My buddy and neighbor Chef Mark Graham has once again joined forces with some of the greatest culinary talent in the Albany area to present an exciting series of collaborative dinners this summer, called the Albany Chefs 5×5 Dining Series.

Mark (Mezza Notte Ristorante) has teamed up with Brian Molino (Marché at 74 State), Jaime Ortiz (Angelo’s 677 Prime), Yono Purnomo (Yono’s) and Larry Schepici (Hollywood Brown Derby) to present 5 evenings of stunning food and wine pairings. Each chef hosts a dinner at his own restaurant, and each chef prepares a different course at each dinner.

Each event begins at 6pm with a cocktail hour featuring hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar, with dinner beginning at 7pm.  Each dinner is $85 per person, and includes wines hand-selected to pair with each course.  The first dinner is scheduled for June 23, at Yono’s.  Reservation info is on the website.

After a quick peek at the menus, I think I’m going to try to snag a seat at the July 15 event, at 677 Prime.  I’ve never been to Prime, and the menu looks intriguing, with not a whole lot of weird fish.  I don’t like weird fish.

This project is a revamp of the 2009 series which was a 4-person team.  2010 has two new chefs; one chef from 2009 is no longer participating.

Oh – and I know I’m going to catch hell for asking – but why rabbit livers, Mark?  Why?  What did those poor little fuzzy bunnies ever do to you?