• It’s been announced that chef CHRIS WILLIAMS, who has been serving as executive chef at both Franco in Soulard and the newly opened Nico in the U. City Loop, has stepped down. No word yet on where he’s headed.
  • The Massa’s location in Kirkwood has closed its doors, but another restaurant is in the works in St. Charles at 3761 New Town Blvd. The new restaurant will join the other Massa’s locations in Bridgeton, Ellisville and O’Fallon.
  • Area distillers continue to get attention on the national stage. Four local establishments won big at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition last month. Pinckney Bend Distillery in New Haven, Mo., won a gold medal for its American gin, and Mastermind Vodka out of Madison County, Ill., did the same with its spirit. Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co. from Ste. Genevieve, Mo., won a bronze medal for its vodka, as did St. Louis’ The Big O Ginger Liqueur. Congrats to all!
  • Hollyberry Catering is teaming up with SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center and Dierbergs to create Home Run Bars. Net proceeds of these homemade snack bars will benefit Homers For Health, a program that lets fans pledge money for every home run hit this season. The bars, made from oats, cranberries and dark chocolate, are all-natural, preservative-free and available at all Dierbergs locations.
  • Members-only culinary club Blood & Sand has reached its capacity for full memberships. Currently, weekday-only memberships are the only way to get in, and those memberships will serve as a waiting list for full memberships as they become available.
  • Hard to believe, but the Maplewood Foodie Guide is in its third edition, less than a year since it was introduced. That’s more than 5,000 copies! The new edition, which lists almost 60 food-related establishments, can be ordered at cityofmaplewood.com/foodie.
  • Culinary bargain hunters, mark your calendars. Les Dames d’Escoffier of St. Louis will be holding The Cook’s Bazaar, a marketplace for resale of gently used culinary cookware, electrics, tools, serving ware and linens from some of the region’s best chefs and restaurants. The bazaar will be held at Ces & Judy Catering Company, 10405 Clayton Road in Frontenac on Saturday, May 5, from 7:30 am until 2 pm. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the scholarship fund for local women pursuing culinary careers.
  • Jim Edmonds Steakhouse is the latest member of the St. Louis Originals rewards program, which has more than 30,000 rewards card members.

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