Farmer, meet chef. Chef, meet farmer. It's a simple introduction that can have a huge impact.

Farmer, meet chef. Chef, meet farmer. It's a simple introduction that can have a huge impact.

In an effort to help create and strengthen local food relationships, Crave's Farm to Plate dining celebration returns for its second year. From Aug. 9 to 18, more than 30 local restaurants will offer special dishes crafted with at least 70 percent locally grown ingredients, from fruits to vegetables, herbs to dairy, meat to poultry.

For example, at De-Novo Bistro & Bar they'll feature Osswalt Farm in a fried zucchini starter with crab and black bean salad and green goddess dressing. The Worthington Inn will pull from the farmers market at their doorstep for many dishes but also source directly from other farms, like in its house-made pappardelle, braised pork, heirloom tomato and eggplant ragu with ingredients from King Family Farms in Athens and Northridge Organic Farm in Johnstown. Tucci's ends things on a sweet note with peach shortcake from RAW Farms and vanilla ice cream from Ayars Dairy.

And that's just a small sampling of what diners will encounter throughout the week.

Restaurants will also incorporate wines from Ohio wineries like Firelands, liquor from local distilleries including Middle West Spirits and beer from Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Farm to Plate coincides with Local Matters' annual Local Foods Week, which kicks off Aug. 10 with a farm festival and kids fest at The Hills Market Downtown. The week will also feature food tours, tastings, cooking demos and a grilled cheese throwdown.

More than just another week filled with specially-priced menus, Crave's Farm to Plate looks to offer a lasting effect. We hope to inspire relationships between farmers and chefs, of course. But you, the diner, are the essential link in that equation. Your palate drives our local industry.

So dine with us this August, and take pride in knowing you aren't simply sampling some of the best dishes in Central Ohio, made by some of the region's top culinary talents. You are lighting a spark in our local food economy. Tastes pretty good, doesn't it?

Visit cravefarmtoplate.com for a complete list of participating Farm to Plate restaurants as well as full menus.