> The best chefs from St. Louis and the surrounding region will put their skills on the line to honor master chef and charcuterie expert FREDERIC ‘FRITZ’ SONNENSCHMIDT (dean emeritus of the CIA) and raise funds for Operation Food Search. Operation Charcuterie!, as it’s being called, will be held at Sidney Street Cafe in Benton Park Sept. 28. Teams will prepare a six-course charcuterie dinner, and the chef roster features a veritable Who’s Who of area culinary talent: GERARD CRAFT of Niche, ANTHONY DEVOTI of Five, JIM FIALA of The Crossing, JOSH GALLIANO of Monarch, STEVE GONTRAM of Harvest, CARY MCDOWELL of Winslow’s Home, KEVIN NASHAN of Sidney Street Cafe, LOU ROOK of Annie Gunn’s, KEVIN WILLMAN of Farmhaus, JONATHAN JUSTUS of Justus Drugstore Restaurant in Smithville, Mo., and MIKE ODETTE of Sycamore in Columbia, Mo. For reservations, contact Chris Valier at Sidney Street Cafe at 771-5777.
> Chef ANDY SHRENSKER has left Mihalis Chophouse to take over as executive chef at Jim Edmonds’ 15 Steakhouse downtown. Fans of his fried calamari starter will be glad to know it will be making an appearance on the Edmonds bill of fare. Shrensker says there are no huge menu changes in the works for now, just some tweaks here and there as he settles in.
> Chef PAOLA BUGLI assumed leadership of the kitchen at House of Savoy at Lumiere Place last month. The native of Florence, Italy, did stints at several Atlanta, Ga., eateries before heading our way. Look for a seasonally shifting menu that will take advantage of local ingredients.
> Kudos all around! Congrats go out to both area locations of The Melting Pot. The University City and Town & Country restaurants have garnered Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence for their wine lists…And best of luck to local mixologists TJ VYTLACIL of Franco and CHRIS MUETHER of Danno’s American Pub. Both have been selected to compete in the fourth annual Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition, held Aug. 29 at Uptown Theater in Kansas City, Mo. Find out more at gkcbc.com. Cheers!
> After a few snags, Bistro 1130 at 1130 Town & Country Crossing Drive is finally set to open its doors next month. Owner MIKKI JONES-MIRANNE says there will be a private grand opening Sept. 17, and the bistro will be open to the public Sept. 20.
> Eckert’s Country Restaurant in Belleville, Ill., is undergoing an expansion that will almost double the seating capacity to 350, the company tells us. Look for it to be complete in mid-September. There are also some concept changes in the works, but nothing has been finalized as of yet. We’ll keep you posted in time for apple-pickin’ season!
> Ladies, want to get smart about vino? Hollyberry To Go and Time for Dinner are hosting a series of classes called Wine School for Chicks. Learn how to pick the perfect wine for any meal. Sessions will be held the third Friday of each month from 5 to 7 p.m. through December at 8506 Manchester Road in Brentwood, and there’s no cost to attend. To register, call 968-9293.