There are many amenities that make life at The Gatesworth attractive, not least of which is the food. “We want nothing but the best for our residents, and if they choose to have their meals in our dining room, they’ll be treated to the very best,” says Bob Leonard, Gatesworth director of operations.
The very best indeed. Gatesworth executive chef Brian Hardy was recently named 2010 Chef of the Year by the American Culinary Federation Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis, and line cook Michelle Allender was named 2010 Junior Chef of the Year in the same competition. “It was quite an honor to have two Gatesworth chefs recognized in such a way,” says Leonard. “But it doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Since Brian joined our team in 2001, he has taken our offerings to a whole new level.”
Hardy, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, gained most of his professional experience in private clubs. “When you work in a private club versus a restaurant, you get to know diners over time,” says Hardy. “That’s what I love about working here—I see the same people day in and day out, and I really get to build relationships with them,” he says. “I know what residents like, what they don’t like, and what their dietary needs are. That means that I get use my imagination in coming up with dishes they’ll enjoy.”
Hardy oversees two kitchens, three restaurants, and various private dining venues, all while managing 60 employees. Since starting at The Gatesworth, he has begun a Chef Apprenticeship Program that has trained more than 12 junior chefs. “It has been such an asset to our operation,” says Hardy. “These individuals come to The Gatesworth with a whole different level of dedication, because what they learn here will help shape their careers—it’s more than just a job.”
Leonard says it was important from the beginning that Gatesworth residents have wonderful dining opportunities. “Like everything else, we wanted the dining here to feel like a resort, because eating in one of our restaurants is a choice for our residents, not a requirement,” Leonard says. “I hear all the time when people move in that their plan is to live here but not to eat here. Then they try it and it becomes their favorite place in town.”
Led by award-winning executive chef Brian Hardy—recently named 2010 Chef of the Year by the American Culinary Federation Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis—The Gatesworth’s fine-dining rivals St. Louis’ best restaurants. For more information, call 993-0111 or visit www.thegatesworth.com.