Frontier, 1072 N. Milwaukee Ave., is hosting its first-ever "Chef vs. Amateur Gumbo Cookoff" Sunday, Nov. 17, at 2 p.m. The public will determine the winners; the prizes are $500 ( first ), $200 ( second ) and $100 ( third ). Amateurs who wish to compete should email firstname.lastname@example.org with their recipes and a photo of the dishes by Friday, Nov. 1.
Chefs Sahil Singh and Hiran Patel have opened Lafayette at the Chicago French Market, 131 N. Clinton St. Lafayette is a 130-square-foot Creole-Cajun shabby shack dishing out 100-year-old recipes pulled right from Singh's family recipe book plus Deep South classic favorites. Menu items are $4-$11; see www.EatAtLafayette.com .
Executive Chef Kevin Schulz is releasing a new dinner menu for the River North restaurant Fulton's on the River. New items include such dishes as the gnocchi "carbonara" with poached egg, pork belly and brown butter; filet flight with carpetbagger, firecracker and truffled egg; Georges Bank swordfish au poivre with roasted mushrooms, veal reduction and tellicherry peppercorn; and yellowfin tuna puttanesca with bacon, tomato-garlic coulis, capers and olives. Visit www.fultonsontheriver.com .
The Illinois Restaurant Association has announced "From the Chef's Table: Restaurateurs for Education." The 36th annual gala, "An Evening of Fire & Ice," takes place Friday, Nov. 8, at 6 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Dr. Tickets are $250 each; visit www.IllinoisRestaurants.org .
Esteemed chef Charlie Trotter has passed away at age 54, according to The Chicago Tribune. Trotter was found by his son Dylan at the home in the 1800 block of North Dayton Street. Trotter burst on the scene in 1987, when he opened the world-famous Charlie Trotter's restaurant on Armitage Avenue. He was named the country's Outstanding Chef by James Beard Foundation in 1999; in 2000, Wine Spectator magazine called Trotter's the best restaurant in the nation.
Bombay Spice Indian Grill, 213 E. Ohio St., is celebrating Diwali through this Thursday, Nov. 7, by offering a free entree with every entree purchased. ( Known for lavish decorations and fireworks, Diwali is the most important festival in India, and represents the victory of good over evil. ) See http://bombayspice.com/streeterville/main-menu/.
The wine lounge ENO, 200 N. Columbus Dr., will feature a winter "Silk Road" series of spiced fondues made in-house daily with a different infused spice each month. ( The series kicks off in November with cinnamon. Executive Pastry Chef Erin Patsiopoulos will create a chocolate fondue infused with cinnamon served with red hot marshmallows, pumpkin madeleines, apple pie shortbread, candied cinnamon nut clusters, fresh strawberries, pretzel rods, brownie bites, Rice Krispie treats and bananas. ) Call 312-946-7000 or visit www.enowinerooms.com .
On Monday, Nov. 18, at 6:30 p.m., mk The Restaurant, 868 N. Franklin St., will host a special "Friends of James Beard" benefit dinner with all-star chefs. Owners Michael and Lisa Kornick, along with Executive Chef Erick Williams and Pastry Chef Lisa Bonjour, will welcome Grant Achatz ( Alinea ), Paul Kahan ( avec, ), Grant MacPherson ( Scotch Myst in Las Vegas ), Lachlan MacKinnon-Patterson ( Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, Colo. ), Mindy Segal ( Mindy's Hot Chocolate ) and Master Sommelier Ken Fredrickson. Tickets are $400 each; call Megan at 312-482-9179 or email email@example.com .
The Hartman Group is launching the first in a series of one-day learning experiences for food and beverage industry insiders. The one-day course, called "Evolving Culture of Food & Beverage," will be held at the Catalyst Ranch in Chicago on Feb. 5, 2014. For more information and to register, visit www.hartman-group.com/actchicago.
Crazy Pour ( www.crazypour.com ), Villa Park's newest upscale sports bar and grill, has officially launched. Located at 105 E. North Ave. in Villa Park, the 15,000-square-foot sports bar features more than 160 TVs, 50 plus beers on tap, a gourmet food menu and two outdoor patios with fireplaces. Crazy Pour also provides live entertainment & DJs, pool tables and darts, off-track betting, a "Vegas style" video gaming room and multiple rooms for private parties.
Burger Boss is expanding into Lakeview, specifically at 3210 N. Southport Ave. Burger Boss ( currently in Elmwood Park ) gives patrons the ability to "Be the Boss" and customize their meal with ingredients to build their own burgers, or they may choose from the restaurant's signature menu.
Sola, 3868 N. Lincoln Ave., has announced its fall menu. Among the offerings are a squash salad, with mustard greens, shaved butternut squash, shallots, water chestnuts, and goat cheese with pumpkin-seed vinaigrette; and barramundi with black rice, napa cabbage, apple-fig compote, squash slaw and port wine syrup. See www.sola-restaurant.com .
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