WIL FERNANDEZ-CRUZ has been tapped to be the new executive chef at Winslow's Home in University City. He replaces chef CARY MCDOWELL, who left recently to take a position with the Euclid Hospitality Group, which includes the Pi Pizzeria restaurants and the recently opened Gringo in the Central West End. Fernandez-Cruz came to St. Louis last year from NYC to be the executive chef at The Restaurant at the Cheshire Inn, and currently he's running the kitchen at Ibby's on Washington University's Danforth campus.

Congrats are in order for chef CHRISTOPHER LEE of River City Casino. He won his second consecutive title as champion of last month’s Chef Battle Royale at Taste of St. Louis. Lee bested chef ERIC BRENNER of Alumni St. Louis in the final round to take the title.

The Whiskey In The Winter festival is returning for its second year on Saturday, Nov. 23, at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis At The Arch. The celebration of all forms of this venerable spirit features a grand tasting of some 200-plus whiskies, including single malt and blended Scotches, bourbon, Irish, Tennessee, Canadian, Japanese and other local and international varieties. The evening also will have eight educational seminars by industry experts, whiskey-inspired food stations (courtesy of the chefs of the Hyatt Regency), whiskey cocktails created by local and guest mixologists, and a Golden Ticket selection of rare whiskies. For tickets and info, visit whiskeyinthewinter.com

Pinckney Bend Distillery out of New Haven, Mo., has officially introduced its new Rested American Whiskey to the local market. The spirit is ‘rested’ for just shy of a year in 15-gallon Missouri white oak barrels from the McGinnis barrel mill in Cuba, Mo., making for a truly unique Missouri-centric spirit. The new whiskey is available at the distillery's tasting room, as well as in limited quantities at select St. Louis-area liquor stores.

All sorts of things are happening at PETER COHEN's Stringbean Coffee Company: The company has introduced a new coffee, Disco Inferno Espresso Blend, described as its boldest roast yet. In addition, Stringbean also recently added a second small-batch roaster and has introduced new, brighter pre-printed packaging to make its fine beans even easier to find on store shelves.

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