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Chicago Chef Knocked Out of Food Network Competition

Plus, VU Rooftop Bar has new management

Competitor Julia Helton with host Anne Burrell, as seen on Vegas Chef Prizefight, Season 1.
Chef Julia Helton competes on Vegas Chef Prizefight with judge Anne Burrell.
Food Network [Official Photo]
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

Chicago chef knocked out of Vegas Chef Prizefight

Julia Helton’s time on Food Network’s Vegas Chef Prizefight is over. Helton (Angelo’s Wine Bar, Village Tap) was eliminated on the second week of the reality TV show which aired Thursday. Helton started on rocky terrain after judges called her out in the show’s first episode and warned her she needed to improve. On Thursday, her pork fajitas were dry thanks to an oven mishap. Helton would reveal that she is a cancer survivor and that the disease was in remission: “I’m upset i just got cut, I didn’t want to go home. I’m very tenacious and I know that. I mean cancer came for me and it didn’t take me.” She resolved to return to Chicago. A second Chicago chef, Lamar Moore (Swill Inn, Currency Exchange Cafe), continued to cruise. He made an open-faced burger with a fried macaroni and cheese bun. Guy Fieri’s son, Hunter, was a guest judge and said he wanted more Mexican flavor so it could be served at Guy Fieri’s El Burro Borracho. Judge Anne Burrell said the dish needed a complement, cringingly asking Moore to plate the dish with “an amigo.”

New operator takes over VU Rooftop Bar

Last week, Fifty/50 Restaurant Group, which includes Utopian Tailgate, Roots Pizza, and Steadfast, took over operations at VU Rooftop Bar near McCormick Place. Fifty/50, which started as a Wicker Park sports bar, now has four rooftop spots (Apogee, Utopian Tailgate, Homestead on the Roof). The group will add another when Roots opens a new location in July at 744 S. Dearborn Street in South Loop. Fifty/50 took over operations at VU on March 9 and have retained most of the employees from previous management. In the future, customers will see menu changes: “In the short term, expect light renovations before the summer season fully kicks off for VU and its rooftop patio,” a statement from Fifty/50 co-owners Greg Mohr and Scott Weiner read.

Pizza and wine pop-up comes to Soho House

Anthony Scardino, the pizza consultant known as Professor Pizza, and Dustin Musgrave, executive chef of at Soho House and former executive chef at Hogsalt (Au Cheval, Bavette’s), are teaming up Friday night for a pizza and wine dinner at Soho House Chicago in West Loop. The event runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. For $30, customers get two glasses of natural wine and a pizza from three selections: lasagna pizza (mozzarella, bolognese, ricotta chili, garlic crack, micro mint), potato gratin (mozzarella, fontina béchamel, fried rosemary oil), and combo/hot/dipped (Italian beef, Calabrian sausage, giardiniera, “au” jus).

Art of Dosa has launched breakfast inside Revival Food Hall

South Indian food stall Art of Dosa is now open in the mornings serving breakfast at Revival Food Hall in the Loop. Indian breakfast is seldom seen in downtown Chicago and the menu includes dosa wraps using vegan ingredients such as a mung bean scramble with black gunpowder. Customers could add Beyond beef crumble. There’s also a traditional rava dosa with sambar. Owner Ravi Nagubadi hopes to drum up morning business and introduce Chicagoans to the restaurant’s breakfast options. It’s served from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on weekdays.

VU Rooftop Bar

133 East Cermak Road, , IL 60616 (312) 528-0191 Visit Website

Soho House Chicago

113-125 North Green Street, , IL 60607 (312) 521-8000 Visit Website

Revival Food Hall

125 South Clark Street, , IL 60603 (312) 278-3040 Visit Website