In an effort to help create and strengthen local food relationships, Crave's Farm to Plate dining celebration returns for its third year. From Aug. 18 to 24, nearly 50 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.

In an effort to help create and strengthen local food relationships, Crave's Farm to Plate dining celebration returns for its third year. From Aug. 18 to 24, nearly 50 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, The Worthington Inn will pull from the farmers market at its doorstep for many dishes but also source directly from other farms, like in its Katsu-style pork loin with mustard seed sauce, basmati rice and sauteed kale with ingredients from King Family Farms in Athens. There's also a grilled summer vegetable salad with goat cheese and a honey vinaigrette using Honeyrun Farm.

And that's just one 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.

I'd also like to welcome Farm to Plate newcomers, including Bar 145, Kraft House No. 5, The Crafty Pint and Melt Bar & Grilled, among others. There are a lot of new places on this list that are also new to the Columbus food scene this year. It's great to know restaurants are moving in a direction where sourcing local isn't a trendy catch-phrase, but rather a way of life.

Also new this year is the Farm to Plate beneficiary. We're happy to not only be spreading the mission of local sourcing, but to also be raising funds for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, to help bring food to those in need.

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?

Visitcolumbuscrave.com/farmtoplate for a complete list of participating Farm to Plate restaurants. Look for full menus soon!