Congrats go out to Kathleen Blake, Scott Hunnel, and James and Julie Petrakis for being named James Beard Award semifinalists in the Best Chef: South category. Final nominees will be announced March 15.
The Art of the Cocktail, a three-part cocktail class and competition at 6:30 p.m. tonight (Feb. 24) at Aggressive Appliances, allows guests to mix it up with three of the city's best mixologists: Blake Jones of Courtesy Bar, Paul Johnsen of Slate and Justin Levaughn of the Ravenous Pig. Cost is $35 per person.
Also at Aggressive Appliances, Toolbox4Life presents Taste4Toolbox, a fundraiser for the nonprofit that trains at-risk women in basic commercial kitchen skills. Enjoy bites by John Rivers (4 Rivers), Kevin Fonzo (K), Jean Stephane-Poinard (Urbain 40), Kathleen Blake (Rusty Spoon) and Greg Richie (Soco, Baoery), wine from Tim's Wine Market, and dessert by Jane's Short & Sweet, Peterbrooke Chocolatier and Blue Bird Bake Shop.
Masterchef Junior contestant Zac Kara (no relation to yours truly) holds a live cooking demo at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Millenia Mall Williams-Sonoma.
New Outdoor Kitchens at this year's Epcot Flower & Garden Festival (March 2-May 30) are the Bauernmarkt, a German farmer's market; La Isla Fresca, serving Caribbean fare; and Cider House.
Cress Restaurant in DeLand has discontinued its "Counter Cress" service because of high demand for the "Taste Cress" option (three-course, five-course and chef's tasting menus). The restaurant will add seating to accommodate more diners.
Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ, specializing in yakiniku, or Korean-style meat grilling, will open on Turkey Lake Road in Dr. Phillips this summer ... New Moon Juice Bar in College Park is now open for business ... McGinnty's Irish Pub has gutted and renovated the former Uncle Henry's Country Cafe space in Edgewood and officially opens March 1 ... Oblivion Taproom is back from the dead and celebrated its grand reopening last week (Feb. 19), thanks to longtime-patron-turned-owner Shawn Paris.
Barnie's CoffeeKitchen in the CityArts Factory will close Feb. 26.
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