Kaldi's Coffee and Kakao Chocolate Nominated for the Good Food Awards

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Beans at Kaldi's Coffee. | Jon Gitchoff

Two local shops, Kaldi's Coffee (700 DeMun Avenue, Clayton; 314-727-9955) and Kakao Chocolate (2301 South Jefferson Avenue; 314-771-2310), have been named finalists for the 2015 Good Food Awards. The awards celebrate socially and environmentally conscious products that are (duh) also delicious. Judges selected 206 finalists from all across the country.

See also: #61: Pumpkin Maple Latte at Kaldi's Coffee

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Nick Miller Talks the Future of Bissinger's and the Caramel Room

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Treats from Bissinger's. | Laura Miller

Nick Miller, formerly of Harvest (1059 South Big Bend Boulevard Richmond Heights), was recently announced as the new chef at the Caramel Room (1600 North Broadway), Bissinger's new event space. We talked to Miller about the Bissinger's legacy and moving on after Harvest.

See also: Harvest Closes June 15 After 18 Years

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Kakao Chocolate Clayton is Now Open

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Kakao South City. | Laura Ann Miller

If you're a chocoholic, Clayton just got a little sweeter. The new Kakao Chocolate is now open. It's the third location for the St. Louis chocolatier, which first opened on South Jefferson Avenue in 2008 and later expanded to Maplewood. The new Kakao is located in the Centene building at 7700 Forsyth along with Niche and Pastaria.

See also: Kakao Chocolate Sets Up Shop in Clayton

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North County Native Lia Weber Wins TLC's Next Great Baker

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Buddy Valestro and Lia Weber. | Courtesy Lia Weber

Florissant residents Lia Weber and Al Watson were announced last night as the winner of season four of TLC's reality competition show Next Great Baker. We talked to Weber about how hard it was to keep the secret, the joy of winning and what's next on the horizon.

See also: Watch St. Louis Chefs Compete on the Next Great Baker Finale Tonight

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Sugarfire Smokehouse to Open Sugarfire Pie

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The "Crack Pie" at Sugarfire Smokehouse.

Mike Johnson of Sugarfire Smokehouse (9200 Olive Boulevard, Olivette; 314-997-5301) is fresh off his Top Chef win at last weekend's Ultimate Burger Challenge, but he isn't slowing down. The barbecue master has just announced he'll be opening Sugarfire Pie. Before you object, may we remind you of Johnson's "Crack Pie"?

See also: Sugarfire Smokehouse's Crack Pie: A Gooey, Buttery Treat Perfect For the Fourth of July

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The Darkness Debuts at La Patisserie Chouquette

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Not scary, but delicious. | Mabel Suen

La Patisserie Chouquette (1626 Tower Grove Avenue; 314-932-7935) releases its latest creation today: the Darkness. It's a flaky chocolate croissant made with dark chocolate dough, 72 percent chocolate butter and pink Himalayan sea salt. It was originally set to debut on Saturday, July 19, but owner and pastry chef jokes that she had to move it up a day due to death threats.

See also: La Patisserie Chouquette Crafts Couture Cake Toppers

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National Doughnut Day is Friday: Send a Done By Mail to Celebrate

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The "Bart's Revenge" doughnut. | Jon Gitchoff

We don't always celebrate fake holidays (OK, yes we do), but Friday is a doozy -- it's National Doughnut Day. Strange Donuts (2709 Sutton Boulevard, Maplewood; 314-932-5851) is throwing a party to celebrate. But if you can't make it, you can actually send a doughnut hole from Strange in the mail.

See also: Game of Dones: A Blind Taste Test of 6 Doughnuts Including Reigning Champ Pharaoh

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Jilly's Ice Cream Bar Opens Today

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Laura Miller

Jilly's Cupcake Bar has a new sibling: Jilly's Ice Cream Bar (8509 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-954-1334). The ice-cream shop opens today, May 30, with a grand opening celebration on Monday. Owner Jill Segal announced plans for the ice-cream bar back in September with the hopes of being open last winter.

See also: Jilly's Cupcakes Unveils Ice Cream Bar Plans

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La Patisserie Chouquette Crafts Couture Cake Toppers

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These are not real shoes. Seriously. | Nancy Stiles

Simone Faure at La Patisserie Chouquette (1626 Tower Grove Avenue; 314-932-7935) debuted her newest line of sweet creations on Wednesday and she has managed, once again, to top herself. The Spring/Summer 2014 Sweet Chic collection is a line of cake toppers make of sugar or chocolate that look like very convincing shoes.

See also: La Patisserie Chouquette's Eclairs: A "French Equivalent of Doughnuts"

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Ices Plain & Fancy to Cool Down Shaw Neighborhood

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The future home of Ices Plain & Fancy. | Google Street View

Move over, frozen custard: there's a new ice cream in St. Louis. Ices Plain & Fancy (2256 South 39th Street) will join the Shaw Neighborhood this summer. It's not your average dessert, though. The ice creams are made with liquid nitrogen.

"We use liquid nitrogen to make our ices, which gives it a really unique consistency and allows us a tremendous amount of freedom to explore and experiment with flavors and ingredients," partner Troika Brodsky tells us.

See also: 8 Best Ice Cream Spots in St. Louis

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