> Chef GERARD CRAFT and a bevy of local and national culinary talent fired up the stoves for charity July 27 at Craft’s Braisserie by Niche restaurant in the CWE. The event was part of A Tasteful Pursuit, a national touring dinner series benefiting Share Our Strength, which aims to end childhood hunger in America by 2015. Along with Craft, chefs KEVIN NASHAN of Sidney Street Café, VINCENT BOMMARITO of Tony’s, PAUL VIRANT of Vie Restaurant in Chicago, JONATHAN JUSTUS of Justus Drugstore in Smithville, Mo., and SUMMER WRIGHT of Brasserie by Niche put together a stellar menu. The event, which also featured silent and not-so-silent auctions, raised $35,000 for the cause.
> Pi continues its trek westward. The president’s favorite pizzeria is getting ready to open a fourth, carryout-only location, Pi To Go, in Chesterfield at Baxter and Clayton roads. Look for it to open August 16. And Wasabi Sushi Bar has Facebooked that restaurant number five will be opening in Kirkwood sometime in September. Management tells us there will be an official announcement in the near future.
> More comings and goings: Robust Wine Bar has some new faces. KRIS JANIK is the new executive chef, and FRANK ROMANO has assumed general manager duties. Janik has done time in some of the best kitchens in St. Louis, most recently at Franco in Soulard. You’ll remember Romano from his management stints at An American Place and Araka, among other gigs around town. And as of August 23, FABRIZIO SCHENARDI will assume the mantle of executive chef at Cielo at The Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis. Most recently he served as executive chef at Pelagia Trattoria in the Renaissance Tampa Hotel International Plaza.
> The Ritz-Carlton St. Louis is now offering goodies from its executive pastry chef, SIMONE FAURE, and her team online at The Bakery. The venue is virtual but the treats are very real; some of the creations available are almost too beautiful to eat! Check them out online at www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/StLouis/TheBakery. Orders can be placed at 314-863-6300, ext. 490.
> Cameron Mitchell Restaurants of Columbus, Ohio, has given us an official “no comment” regarding the rumor that a new location of its upscale Ocean Prime restaurant chain may be getting a home in the newly opened Centene Tower in Clayton. The Centene folks are mum so far as well. Cameron Mitchell has eight restaurant concepts and a catering arm, but none have locations in Missouri as of yet. We’ll keep you posted.
> Congratulations are in order for mixologist extraordinaire TED KILGORE of Taste by Niche who won top honors in the Yellow Tail cocktail competition at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans last month.
> Have a drink and help out a great cause. Through October 17, order the new Blackberry Cadillac Margarita at any Casa Gallardo location, and 25 cents will be donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Cheers!