—One of Chicago's top pastry chefs is returning to the kitchen. Dana Cree, who exited Blackbird and Avec in July 2015 to work with 1871 Dairy on her own line of retail ice cream, is heading back to One Off Hospitality to head up the sweets programs at Paul Kahan's Publican wing (The Publican, Publican Quality Meats, Publican Tavern at O'Hare, and the forthcoming Wicker Park project in the former Francesca's Forno space), the Tribune reports.
—Fast food protests courtesy of the Fight For 15 campaign hit at least two Chicago McDonald's yesterday. In These Times reports that around 100 people gathered outside a South Shore location yesterday early evening, while another group protested outside the Rock N' Roll McDonald's in River North around the same time, closing both Ohio and Ontario Streets between Clark and LaSalle. The protests were part of the group's international campaign.
—The new Bub City Rosemont location will start serving the same weekend brunch tomorrow that's popular at the River North location, including a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, cinnamon sticky buns, biscuit sandwiches and chicken and waffles.
—It turns out that acclaimed longtime local chef Michael Taus is no longer involved in the bar he opened in River West, Black Iron Tavern—and he hasn't been for nearly six months. Taus says he exited in November, that it "wasn't a good fit," and that he "wishes them well." The establishment appears to still be open.
—NewCity released its annual "Big Heat" yesterday, a list of the top 50 people in the Chicago food and drink scene. Iliana Regan, Curtis Duffy, Stephanie Izard, Rick Bayless and Paul Kahan top this year's list.
—Farm Bar, the Lakeview expansion of Farmhouse, suffered a robbery after service last Friday night, Crime in Wrigleyville and Boystown reports. No one was hurt but the establishment reportedly was robbed of cash and laptop.