Local notables to be honored at annual awards show on April 17. Get tickets to enjoy a splendid dinner with Portland's culinary luminaries.

Food, food and more great food seems to be on our minds these days.

Lake Oswego is getting antsy for the openings of several new restaurants in the downtown area, and diners are enjoying sampling the foods at about 100 restaurants participating in Portland Dining Month — all March long you can treat yourself to fine dining experiences for just $33 for a three-course meal.

And don't forget how important it is to support our local restaurants and eateries. I guess the message is: Dine out often.

You might want to make note of the list of StarChefs 2018 Portland Rising Star Award winners.

These culinary professionals will be honored at an awards ceremony and tasting gala April 17.

StarChef, a restaurant industry magazine, announced its 2018 class of Portland Rising Stars last week.

The quarterly awards honor up-and-coming chefs and hospitality professionals who are at the forefront of the contemporary American dining scene. The StarChefs editorial team met with more than 125 chefs, pastry chefs, bartenders, sommeliers and artisans in Portland.

The Rising Star Awards Ceremony will be held at Castaway, 1900 N.W. 18th Ave. in Portland on Tuesday, April 17.

Hey foodies, you are cordially invited to attend the event. An all-inclusive general admission ticket is $85 and VIP tickets are $125, which include a private reception with Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne and Taylor Shellfish oyster bar. The tickets can be purchased online on Eventbrite.

The categories include Chefs, Community Chef, Pastry Chef, Bartenders, Artisans, Restaurateurs and Sommeliers.

Nominated chefs include Maya Lovelace from Yonder; Katy Millard from Coquine; Annie Morales from Kachka; Trent Pierce from Roe; Justin Woodward from Castagna; Sam Smith from Tusk.

SUBMITTED PHOTOS: STARCHEFS - Maya Lovelace from Yonder

 Katy Millard from Coquine

 Annie Morales from Kachka

Justin Woodward from Castagna

Trent Pierce from Roe.

Sam Smith from Tusk

Nominated bartenders include Adam Robinson from Deadshot; Angel Teta from Ataula.

Artisan nominees include Brewer Conrad Andrus from Culmination; Chocolate Maker Sebastian Cisneros from Cocanú Chocolate; Roaster Angel Medina from Smalltime Roasters; Charcutier Chef George Kaden from Grand Army Tavern.

Sommeliers nominated include Brent Braun from Castagna; Ksandek Podbielski from Coquine.

Remember this list focuses strictly on Portland culinary rising stars. Give a shout out to your local favorites this week and let them know how much you enjoy spending time and dining with them.

Big news from Nicoletta's Table is that it is now open to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

General Manager Ameer Ghassemi and Bar Manager Nick West have developed a whole new line of craft cocktails, featuring Italian liquors. Try something refreshing like the Drunken Friar, effervescent like a blood orange mimosa or something classy like their twist on a Manhattan. Wines, ciders and draft and bottled beers are also available, all of which will pair nicely with a pizza from their wood-fired oven, or other snacks or desserts.

Nicoletta's Table is location at 333 S. State St. suite M in Lake Oswego. Liane Cabot, the catering and special event manager at Nicoletta's says they are aiming to "bring nightlife back to LO, one great martini at a time!"

Nicoletta's shares the recipe for their new concoction, the Drunken Friar.

Bon Appetit! Make eating an adventure!

The Drunken Friar

Ameer says the drink is so named because the liquors are made by monks.

Makes 1 cocktail

1.5 ounces Hendricks gin

.75 ounces Aperol

.3 ounce Yellow Chartreuse

.25 ounce orange juice

.25 ounce lemon juice

.5 ounce honey simple

3 dashes Angostura

Stir all ingredients, pour into rocks glass with large ice cube

Garnish with orange peel

Recipe courtesy of Nicoletta's Table.

Randall welcomes your food questions and research suggestions. She can be reached at 503-636-1281 ext. 100 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. She is the author of "Willamette Valley Wineries," a pictorial history of the Willamette Valley wine industry. Learn more at Follow her on Twitter @barbrandallfood.

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