Dauphin Island is getting ready for its 4th annual Seafood, Science and Celebrity Saturday, Nov. 1, but this year is even more exciting with the addition of the Sunday Supper Gulf Coast Nov. 2! The two-day event is sure to bring attention to our local and regional culinary talent.

The first event begins at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab’s Estuarium on Saturday from 4-8 p.m. with the Sustaining Heritage Gala. Locals will be bringing the flavor with samplings from the likes of Tom Houle, Alec Naman, Chris Sherill, Fisher’s of Orange Beach, Lighthouse Café, OK Bicycle Shop, Wintzell’s Oyster House, Back Forty Beer Company and Bayou Rum.

James Beard award-winning Chef Chris Hastings (center) with Jacques Pepin and Danny Meyer.

James Beard award-winning Chef Chris Hastings (center) with Jacques Pepin and Danny Meyer.

Live music from Jesse Keith Whitley (yes, son of Keith Whitley and Lorrie Morgan) and his wife Ashlee Hewitt is sure to soothe your ears. Tickets for this day’s event are $90 (group price) to $100.

The second day of the event is Sunday, Nov. 2, at Historic Fort Gaines for the Sunday Supper Gulf Coast. The open-air kitchen of the fort will be buzzing with a cocktail party from noon until 2 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres and music by Fat Man Squeeze. A seated dinner will follow from 2-4 p.m.

James Beard Foundation award winner Chef Chris Hastings, owner of Hot and Hot Fish Club of Birmingham, is hosting the dinner with Executive Chef Rob McDaniel of Springhouse Restaurant of Alexander City, and assembling a crew of 10 James Beard Award-winning/nominated chefs from across the South.

Tickets to the Sunday Supper Gulf Coast range from $180 (group) to $195. All funds go to the James Beard Scholarship Program. Visit www.seafoodsciencecelebrity.com to purchase tickets for these events as well as sponsorship opportunities. This is a “don’t miss” event.

La Pizzeria closing again

I can say I didn’t see this one coming, so when manager Frankie Little contacted me and told me La Pizzeria was closing its doors after nine months of wonderful service my heart sank.

According to Little and La Pizzeria’s Facebook page, the favorite Leinkauf spot will be holding business as usual until Oct. 25 saying, “the owner has decided it is no longer viable to stay open.” I commend the cast and crew for what I believe was my favorite La Pizzeria incarnation, as I enjoyed the food, service, ambience and prices.

Somebody make me a Mikey Pizza for the road and a bottle of something red. I promise to visit every chance I get until closing day. You will be missed.

Tacky Jack’s shutting down Causeway location

I hate reporting closures, but the word on the street is true. Tacky Jack’s has decided to shut down its Causeway location citing the cost effectiveness of improvements at the end of their lease as a major factor. The popular beer, bands and bingo spot spent four years in the location, but have no fear. The Orange Beach, Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan restaurants are still going strong.

Be sure and stop by 1175 Battleship Parkway to pay your final respects by Sunday, Oct. 19. They are offering 20 percent discounts until closing.

Yen undergoing ownership changes

Those who motor down Holcombe Avenue need not panic. Yes, Yen is closed, but it is only temporary. After 17 years of original ownership the torch has been passed. We are told (via Facebook) that the grand reopening should be Oct. 17, and that we should expect to enjoy traditional Vietnamese cuisine as we have always done within those walls.

Let’s hope they only change the cosmetics!

Golden Bowl finds a place on Bel Air

It’s been a lot of restaurants over the years, but the building on Bel Air Blvd across from Wendy’s has always been something Asian. Now enter the Golden Bowl.

Golden Bowl is serving traditional Asian fare in a familiar location on Bel-Air Boulevard.

Golden Bowl is serving traditional Asian fare in a familiar location on Bel-Air Boulevard.

This is a hibachi/hot bar/cold bar that has potential. I took Lucas and Graham there for their first hibachi experience, neglecting to prepare the boys about how fancy the cooking can get. When our chef lit a quick fire on the grill, young Graham screamed and ran to the back of the restaurant.

Coerced into returning, he pulled his chair five feet away from the table. A good time was had by all.

Stick to the basics here and you won’t be disappointed.

Bloody Mary contest at Hangout’s Oyster Cook off

We’ve heard (and perpetuated) a lot of buzz about the Hangout’s Oyster Cook-off. Celebrity chefs, judges, live music, Sunday brunch, craft beer, and of course the greatest oysters on Earth are enough to keep my buzz going. Add to that fun a Bloody Mary contest.

The rules are simple. You must be 21 years of age. You must include Absolut Vodka and Zing Zang Bloody Mary mix provided by the Hangout. They will also have Crystal hot sauce and plenty of other ingredients on hand for you to make that special drink you crave on those mornings after.

Our would-be mixologists will be judged on flavor profile, creativity and presentation. This contest will fall on Nov. 7, the same day as the oyster cook-off, so the pressure is on.

Don’t forget admission into this festival is free to the public, but you must purchase “Tasting Tickets” in exchange for oysters, craft beer, wine, moonshine and champagne. Advance tickets are cheaper and a cool $25 will get you 15 tasting tickets. Visit www.hangoutcookoff.com for purchasing.

And while you’re at it, recycle!