned it!
The Peasant and the Pear
267 Hartz Avenue (main entrance & parking off Railroad Avenue)
Danville, CA 94526
The Peasant's Courtyard
3195 Danville Blvd, Suite 1
Alamo, CA 94507