• Chef JOHN GRIFFITHS of Truffles has announced he will soon be leaving the Ladue eatery to focus on a new restaurant of his own. New exec chef BRANDON BENACK, who has worked with luminaries like Emeril Lagasse and Norman Van Aken, will be taking over in mid-April. No details yet about Griffith’s new project, but we’ll keep you posted. Good luck to both chefs!
  • ELIZABETH SCHUSTER has been tapped as the new executive chef at The Scottish Arms in the CWE, taking over for chef CARL HAZEL, who recently announced he’s heading over to helm the kitchen at Eleven Eleven Mississippi. Schuster was most recently at The Chase Park Plaza Hotel.
  • TED KILGORE, of Taste in the CWE, won the local United States Bartenders Guild (USBG) Campari Best Apertivo competition, held at Sanctuaria last week. He’ll be representing the St. Louis USBG chapter with his drink, Tokyo Drift, at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic in May. MEL JAMES of B.C.’s Kitchen and KEYAN STILL of Pi were the second and third-place finishers, respectively. Taste also was recently named by Food & Wine Magazine as one of the 50 Best Bars in America. In other mixology news, MATT SEITER, bar manager at Sanctuaria, will be featured in the May issue of Southern Living magazine.
  • The William K. Busch Brewing Company has announced that its Kraftig and Kraftig Light brews, which were just introduced in November, are now available in 12-ounce cans. Just in time for picnic season!
  • Square One Brewery & Distillery’s J.J. Neukomm Malt Whiskey recently won a gold medal from the Beverage Testing Institute, garnering 93 points, the most points won by an American malt whiskey over the past two years. Well done!
  • Companion recently received two 2012 Louie Awards from the St. Louis chapter of the International Special Events Society: Best Off-Premise Catered Event Budget Under $200 per person; and Best Team. Congrats!
  • Diablitos Cantina will be throwing a Mexican street food party on Monday, April 30, on its patio. The event will begin with a happy hour from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m, and the menu will feature items like Mexican street corn and carnitas, among other delicacies, courtesy of chef WIL PELLY. A portion of the $35 ticket price will benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of St. Louis. Tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite. Call 644-4430 for details.

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