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Changes Coming to B³, IACP Cookbook Finalists, More!

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THE MISSION - (Burgers, Bottles, Bites) is going to close for a little bit at the end of the month as owner Johnny Gato rearranges. He's taking most of the burgers off the menu -- we're assuming the one Birdsall called "damn good" will stay on -- and turning it into more of a "wine bar" menu. Sounds as if everything else will be about the same, save for some more beer and wine pairing dinners. There's also talk of a possible Oakland location, but that sounds far off. [GrubStreet]

AWARDS SEASON - The International Association of Culinary Professionals released the finalists for its 2011 Cookbook Awards today and several local authors made the cut: Christine Hanna's The Winemaker Cooks, Alice Medrich's enticingly titled Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-your-Mouth Cookies, Michael Chiarello's Michael Chiarello's Bottega, Hank Shaw's Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, My Calabria from Rosetta Constantino and Janet Fletcher and The Wild Table from Connie Green and Sara P. Scott. [EaterWire]

WINE COUNTRY - étoile at Domain Chandon writes that the very-pregnant Natalie Portman was in for lunch last Thursday. In celebration of her recent Oscar win for Black Swan, they're now serving a special cocktail called the Chandon Hibiscus Royale and an alcohol-free version called The Swan. Cute? [EaterWire]

CUPCAKE WARS - The winners of the Bay Area Cupcake challenge we mentioned last week have been announced. That Takes The Cake's red velvet cupcake took home the "Best Traditional" prize, "Best Original" went to the salted caramel banana cream pie cupcake from Kingdom Cake and Sift Cupcake's pink champagne won "Best Overall". [EaterWire]

[Photo: Yelp/ameer n.]

1152 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA