Tuffy Stone might need an agent. The pit master of champion barbecue team Cool Smoke and owner of Q Barbeque and A Sharper Palate just finished an eight-day filming session for a program set to air on CBS next month. It's called "The Ultimate Barbecue Showdown," and puts Stone against Neil Strawder from Bigmista's Barbecue, Bubba Latimer of Bub-Ba-Q, and Myron Mixon of Jack's Old South. This follows last year's TLC channel pit master series, which helped drive up Stone's screen cred while his barbecue was winning awards on the highly competitive circuit.
Filming took place just outside Reliant Stadium in Houston during the Final Four basketball championship, although Stone didn't get to see the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams play. He can't disclose what he cooked or how he competed, but acknowledges, "They had to pat my cowlick down," before he faced the cameras. "Just let me light my fire and get some food on, that's what brings me peace," the accidental star says.
Marshall Street Café and Jazz Bistro Reopened Jackson Ward hideaway with salmon, pork chops, spring rolls, pasta, fish and desserts in vintage setting with bar. Networking happy hours, live music, dinner Tuesday-Saturday. Sunday jazz brunch by reservation only. 23 W. Marshall St. 269-3537. marshallstreetcafe.com.
Parkside Café Tamales, meatloaf, daily steak, pasta, veg options, specialty desserts in cozy new cafe. Lunch and dinner daily, weekend brunch. 3514 Forest Hill Ave. 864-8888.
Franklin Inn Burgers, crab cakes, barbecue, steaks, sandwiches, salads and soup at renovated corner cafe with bar. Lunch and dinner daily. 800 N. Cleveland St. 358-5590.
The Mill on MacArthur All-day breakfast biscuits, burgers, thin-crust pizzas, sandwiches, salads, sweets in small cafe with beer, wine and delivery. Daily 10 a.m.-10 p.m. 4023 MacArthur Ave. 716-1196. themillrva.com.
Chicken Mania Peruvian rotisserie chicken, seviche, sandwiches, yucca fries, pasta and desserts in casual dining room. Lunch and dinner daily. 7524 Forest Hill Ave. 267-3340.
Crust & Cream Gyros, subs, halal meats, ice creams, desserts in small, counter-service cafe. Lunch and dinner daily, open till 11 p.m. except Sundays till 9 p.m. 4610 Forest Hill Ave. 230-5555.
Ettamae's Cafe Tasty, seasonal comfort foods and select wines and beers in small, two-level row house with balcony. Retro feel, friendly service. Lunch and dinner Tuesday-Saturday, weekend brunch. 522 N. 2nd St. 888-8058. ettamaescafe.com.
Buffington & Wine's Pies, Fries and Franks Specialty pizzas, onion rings and fries, beer-battered franks, fried Twinkies in corner, neighborhood spot. Open daily 11 a.m.-10 p.m. 2824 E. Broad St. 864-2835.
The show airs May 28, and will be the first time competition barbecue is featured on major network television. Next up, expansion plans for Stone's businesses and a return to Memphis, Tenn., for another championship. "I could work 18 hours a day and never be caught up," he says, speaking by phone on the hunt for a crayfish lunch in the bayous of Louisiana.
Food in Petersburg: One of Petersburg's most-anticipated food events takes place April 16 from 1-4 p.m. when the sixth annual International Food Tasting and silent auction return to the Petersburg Regional Art Center, 132 N. Sycamore St. The women's committee for the Petersburg Symphony Orchestra stages the event, which includes local restaurant fare, live music and a gathering of symphony supporters. Tickets are $30, available at Palmore Decorating Center or the Globe, both on Sycamore Street.