Wednesday, March 20, 2013

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

Rick Gresh of David Burke's Primehouse (Photo: David Burke's Primehouse)

Where the hell is spring?!

• The Steppenwolf Auxiliary Council's annual Red or White Ball is one of the best young professional charity events of the year, particularly because it attracts a lot of creative types. In 2011, they added a chef component to the VIP portion of the event, and this year's lineup looks pretty impressive. Set to serve are Rick Gresh (David Burke's Primehouse), Thomas Elliott Bowman and Ben Roche (Baume & Brix), Puje Dorlig (Jellyfish), Mark Payne (Deca Restaurant + Bar) and Jean Tippenhauer (Fred's at Barneys New York). The main event takes place at Venue One (1044 W. Randolph St.) with the after-party happening at NellcĂ´te. 7pm (VIP reception), 8pm April 5. Get the tickets right here.

Robert DeNiro's glamorous Nobu restaurant that he owns with chef Nobu Matsuhisa is apparently on its way to the West Loop.

Speed Rack returns to Chicago, and it's a great opportunity to see the city's most talented female bartenders compete against one another in various cocktail challenges. Proceeds from the event benefit breast cancer research and it's a strong turnout from Chicago's mixology community. Some of the competitors include the likes of Annemarie Sagoi (Big Star/The Charleston), Cristiana DeLucca (The Drawing Room) and Jess Keene (Barrelhouse Flat). Star-tenders Paul McGee (Bub City/Three Dots and a Dash), Lynn House (Blackbird) and Peter Vestinos (BellyQ) will serve as judges. 3-7pm March 24 at Cobra Lounge. $20 in advance by purchasing tickets here; $25 at door. Admission price include an open bar and appetizers.

Mark Pollard is out as executive chef at Epic. He left to pursue a new project in Los Angeles, but he tells 312DD exclusively that he plans to return to Chicago at some point to launch a new dining concept.

• Don't forget that Chicago Chef Week runs through March 22. Here's the entire list of participants.

TWO's Tom Van Lente is doing a true craft "bourbon & beer" experience that's worth checking out. Reps for Against the Grain and Angel's Envy will be on hand during a meet-and-greet reception and four-course dinner paired with libations. It's $80 per person and tickets are limited. 6:30pm April 10.

Takito Kitchen is finally open with chef David Dworshak at the helm. GrubStreet has the scoop with photos and menu.

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