> Looks like the rumors are true. After a lot of back-and-forth in the blogosphere over the past week or so, it is confirmed that STEVE GONTRAM, chef/owner of Harvest, is in the process of selling the venerable Richmond Heights eatery to executive chef NICK MILLER. The deal should be finalized early next month. Fans shouldn’t fret, though. Miller tells us that Harvest’s focus on local goodness will remain intact. “I wouldn’t have worked here for eight years if I didn’t like the concept,” he says. Miller will still be running the kitchen, and there will be no major personnel changes, although he will be looking for a GM in the near future. Gontram will help with the transition, then take a hiatus to concentrate on his personal life, as he’s getting ready to walk down the aisle soon. Best wishes to both chefs!
> Always good to see more restaurants popping up! ALAN RICHMAN will open his new venture, DeMun Oyster Bar, by mid-September at 740 DeMun Ave. in Clayton, just up the street from another of his establishments, Sasha’s Wine Bar & Market. Richman is also owner of Sasha’s on Shaw in the Tower Grove neighborhood. And after a hearty oyster meal, head another block or so south and sample the decadent wares at Oh Lolli Lolli Itsy Bitsy Candy Shoppe, which just opened last week at 802 DeMun Ave. We highly recommend the amaretto pecans! On a sadder note, Mia Rosa, at 4501 Manchester Road in the Grove neighborhood, has closed its doors.
> Congrats to James ‘Kevin’ Storm, executive chef at Bellerive Country Club, who represented the Central Region in the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) Chef of the Year competition Aug. 5 at the convention in Anaheim, Calif. Despite a valiant effort, Storm lost to Northeast Region competitor Michael Matarazzo of Bear Mountain Inn in New York.
> We promised more info on the latest Wasabi Sushi Bar site, and here it is: The new location will be in the space formerly home to Sansui at 9983 Manchester Road in Warson Woods. Construction is underway, and plans call for a new patio area. Look for an early September opening.
> Mark your calendars for Wednesday, Aug. 26, for the fifth annual Thirst For Life to benefit St. Louis Effort for AIDS. Have a drink and help out a great cause. For a list of participating establishments, go to stlefa.org.
> Bowood Farms in the CWE is hosting ‘Preserving Your Own Harvest’ on Saturday, Aug. 28. The class will show you the ins and outs of preserving your garden bounty for use during the colder months. Info at 454-6868 or www.bowoodfarms.com.