> Condé Nast announced that next month’s November issue will be the final for the storied Gourmet magazine. The news apparently took editor Ruth Reichl by surprise. The dining diva, who was the scourge of the New York restaurant scene when she was the New York Times restaurant critic, has cancelled her planned appearances in St. Louis. Gourmet magazine has published cooking and travel features since 1941.

> Companion’s CollaBREADtive program brings together eight top St. Louis chefs and one craft baker, Companion founder Josh Allen, to create custom breads for the chefs to use in  special menu items during a designated six-week period. “This program was launched to harness the creativity of some of St. Louis’ culinary leaders and share that with customers, who get to taste the result of the collaboration,” explains Allen. Chef Maurice Reed of Eclipse Restaurant (in Moonrise Hotel) kicks off the series with Frosted Flake Encrusted French Toast, made with Companion’s Sweet Potato Country Bread, available through Oct. 25. All three Companion cafes, local Dierbergs and some Schnucks stores will carry the special bread. 

> Morton’s The Cookbook: 100 Steakhouse Recipes for Every Kitchen is now available. Morton’s is hosting a cookbook cocktail reception and tasting Oct. 23 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. to benefit Feeding America and St. Louis Area Foodbank. Guests can also bid on a silent auction that includes a ‘Chef’s Table for Six’ at Morton’s, with proceeds also donated to the charities. The new cookbook, normally $32.50, will be available at the event for $20. For more info on the charitable evening, contact gina_sparks@mortons.com.  

> A local name on the restaurant scene is launching a new venture, Sammy Scott’s, set to open next month. David Miller, grandson of restaurateur and entrepreneur Lester Miller, is heading a partnership that plans to take the sandwich and soup shop nationally. The first one will open at 12766 Olive Blvd. in Creve Coeur. Miller’s partners are Don Tamillo, Anthony Dahl and Tim Laughlin. Tamillo is a former partner at Brio’s at Plaza Frontenac and the former general manager at Busch’s Grove Restaurant.

> Congratulations to Thom Zoog of Portabella for winning the fifth annual Taste of St. Louis Top Chef Contest, held downtown last week.

> Sidney Street Cafe has a new pastry chef…Christie Saali, formerly of the Saint Louis Club. Before taking over as pastry chef, Saali trained with her predecessor, Christy Augustin, who has left to take a teaching position.

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