Culinary duels

We've lost count of the number of "Top Chef" seasons and spinoffs there have been, but the newest iteration sounds distinctly tempting. Eighteen fan faves (or fan loathes) will go mano-a-mano (or chefo-a-chefo) each week in Bravo's new "Top Chef Duels," which kicks off Aug. 6 with an episode starring the mostly lovable Richard Blais duking it out with the extreeeeemely high-strung Marcel Vigneron. Curtis Stone will host, Gail Simmons will preside over the judges' table, and the lineup of guest judges ranges from Pink and Shailene -- "Fault in Our Stars" and "Divergent" -- Woodley to the casts of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and "Grey's Anatomy."

They had us at Andy Samberg.

Pie in the sky

Three hundred airborne pizzas? Eleven-time world champion pizzaiolo Tony Gemignani, of Tony's Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco's North Beach, is celebrating his flagship restaurant's fifth birthday with what may turn out to be the world's largest simultaneous pizza toss. We'll have to wait for the Guinness Book ruling on the aerial pies, but the June 28 event is a philanthropic affair -- and Gemignani is a Bay Area treasure, who is putting all those pies in the sky to heartwarming use. The event is a fundraiser for San Francisco's Family House capital campaign, which will provide temporary lodging for families whose children are receiving critical care at the new UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Mission Bay. For details, go to http:// raisingdoughwithtonyg.com.

E-Cubanos

Jon Favreau's new foodie film, "Chef," made waves at the Tribeca Film Festival before opening in theaters nationwide last month. But that roaring that greeted each screening wasn't applause -- it was moviegoers' stomachs aching for those mouthwatering Mojo Pork Cubanos. Now the movie company and consulting chef Roy Choi (of Kogi Korean taco fame) have teamed up with BakeSpace.com on a free e-cookbook that includes six recipes -- hello, Cubanos! -- from the movie. Find "The Official 'Chef' the Film Cookbook: Recipes from El Jefe" at BakeSpace.com, under the Cookbook Shop tab.

-- Jackie Burrell, Staff