Overheard on the restaurant scene: This week’s food and drink news

Richard Bean. Photo: Ashley Twiggs Richard Bean. Photo: Ashley Twiggs

Several top local restaurants are joining forces this month to honor a pioneer of the local food movement. Richard Bean, of Double H Farm, passed away late last year, and his loss has been felt throughout the food community. Local author Jenny Gardiner has organized a delicious way to celebrate Bean’s life. From January 18-25, chefs at restaurants like The Ivy Inn, Maya, Mas, Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie, tavola, and several others will each create a special dish in Bean’s honor and add it to their menu. Details about all of the participating restaurants and dishes are available at www.charlottesville29.com/bean.

If pizza night is a staple in your household, but you’re getting tired of the same old delivery spots, consider letting Blue Ridge Pizza Company deliver a stack of ready-to-use pizza crusts to your door so you can make your own. For $100 including shipping, you can join the Crust Club and receive three wood-fired “finish at home” crusts each month for six months. Check out www.blueridgepizza.com/store for more information.

Next Saturday, try your hand at preparing classic Bengali-Indian cuisine while also fundraising for a local nonprofit. The Hope Community Center is partnering with local cooking demonstration group Cooking with Mahabuba to host a class at 11am on Saturday, January 18, to benefit after-school and community programs in the area. Dishes will include Bengali-style chicken kabob, chickpea curry, and rice with peas and carrots. Registration is $20 per person, and the class will be held in The Hope Community Center at 341 11th St. NW. Space is limited to 10 participants. To learn more, visit Cooking with Mahabuba’s Facebook page.

One of our own is making it big in the national food and drink scene. Cocktail enthusiast Tyler Hudgens, a protégé of Nick Crutchfield from Commonwealth Restaurant & Skybar, recently announced her booking for the 2014 Atlanta Food and Wine Festival. The May 29-June 1 festival features chefs and mixologists from across the country, and Hudgens will present a seminar on batching cocktails.

It’s that time of the year again! Restaurant Week is just around the corner, and more than 30 local spots are participating, so go ahead and start making your plans. From Sunday, January 26 to Saturday, February 1, restaurants ranging from old-timers like Old Mill Room at the Boar’s Head Inn and Horse & Hound to newbies like Pasture and Taste of India will offer three-course meals at a fixed price of either $16, $26, or $36. Plus, $1 of every meal will go to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, which works with several local partners to fight hunger in Central Virginia. With every donation, the food bank will be able to provide four meals to the needy. Don’t forget to pick up a copy of C-VILLE next week for the full preview and menus for each restaurant, and be sure to call ahead for reservations. For more information, check out www.charlottesvillerestaurantweek.com.

We’re always keeping our eyes and ears out for the latest news on Charlottesville’s food and drink scene, so pick up a paper and check c-ville.com/living each week for the latest Small Bites. Have a scoop for Small Bites? E-mail us at bites@c-ville.com.