- March 30, 2011
John Mariani, author of How Italian Food Conquered the World, wings into town Wednesday, April 13, and will be fêted by Tony Vallone at Tony’s with a multi-course feast and book signing. Seats are $90; reserve yours by buzzing 713.622.6778 … Natalie May Bolger and her brother, chef Michael May, gained fame when they started the delicious Candelari’s Sausage Company, then showcased it at Candelari Pizzeria. Now Bolger has written an adorable book, The Grand Festive Picnic. The first of a series, this pretty picture book, which explores the meaning of friendship, stars two alligator chefs (among others) who prepare a feast filled with tamales, shrimp brochette, key lime pie and more. Head to kidslove life.com for details … Mark Cox of Mark’s American Cuisine and Jeff Everts and Catherine Rodriguez of Olivette will band together with other tall toques to prepare a five-course dinner at the Houstonian Hotel to benefit Houston Food Bank’s Annual Chefs’ Dinner Wednesday, April 20. Fight hunger in our own community by sitting down for this lavish meal. Tickets at houstonfoodbank.org … The James Beard Foundation nominations (which only seem to grow in number and categories each year) are out, and some of our city’s best are highlighted. For best new restaurant, Bootsie’s Heritage Cafe in Tomball got a nod (and, incidentally, in GQ recently as well), Robert Del Grande was tapped as an Outstanding Chef, and Michael Cordúa was nominated for Outstanding Restaurateur for Cordúa Restaurants. Newbie Bobby Heugel at Anvil Bar & Refuge got a nod under Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professionals, and Bryan Caswell was nominated for Best Chef: Southwest. Find out who actually wins on Monday, May 9, when the winners are announced at Lincoln Center … Brock and Stacey Silverstein, who relocated from Denver to Houston to expand The Buffalo Grille, have moved outside the loop to Briar Forest to launch Pecan Creek Grille. Open daily for breakfast and lunch, this counter-service spot serves comfort fare such as meatloaf, chicken-fried steak and burgers … Chef Steven Vanderpool, who’s behind the range at Brenner’s at the Bayou, will whip up some inspired creations to pair with wines from the Napa and Sonoma counties during the Second Annual WineFest. It all happens Saturday, April 9, from 3 to 6 pm. For tickets, go to brennerssteakhouse.com … The Hotel Sorella in CityCentre is bending to demand from brides and businesspeople alike. Look for a new 8,500-square-foot event space adjacent to Anthropologie on the ground floor this June. Also just opened in CityCentre: Sweet, a dessert atelier with handcrafted confections including cupcakes and macaroons. And do you remember when frozen yogurt used to have that marvelous tangy taste? Now the best trend in fro yo, Red Mango is the newest addition to the mix with tangy, all-natural, yogurt and toppings that are terrific. Meanwhile, Olive & Vine, a self-styled olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting bar and boutique, has also launched at CityCentre. Swing in for a taste of more than 36 premium extra virgin olive oils and vinegars. Peruse the selection of culinary accoutrements, too. … In Memorial, look for Gugliani’s, a family-style Italian eatery from Gregg and Alan Guggenheim to open later this month. The space, across from Memorial City Medical Center, will be designed by Carlo Di Nunzio.