It's been announced that Chef GIAN NICOLA COLUCCI has been tapped to replace Chef FABRIZIO SCHENARDI as executive chef at Cielo and the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis. A native of Turin, Italy, Colucci most recently served as executive chef at Starwood Hotel & Resort Danieli in Venice. He's expected to take the reins later this month. Benvenuto, Signore!
Sommelier extraordinaire ANDREY IVANOV, beverage director and GM of Elaia & Olio, is due some serious congrats. He's the Midwest Regional winner in the 2013 Best Young Sommelier competition. It's his third consecutive victory in the contest. In May, he'll travel to Sonoma, Calif., to compete with eight other sommeliers for the overall national title. Well done!!
The Purple Martin has opened its doors at 2800 Shenandoah Ave. in the Fox Park neighborhood. Look for an eclectic menu of flatbreads, vegetarian specialties and assorted Mediterranean-inspired fare, along with some creative cocktails.
Coming soon: Flying Rolls, a new sushi place offering dine-in, take-out and delivery options, is slated to open in June at 3674 Forest Park Parkway in Midtown.
St. Louis Community College and the St. Louis Chefs de Cuisine did well at last month's American Culinary Federation’s Central Regional Awards Gala, with two Forest Park teachers and a student earning honors. STEPHAN SCHUBERT, an adjunct instructor in baking and pastry arts, was named 2014 Central Region Pastry Chef of the Year, and will now advance to the national competition in July in Kansas City. STLCC student DAVID STUCKEL received a gold medal as part of the third place-winning St. Louis Chefs de Cuisine team that competed in the Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl. And Jilly's Cupcake Bar & Cafe received one of the 12 Achievement of Excellence Awards, and was the only St. Louis honoree. Jilly's exec chef, CASEY SHILLER, is the coordinator of the STLCC Baking and Pastry Arts program.
On a sad note, Maude's Market at 4219 Virginia Ave. in Dutchtown, has closed its doors for good. The popular locavore shop opened in 2010.