> Congrats to a trio of Missouri cheese makers…Baetje Farms won two Third-Place ribbons, one for its fresh Cranberry and Orange Coeur de la Crème and the other for its aged Bloomsdale, at the American Cheese Society’s annual conference and competition last week. Green Dirt Farm in Weston, near Kansas City, also did well, pulling in Third-Place ribbons for its sheep’s milk cheeses in the open and flavor-added categories. And at the first North American Jersey Cheese Awards, held last month, Homestead Creamery of Jamesport won a gold medal for its Country Classic hard cheese and a silver for its Golden Glow semi-hard.
> The much-anticipated new restaurant from Jim Fiala, Terrace View in the new Citygarden downtown, is finally open for service. Fiala, who has studied under world-class chefs in Italy and France, says the food will be “inventive, healthy and seasonal,” with a Mediterranean influence and an emphasis on local ingredients. In September, the Terrace View will add healthy, organic breakfasts to its lineup.
> Our local Ferraro’s Jersey Style Pizza got a nice mention in the ‘Places That Rock’ section of Pizza Today magazine’s August issue. Check them out at 1862 S. 10th St. in Soulard.
> Schnucks new downtown market, Culinaria at Ninth and Olive streets, is now open to the public. The 27,000-square-foot store offers standard grocery departments, plus a full-service pharmacy and a large prepared foods section. Meanwhile, City Grocers, the pioneer urban market at 920 Olive St., will take its focus from grocery to prepared foods, adding stir-fry and burrito bars, an expanded beer and wine selection, and a catering menu of boxed lunches and party platters, among other innovations. The store’s existing carryout, bakery and deli departments will remain.
> Lebanese Restaurant Saleem’s celebrates its 35th anniversary Sept. 21 to 26 by donating a percentage of proceeds from the week to Share Our Strength and Operation Food Search. “We have been honored by the patronage and generosity of our customers over the years,” says owner Salim Hanna, a native of Beirut, who entered the St. Louis restaurant scene in 1974 with Saleem’s on South Grand. In 1977, he renovated and restored the landmark Pelican Cafe to its original state, and in 1982, he opened Saleem’s Lebanese Restaurant in the Delmar Loop. In 2003, Hanna added Simon’s Cafe at Olive Boulevard and Woods Mill Road, named for his son and promoting a primarily Middle Eastern menu. And in March 2008, Saleem’s West opened at 14560 Manchester Road. Hanna’s son, Simon, 19, is now a seasoned veteran of the business and is headed to Le Cordon Bleu Culinary College. Good luck to the second generation of Saleem’s!
> Chef Cary McDowell has moved eastward to join Ann and Randy Lipton at Winslow’s Home in University City. A devotee of farm-to-table dining, McDowell says Winslow’s Home, which operates its own farm in Augusta, Mo., is a perfect fit. Coming up on the Lipton farm is a benefit for Operation Food Search Sept. 12. Tickets are $225; for more information, call 652-3663, ext. 118.