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It's time once again for the James Beard Foundation Awards. The annual ‘Oscars’ of the culinary world recently announced its list of semi-finalists, and St. Louis is represented in a big way. Chefs GERARD CRAFT (Niche); KEVIN WILLMANN (Farmhaus); KEVIN NASHAN (Sidney Street Cafe); JOSH GALLIANO (The Libertine); and BEN POREMBA (Elaia) all are in the running for the title of Best Chef: Midwest. Chef RICK LEWIS of Quincy Street Bistro has been tapped as a contender for Rising Star Chef of the Year, and Taste in the CWE has been nominated for Outstanding Bar Program. Finalists for the awards will be announced on March 18, in Chicago, and the winners will be revealed in NYC in May. Congrats to all, good luck and thanks for representing St. Louis' culinary scene so well!
Folks with a sweet tooth in West County now have easier access to award-winning cupcakes. The Cup’s newest shop is now open for business in Chesterfield at 1590 Clarkson Road, between Talbots and Chico’s. The Chesterfield location offers The Cup’s signature cupcakes, as well as sugar cookies, cakewiches, Kaldi’s coffee beverages and gelato. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The culinary scene in St. Louis continues to flourish, and 2013 was an especially exciting year for diners and drinkers and those who serve them. Here are just a few of the notable events in the past 12 months:
Congratulations to the folks at Sidney Street Cafe, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary earlier this month. To commemorate the milestone, chef KEVIN NASHAN and his kitchen staff will be partnering with 10 chefs from St. Louis and beyond for a one-of-a-kind dining experience early next year. The roster of chefs is a veritable culinary who's who, and includes GERARD CRAFT of Niche Restaurant Group, KEVIN WILLMANN of Farmhaus and JOSH GALLIANO of The Libertine. The event will be held at Sidney Street Cafe on Jan. 20, with passed apps and cocktails being served beginning at 6:30 p.m. and dinner kicking off at 7:30 p.m. Cost is $195 per person. For the full chef roster and to purchase tickets, go online at brownpapertickets.com.
Get your appetites ready, because next week is the ninth annual Downtown Restaurant Week in the Lou. From Monday, Aug. 19, through Sunday, Aug. 25, enjoy a special three-course menu for $25 at 27 different eating and drinking establishments in the heart of the city. Get the whole rundown of participating venues at downtownrestaurantweek.net.
Nothing beats the summertime sun better than a frozen treat. But don't just settle for the first thing you pull out of the freezer case at the grocer. There are several local places serving up some unique and delicious variations.
On July 15, chef KEVIN NASHAN will be hosting a benefit dinner at his Sidney Street Cafe to benefit Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign, a national initiative to end childhood hunger. The dinner will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. and features an impressive line-up of local and regional chefs, including GERARD CRAFT of Craft Restaurants Ltd.; KEVIN WILLMANN of Farmhaus; Top Chef winner STEPHANIE IZARD of Chicago's Girl & Goat; JASON VINCENT of Nightwood in Chicago; and MICHAEL PALEY from Metropole in Cincinnati. Tickets are $150 and are available online at ce.strength.org.
St. Louis' food culture will be recognized on the national stage this summer, thanks to Cochon 555, a premier culinary event that will bring together some of the area's very best chefs to see just what they can create with the pig.
Lots of events on the books now that the weather has (hopefully) come around:
Kevin Nashan, Fabrizio Schenardi, Craft Restaurant Group's Adam Altnether, Gerard Craft
Chef Gerard Craft is a constant fixture in the local—and now, national—food scene with his frequent culinary accolades; and maybe most notably with the recent opening of his latest eatery, Pastaria, in Clayton, and the relocation of his flagship restaurant Niche right next door, which we visited recently. To say it was an over-the-top culinary experience would be a gross understatement.
Chill Cool Frozen Yogurt in Clayton will be celebrating its third anniversary on Friday, April 19. At 3:30 p.m. that day, Fredbird will make an appearance to hand out limited-edition Chill batting-helmet bowls with frozen yogurt purchases. The store also will present its third annual donation to Friends of Kids With Cancer during the celebration. By the way, Chill has some new spring flavors on the menu: Root Beer Float, Mango Sorbet and Pina Colada.
You voted, we listened! Ladue News readers know what they like; and with this year's Platinum List, you've made your voices heard. This list compiles the best of St. Louis.
Next stop, Clayton! STL Culinary Tours has added Clayton to its growing list of neighborhood-centric foodie excursions. On Saturday, March 9, the company will conduct a tour of some of Clayton's finest eateries. The tour will start at Bar Les Freres and will traverse the neighborhood, stopping at Extra Virgin, Oceano Bistro, Little Country Gentlemen and end up at I Fratellini. For more info and to purchase tickets, go online at StlCulinaryTours.com.
Gerard Craft's restaurants have been all over the local and national press of late, what with the opening of Pastaria in Clayton, the relocation of flagship Niche, the impending departure of Ted Kilgore from Taste, and multiple appearances on all manner of 'Best Of' lists. While all of this has been going on, Brasserie by Niche has been rolling along under the radar a bit, steadily putting out its signature quality, affordable rustic French fare with very little fanfare. We made a return trip to this CWE favorite recently to refresh our memory of this gem.
The past year has been a busy one for the St. Louis culinary scene. Here are a few of the highlights from 2012:
Bogart's Smokehouse in Soulard has garnered a spot in Zagat's 2013 America's Top Restaurants guide. Zagat's also named its top 10 STL restaurants: Acero; Anthony's; Blues City Deli; Bogart's Smokehouse; Citizen Kane's; Niche; Pappy's Smokehouse; Sidney Street Cafe; The Crossing; and Tony's.
Chef Gerard Craft has made an indelible impact on the St. Louis dining scene since opening his first restaurant, Niche, in Benton Park some eight years ago.
The new location of chef GERARD CRAFT's flagship restaurant, Niche, officially opened its doors to the public earlier this month. The restaurant is in the Centene Plaza Building in Clayton, next door to Craft's newest concept, Pastaria, which opened in September. Niche's former home on Sidney Street in Benton Park will now serve as Craft's test kitchen for culinary research and development.
The next time you’re in downtown Clayton on Forsyth Boulevard, you may see the side of a building that looks like it’s moving, wafting or rolling in a gentle breeze. What you are seeing actually is a giant work of art that covers a huge section of the new headquarters for the Centene Corporation.
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis has named MELISSA LEE as its new executive chef. Lee has been with the company since 2004. She replaces chef AZHAR MOHAMMAD, who is now at The Ritz-Carlton in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Tucci & Fresta’s in Clayton, which moved into the old Portabella space at 15 N. Central Ave. last year, has changed monikers. It’s now another The Pasta House Co.