> Slow Food St. Louis holds its annual fund-raiser, The Art of Food, on Saturday, July 25 from 6 to 10 pm at Mad Art Gallery. The Art of Food will showcase hors d’oeuvres from the area’s top restaurants and food-themed art by local artists. There will be gift baskets filled with specialty goodies from boutiques, wineries, and restaurants, as well as a framed piece of food photography from Yours Truly. The event’s beneficiaries, Slow Food St. Louis and Shares Combined Community Supported Agriculture, are food nonprofits. The former is a local, member-supported organization founded in 1989 to counteract ‘fast food and fast life;’ the disappearance of local food traditions; and people’s lack of awareness about the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes, and how our food choices affect the rest of the world. Fair Shares is dedicated to making fresh, local, seasonal food available to more people in St. Louis regardless of their income. For more information and to order tickets visit artoffoodstl.com.

> Mazara Rustic Italian has added Parkway West alum Todd Bale as executive chef. Bale graduated from Johnson and Wales University and has spent the last 10 years executing special culinary events in Boston. His extensive experience and knowledge of southern Italian cuisine is evident in Mazara’s new menu creations, including eggplant involtini, limoncello ivory salmon and banana white chocolate bread pudding with Frangelico Anglais. Mazara is also celebrating its one year anniversary, so if you visit July 31 or Aug 1, you’ll enjoy complimentary drinks and appetizer samplers and music with your dinner.

> Stone Soup Cottage just opened June 25 under Carl McConnell, who brought sophisticated dishes to Sherlock’s in Cottleville when it opened several months ago. McConnell has left Sherlock’s to start a ‘legal underground’ restaurant in Cottleville, in Lincoln County. Stone Soup Cottage is a restored 1850s farmhouse that now features prix-fixe menus in four- to eight-course formats with optional wine pairings. Located on Oak Street in Cottleville, it’s about 45 minutes west on Highway 40.

> Next time you’re at the Clayton Farmer’s Market, check out the Angel Baked Cookies. The program initiated by North Grand Neighborhood Services is designed to teach area youths how to market and operate a small business. You’ll find the kids there every Saturday selling their cookies for $1 each or $7 a dozen.  

> Mosaic Lounge is now open. The new downtown nightspot is owned by Claus Schmitz and located adjacent to his restaurant, Mosaic. It offers music, bottle service and food until 3 a.m., seven days a week.

> andy WoW! has come to St. Louis. The casual restaurant specializes in hand-battered, made-to-order chicken fingers, four ‘WoW’ sauces for dipping, waffle fries, coleslaw and Texas toast. It’s opening in Chesterfield Mall, with three more local spots planned.

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