So long, Samurai J

It was fun while it lasted, and it lasted seven delightful years. It was where the cool kids hung out and the not so cool grabbed a quick bite. I am sad to report the good people of Samurai J Downtown Sushi Bar have closed the doors. Samurai J faithfully served the corner of Bienville Square at Dauphin and Conception and had its share of loyal fans. Now downtowners will have to hoof it several blocks to Liquid for the closest sushi. The Daphne location is still in business, but we definitely need more Asian cuisine downtown. Get on it restaurateurs!

Fairhope Inn hosts Galatoire’s Sichel demonstration

Unless you have been under a culinary rock for the past 105 years, you should know about Galatoire’s. The New Orleans James Beard winner is still giving street cred to up-and-coming chefs who work through the ranks of their kitchen, and the latest star from Galatoire’s is Executive Chef Michael Sichel.

Sichel, who was recently on Bravo Channel’s Top Chef New Orleans, is making his way to the Fairhope Colony for a cooking demonstration and dinner at the legendary Fairhope Inn. Make reservations today for the Feb. 6 event. The price per person is $80 and requires a credit card reservation. I will say the menu looks amazing. Every course is right up my alley. It’s like Galatoire’s is coming to our back yard.

Call (251) 928-6226 for reservations to this event. Fairhope Inn is located at 63 S. Church St.

Heroes’ menu expansion

When was the last menu change at Heroes? Does it ever change? I think of Heroes as the “go with what got you there” style of menu. Don’t panic. I don’t think anything has changed, but we are hoping for a new item.

The latest addition is being served as a Friday special and during Senior Bowl week, but I’m sure if enough people push for it on social media Rasp and company will have to fork over the cash for a menu reprint. Fried oyster po-boy doesn’t sound like much. Wait until you try one. The bread comes from a bakery in Fairhope. It’s kind of a big deal. Now if I could just talk them into a muffaletta and a Ralph. Let them know what you think.

Mobile’s ACS Chili Cook-off needing volunteers

Here’s to hoping this year’s American Cancer Society’s Chili Cook-off is bigger than ever. The event turns 25 this year and has grown to the point that it is moving to The Grounds (as in fairgrounds). But in order for this fantastic event to happen they must have people volunteer. If you have it in your heart to help a worthy cause check them out on the Facebook and login to their volunteerspot.com account.

March 8, 2014 is the actual event date but things need to be stitched up ahead of time. Barring a fire, flood or famine I will be there.

Page and Palette hosts Bobby Deen’s book tour kickoff

It was only a couple of months ago when we interviewed Jamie Deen. Now the other son with the famous mother is kicking off his latest book tour in Fairhope. Bobby Deen has made it his priority to bring delicious meals to your table that stem from much healthier recipes than his pedigree suggests.

Page and Palette is hosting this launch of his latest book “Bobby Deen’s Everyday Eats: 120 All New Recipes under 350 Calories Under 30 Minutes,” and it sounds to me it will be quite the party. Plan on this Valentine themed event beginning at 6 p.m. February 11. It’s all happening at The Venue, a gorgeous facility at 105 S. Section St.
Aside from the book signing and meet and greet attendees will be treated to samples of the recipes from “Everyday Eats” and a cash bar plus a photo booth will be available. Tickets are only $15 and include a $5 coupon toward the book. Valentine couples will be able to get a $10 coupon toward one book.

Speaking of the book, the healthier themed work has recipes that do not skimp on flavor. A preview revealed some amazing ideas such as scallops and grits, lightened up beer cheese soup, honey roasted green beans with chili sauce, and peachy pulled barbecue chicken. There is also a section for a week-long meal plan that keeps you under 1,500 calories per day as well as tips on how to eat healthier in restaurants. This is sure to be a hit as a follow up to his New York Times Bestseller “From Mama’s Table to Mine,” so get your copy as soon as you can.

For tickets and more information call Page and Palette at (251) 928-5295 or visit www.pageandpalette.com.

Valentines and Mardi Gras will be here before you know it. You know what to do with last year’s beads and leftover Christmas candy. Recycle!