Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Lite Bites: What Your Favorite Chefs & Mixologists Are Up To Around Town This Week

Dana Cree and her winning bûche de noël at Cafe Des Architectes Monday. (Photo: Sofitel Chicago)

So sweet and bittersweet . . .

Blackbird Executive Pastry Chef Dana Cree was the big-time winner at the second-annual bûche de noël contest Monday at Cafe Des Architectes. Her winning cake—which she said was based off an Austrian dessert she once made to impress Wolfgang Puck—was a hit with the official judges (including 312DD!) as well as the people's choice. It tasted like a combo of a "burnt" crème brûlée and the most decadent caramel brownie I've ever had. She beat out the likes of Balena's Amanda Rockman and Meg Gaulus of NoMI.

• Speaking of red-hot pastry chefs, Trenchermen is hosting an all-star event with Dana Cree, plus chefs from the likes of Momofuku Milk Bar and Noma. It's $100 per person, happens on Jan. 3 and also includes wine pairings from Alpana Singh (The Boarding House) and cocktails from Jenny Kessler of Masa Azul.

Zealous owner/chef Michael Taus and wife Annette during a trip to Barcelona in 2011. (Photo: Michael Taus)

Sad news. Michael Taus is closing Zealous on Dec. 31 after 20 years in biz. No word yet on what he's planning to do next.

• Looking to spice up your holiday celebration this year?! Nacional 27's Chico Vilchez is hosting his annual Cuban holiday menu through Dec. 22.

Chicagoist gets a first look at Gather, the new Lincoln Square eatery helmed by former Charlie Trotter's chef Ken Carter.

• Check out GrubStreet's magnificent slideshow of Matt Kirkley's food at L2O. This proves that he deserves two Michelin stars!

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