If the fusion movement had to elect a chef representative, chef Marcus Samuelsson would be on the short list. Hear him discuss his latest cookbook, “The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem,” and his inspirations during Harvesters Community Food Network’s Food4Thought: An Evening With Marcus Samuelsson. The Saturday night conversation, presented with Rainy Day Books, is at 6:30 p.m. Saturday night at the Unity Temple on the Plaza (707 West 47th Street). Tickets, which include a copy of Samuelsson’s cookbook, are $10. The doors open at 5:30 p.m.
This is the weekend when you say you’re buying gifts for other people, but you can just go ahead and buy a few things for yourself. The Mid-Continent Public Library is hosting a Local Author Fair at the Woodneath Library Center (8900 N Flintlock Road) on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meet Flatland contributors Jonathan Bender and Pete Dulin, who will be among the 30 authors in attendance. The Friends of the Kansas City Public Library are holding their 10th annual pre-owned cookbook sale at the Plaza branch (4801 Main Street) on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Lifted Spirits Distillery (1734 Cherry Street) is having its grand opening in the Crossroads tonight from 5 to 11 p.m. They’ll have their vodka and gin available, as well as infused spirits behind the bar.
You’ve got a host of new dining options. The Summit Grill & Bar opened Tuesday in the former 75th Street Brewery space at 520 W 75th Street. Aep, serving Thai street food in a sit-down restaurant, opened Thursday in the former Thomas space at 1815 W 39th Street. [Read the Flatland story and check out chef Jakob Polaco’s recipe for Forest Mushroom Pad See Ew here.] Stock Hill — a new steakhouse from Bread & Butter Concepts — also opened Thursday at 4800 Main Street. The executive chef is Joe West, formerly of Bluestem. The Plaza steakhouse in the Board of Trade Building has dry-aged steaks, rack of lamb, and wood-fired oysters. Bring an awl.
The Shatto Milk Company’s Holiday Open House is Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Osborn dairy will have samples at the milk bar, as well as the chance to take your picture with a baby calf. That’s not a typo.
Flying Saucer Kansas City (101 East 13th Street) is hosting its 2016 Beerknurd Appreciation Party from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. That means special tappings on the hour, including Mikkeller Santa’s Little Helper (aged in Grand Marnier barrels) at noon, and New Holland Coconut Rum Dragon’s Milk at 2 p.m. Flying Saucer asks for canned goods or donations for Harvesters. [Check out, On Tap, our weekly beer calendar with The Pitch, here.]
Who doesn’t want to have Brunch with Santa? The Power & Light District is holding a brunch with St. Nick from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Gallery Event Space (61 East 14th Street). There will be a puppet show, cookie decorating, and photos with the big guy. Tickets are $12 for kids and $35 for adults.
— Jonathan Bender writes about food trends and is the author of “Cookies & Beer” and “Stock, Broth & Bowl.” Follow him on Twitter @jonathanbender.