Sarah Masters, formerly of Spoonriver, is the new chef at Barbette. So where did the talented, mustard-tossing Landon Schoenfeld go? Well, he didn't go to the Red Stag Supper Club, as many thought many months ago, because William Baskin is the chef there. The rumor mill says Schoenfeld is headed to Porter and Frye to work for Steven Brown.
Carrie Summer has her food cart officially test-driven. It made its debut last Friday evening in the Robot Love parking lot on Lyndale serving late-night snacks in the early hours of what was technically Saturday morning. So where and when for this coming weekend? Look for it in the same neighborhood serving pulled pork, chocolate mousse, chili-cheese fries, and, of course, mini doughnuts. On Saturday evening, the cart was in the Grumpy's lot but closed early because of power issues in the cart. The kinks are still being worked out.
Looking for something great to do on Thursday evening? The Oak St. Cinema is screening a wonderful film, directed by one of the cameramen on my Travel Channel show. You need to see Joel Weber’s new documentary, The Listening Project. His film, created with Dominic Howes, asks the question “what do you think about America?” Get there earlier than the 7:30 p.m. showtime to make sure you get tickets. Want to eat something before or after the movie? Well, the best of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s pan-Asian recipes have been compiled in a new book entitled Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges. The black pepper shrimp and dried pineapple recipe is worth its weight in gold. From Vong's Thai Kitchen to Spice Market, 66 to Chambers Kitchen, London’s Rama to Las Vegas’ Prime, JGV’s Asian touches have been his signature. To celebrate the book, The Bookcase of Wayzata and the Chambers Hotel are hosting a special cocktail reception and book signing 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 13. The hotel’s restaurant, Chambers Kitchen, also will offer a special tasting menu that evening, featuring recipes from the new cookbook. Tickets for the author reception are $40 and include wine, hors d’oeuvres, and a copy of Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges. The price for the three-course tasting menu is $45. Reservations for both events are required and may be made by calling Chambers at 612-767-6999 or the Bookcase of Wayzata at 952-473-8341.
On Saturday, you can head out to the Ridgedale Byerly’s in Minnetonka from 1 to 3 p.m., and see my pal Marjorie Johnson. She is out there to sign copies of her cookbook, Road to Blue Ribbon Baking, a collection of recipes including most of the baked goodies that have earned her thousands of ribbons at the Minnesota State Fair over the last thirty years. Now that she is a big late-night TV star, you should bring your camera. Mar-Jo (every hottie celebutante needs a cool moniker) was kind enough to shoot some stuff with me this last summer for Bizarre Foods, and it was a trip. This woman is completely her own person and negotiates life with a different operating system than the rest of us. She is one-of-a-kind, and if you haven’t met her yet, you should do it this weekend. If you do not know who she is, search her Tonight Show appearances with Jay Leno on YouTube.