Chicago q chef/partner Lee Ann Whippen has been named a 2013 Kraft Foods Pitmaster. The Kraft Foods Pitmaster team consists of four nationally recognized barbecue chefs who use the company's authentic barbecue sauces as a base in their recipes. This year's pitmasters include Whippen, Jack Waiboer, Jim Johnson and Rob Gray.
Lillie's Q, 1856 W. North Ave., may reopen as soon as June, according to the Chicago Tribune. The acclaimed BBQ restaurant closed after a basement water-heater caught fire in mid-March. However, owner Charlie McKenna said reconstruction has been ahead of schedule. Meanwhile, he serves a limited menu at the Chicago French Market, 131 N. Clinton St.
DavidsTea is adding the summer collection's five new teas to the current 150 varieties, as well as an array of accessories. The summer collection includes Coconut Grove, Mint Julep, Pink Passion Fruit, Mango Fruit Punch and Tropicalia. Visit www.davidstea.com .
Ribfest Chicago will take place June 7-9 at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue, Irving Park Road and Damen Avenue at Friday at 5-10 p.m., Saturday at 12-10 p.m., and Sunday 12-10 p.m. (There is a $5 suggested donation at the gate.) See www.ribfest-chicago.com .
The New York-based burger chain Shake Shack is coming to Chicago. is moving in at 66 E. Ohio St., a spot currently occupied by a Harley-Davidson dealership, according to chicagobusiness.com . When the rumors first flared in November, dealership co-owner Bret Irvine said he was asked to vacate the spot in the Shops at North Bridge before the lease expired in 2014.
The Ritz-Carlton Chicago is about to have outdoor dining for the first time in its 38-year history, ChicagoBusiness.com noted. Dec Rooftop Lounge + Bar is slated to open May 23.
The upscale French-Vietnamese restaurant Le Colonial, 937 N. Rush St., is offering meatless meals for the Memorial Day weekend. Items include Bo Bia soft salad roll with julienned carrots and jicama, bean sprouts, egg, peanuts and aromatic herbs in rice paper with peanut dipping sauce.
Pastry Chicago will hold its Sixth Annual Amateur Cookie Competition at Mariano's Fresh Market-West Loop, 40 S. Halsted St., on Saturday, June 8. Events start at 12:30 p.m., with winners announced at 2:30 p.m. Download the registration form at http://pastrychicago.org/calendar/documents/13PC_CookieComp_regrulesforms.pdf.
The Rosebud Restaurant Group has announced the return of Centro Ristorante. On May 20, Centro reopened at 6 W. Hubbard St., the former site of Bar Umbriago (another Rosebud eatery), which was closed and now is reborn as Centro, which was a 1990s hotspot. Hearty portions of dishes such as double-boned Colorado lamb chops and the 46-oz. T-bone for two will arrive in Centro's traditional communal copper serving dishes. See www.rosebudrestaurants.com .
Bad Dog Tavern, 4535 N. Lincoln Ave., has recently announced the official seasonal opening of its family and dog-friendly patio, which seats nearly 125. Pet owners are invited to not only enjoy the outdoor space, but also enter their canines to be part of the Bad Dog Hall of Fame. See www.baddogtavern.com .
Carnivale, 702 W. Fulton Market, will continue spring quarter classes with Latin Grilling 101, led by newly appointed Executive Chef Rodolfo Cuadros. The class will take place Saturday, June 15, at 12 p.m. The cost is $25 (reservations required); call 312-850-5005 or visit www.carnivalechicago.com .
Whole Foods Market in the South Loop, 1101 S. Canal St., will feature a hot lineup of 12 budget-friendly summer wines all priced under $16 at a Twitter tasting with My Daily Find Chicago ( www.mydailyfindchicago.com ) on Thursday, May 30, 7-8 p.m. Featured wines will include Vinum Cellars Chardonnay, Monte Velho Red and H&G Washington State Merlot.
Brindille (pronounced "braun-dee"), 534 N. Clark St., is now open. James Beard award-winning chef Carrie Nahabedian created the menu as "refined Parisian," and reflects her love of France and its cuisine. Highlighted elements include Dover sole, guinea fowl, rabbit and foie gras. A team of chefs from sister restaurant NAHA heads the kitchen at Brindille. See www.Brindille-Chicago.com .
Deleece, 3747 N. Southport Ave., is offering a six-course wine dinner Tuesday, June 4. Items will include seared diver scallops (with 2011 Tablas Creek "Patelin de Tablas Blanc") and crispy duck breast (with 2010 Beckmen Cuvee Le Bec), among other offerings. The cost is $75 each, and reservations are mandatory; call 773-325-1710 or visit www.deleece.com .
Grass Fed, 1721 N. Damen Ave., is introducing spring "night" and "day" menus by new Head Chef Jason Myers. New "night" menu large plates include the grilled Grass Fed NY strip steak ($22) and roasted half-chicken ($20); new "day" options include bread-pudding "French toast" ($10) and asparagus salad ($9). See www.GrassFedBucktown.com .
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