annie chiu benefit / symon & barrett news

A couple newsworthy things from Joe Crea in this morning’s Plain Dealer. One, a benefit for Chef Annie Chiu of Sun Luck Garden, the absolutely fabulous Chinese restaurant in Cleveland Heights. The other, a new venture coming this fall from Chefs Mike Symon and Cory Barrett. And – it’s close to my house!

Benefit for Annie Chiu
One of our area’s most-respected and well-liked chefs is Annie Chiu, chef-owner of Sun Luck Garden in Cleveland Heights. Chiu underwent emergency heart surgery last week and though she’s feeling better — “at least from the neck up,” her son, Jeff, told restaurateur Sergio Abramof — the magnitude of the surgery will require that she close Sun Luck about two months. That can devastate a small business. So Abramof got together with several area restaurants to host “Takin’ It to the Streets for Annie Chiu” from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, July 28, at Sergio’s Sarava at Shaker Square.

The chefs amount to a cavalcade of several of the area’s most popular restaurants: Karen Small of Flying Fig; Doug Katz of Fire; Paul Minnillo of Baricelli Inn; Heather Haviland of Lucky’s; Jonathan Bennett of Moxie and Red the Steakhouse; Ryan Alabaugh of Sergio’s in University Circle; Scott and Brenda Kim of Sasa; Matt Harlan of Lolita; Eric Williams of Momocho; Ruth and Marc Levine of Bistro 185; and Rocco Whalen of Fahrenheit.

Others still are signing up. The organizers are accepting donations from purveyors, wine distributors and others to help the chefs produce small plates, host food stations and do some grilling. A cash bar and a selection of wines will be available, as well as a silent auction and live entertainment by the Joe Hunter Trio.

All proceeds from the $50-per-person admission will go to the Friends of Annie Fund — but only about 200 guests can be accommodated.

Symon / Barrett News
There will be a new patissiere at Eton Chagrin Boulevard in Woodmere this fall. And, yes, it will be a new Michael Symon enterprise. Bittersweet is currently slated for a Nov. 1 opening, Symon confirmed. And although it’s being opened in partnership with restaurateur Doug Petkovic, “it’s all about showcasing Cory Barrett’s ability. He’s such a huge talent. I don’t think anyone in the Midwest does as well as he does,” said Symon of the Lola Bistro pastry chef.

Barrett will be a partner in the enterprise, as well as oversee the cakes, pastries, coffee and signature chocolates (all made in-house) that will be sold at Bittersweet. The location will be inside the mall portion of Eton, near the Cold Stone Creamery entrance.

And speaking of Symon, get ready to tune in soon for his debut as host of “Dinner Impossible.”

“We’re all done taping this season of Dinner Impossible’ and Iron Chef,’ so life’s back to normal. You know — 80-hour weeks,” Symon said, tossing in a signature mad-man cackle.

Congratulations, Michael and Cory – very exciting news! I can tell you right now I will be a regular :)


  1. Anonymous
    Posted July 16, 2008 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    OMG! I cannot wait for Bittersweet to open. Close to my house and husband’s work as well. I’ll be a regular, too. Awesome!

  2. Anonymous
    Posted January 14, 2009 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Any news on the opening of Bittersweet. Haven’t seen any other news.