Everybody’s business

Missing meals
The mystery of the disappearance of the Butte Culinary Academy and Café on Humboldt Avenue has been solved.

Chef/co-owner Micheal Iles decided to shut down the business in favor of a return to teaching.

When Iles’ business partner, Robin Wallace, suffered unexpected health problems, Iles found himself in the position of running the restaurant solo. “I never planned on doing it alone,” he said, and it was just too much.

When he got an offer to work at The Grill teaching restaurant for the Regional Occupational Program, Iles said, “I decided to take the teaching job.”

Iles said it was “very disappointing” to give up the venture, but he hopes to do something like it again some day.

Cooking it up
If you know Chico chefs, you know they can get a bit competitive at times. They’ll have their chance to prove their mettle at an Iron Chef-type competition Aug. 14 at 7 p.m. at TJ Farms.

The event is sponsored by TJ Farms and A Friend of the Family Catering Company and will include a Farmers’ Market Dinner featuring local produce. Plus, drinks and a dessert buffet.

The Chico Gold Chef’s Competition will be judged by guests, who must be 21 and over and will pay $30 per ticket.

The Charlie Haynes Quartet will be there, and dancing is expected.

Tickets are available at the TJ Farms booth at the Saturday Farmers’ Market, the Togos and Baskin-Robbins stores in Chico and The French Gourmet Bakery. Chefs who want to compete can call 343-2294.

Now you know—maybe
I’m not a big fan of tricky, teasing marketing, but I have to admit it works. We’ve had a couple of inquiries from people wondering what those “E.L.I.’s Coming” and “E.L.I.’s Here” billboards are all about.

I couldn’t confirm this 100 percent, but one of our knowledgeable interns swears she heard it’s something to do with laser eye surgery.

Color me a G thang
Sometimes I see Aye Jay Moreno pushing a stroller around Chico with his two cute little kids and I think, “He sure doesn’t look like a gangsta badass.”

Apparently, law enforcement in South Carolina thinks differently.

Aye Jay is the guy who drew, published and marketed the Gangsta Rap Coloring Book, which has received rave reviews in venues all over the country.

According to the Free Times, which credits a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Columbia with the tip, state and local cops are “trying to buy up copies of a gang-themed coloring book in order to keep them off the streets.”

A sheriff’s representative acknowledged to the paper having heard of the Gangsta Rap Coloring Book but denied trying to keep it off shelves.

I chatted with Moreno as his kids played with blocks in the background. (Aye Jay to me: “I think it’s more funny than anything.” Aside to son: “That is a kitty cat.”)

Moreno, who racks up 63 cents for each copy sold, said his coloring book, which sold out its first printing in three months, is not intended for kids, so the cops’ reaction is “ridiculous.”

“All it does is help the book,” he said.