Local chef, author and culinary instructor Bev Shaffer, whose “Ask Bev” column is a fixture in The Plain Dealer, has published a book of more than 100 mouthwatering ways to make brownies.
“Brownies to Die For!” (Pelican Publishing Co.) is chock-full of scrumptious photos and charming asides, both of which help Shaffer’s goal of uncomplicating recipes so everyone feels confident heading to the kitchen.
In addition to watching for “Brownies to Die For!” at local bookstores this month, check out some of the book’s yummiest creations for sale at Mustard Seed Market and CafÃƒÂ© locations in Solon and Fairlawn, where Shaffer is director.
Ever wonder how restaurant employees spend their Monday nights off? Sergio Abramof, owner of Sergio’s in University Circle and Sergio’s Sarava in Shaker Square, is hoping those unoccupied managers, cooks, bartenders and servers will be joining him for a late dinner April 10. Sarava will be hosting a “Restaurant Workers Night Out” at 9 p.m., complete with a panel of judges to choose the wildest stories shared from inside the industry. For more information, call (216) 295-1200.
Aura Global Cuisine is offering a Lenten menu weekdays from 5 to 7 p.m. through April 14. For the fixed price of $25, patrons can choose from two appetizers and two fish-based entrÃƒÂ©es, then enjoy crÃƒÂ¨me brulÃƒÂ©e with fresh strawberries for dessert. 9200 Broadview Road, Broadview Heights, (440) 546-9940
April is Italian wine tasting month at Lockkeepers in Valley View. This month’s tastings include vino from the Veneto, Fruili and Alto Adige regions in northeast Italy on April 7; Piedmont in the northwest on April 21; and the Tuscan region of central Italy on April 28. Wine tastings are available from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on these days at a cost of $25, served with gourmet appetizers from chef Pamela Waterman. For reservations, call (216) 524-9404.
Cleveland is sharing some of its culinary genius with the rest of the country this spring, as several top local chefs stir up waves elsewhere. One Walnut chef Marlin Kaplan welcomed April from the 30th Annual Monterey Wine Festival, where he presented several cooking demonstrations. Meanwhile, chef Brandt Evans of Blue Canyon Kitchen * Tavern is working to open a second location in Missoula, Mont., while chef Michael Symon of Lolita and the on-hiatus Lola is creating an upscale Greek restaurant in New York City named Parea.
Mint CafÃƒÂ©, 1791 Coventry Road, (216) 320-9915; Sumo, 36365 Richmond Road, (216) 591-0888; Phnom Penh, 1929 W. 25th St., Cleveland; Cozumel Mexican Restaurant, 5555 Brecksville Road, Independence, (216) 447-1070
Frank & Pauly’s, 200 Public Square, Cleveland; Lion & Lamb, 30519 Pinetree Road, Pepper Pike