Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lite Bites: What Your Favorite Chefs & Mixologists Are Up To Around Town . . . And Beyond

Ming Tsai will be in Chicago next week.

Kampai Mondays debuts on Oct. 29 at Arami with Ervin Guinto pairing eight courses with sake. The restaurant's certified sake professionals will team up with different sake producers each month for this event that's $50 per person (includes tax and tip). Two seatings available: 7-8:30pm and 8:30-10pm. Call the restaurant for a reso.

• Celebrated chef Ming Tsai will also be in town on Oct. 29 to promote his latest cookbook, Simply Ming in Your Kitchen. He'll first do a cocktail reception and book signing at Slurping Turtle (3-5pm), and then team up with Takashi Yagihashi at his eponymous restaurant for a six-course tasting menu featuring recipes from the cookbook (6-9pm).

Iron Chef winner and Mercat a la Planxa partner/chef Jose Garces stopped through Chicago over the weekend to promote his new cookbook, The Latin Road Home. He also took time to introduce new items to the fall menu, which included such stunners as sopa de fortmage de cerveza (soup with crispy pork belly, truffle and potato) and ropa de cabra (braised goat with goat cheese with grilled baguette).

• If you love BBQ, you'll want to attend Autumn Smoke, hosted by the Illinois BBQ Alliance. The event will spotlight 'cue from some of the city's best, including the likes of Lillie's Q's Charlie McKenna, Smoque's Barry Sorkin and Chicago Q's Leann Whippen.

Allium's Kevin Hickey just released his new fall menu and he's gone stone crazy with the ingredients. Get excited for butternut squash mac 'n' cheese, bourbon maple quail, Wagyu beef jerky with pickled peppers, and pumpkin buns.

• Congrats to Henri head bartender Clint Rogers, who just won the prestigious Luxardo Cocktail Cup in San Francisco.

Al Sternweiler fetes Butcher & the Burger's first anniversary with a foie gras-stuffed venison burger. It's topped with Sternweiler's house-made steakhouse seasoning, griddled onions, Dijon mustard and cheddar cheese and on sale for $30 on Oct. 25 only.

Shin Thompson's recently announced restaurant name has me scratching my head.

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