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Extra Sauce: Redefining pie a la mode with ice cream pies

Monday, August 25th, 2014


{I Scream Cakes owner Kerry Soraci}


I Scream Cakes owner Kerry Soraci is well known for imaginative ice cream cakes crafted in her brightly colored Cherokee Street shop. However, she’s recently gotten into the pie game, creating ice cream pies with a rotating cast of traditional and off-the-wall ice cream flavors, ganaches and toppings (almost all of which are gluten-free). Orange-habenero ice cream hiding a caramel-white chocolate ganache topped with chocolate-covered pralines, anyone?

Since August is all about pies here at Sauce, we asked Soraci to give us the scoop on her ice cream pies and share a recipe straight from I Scream Cakes’ kitchens.

Why did you decide to make ice cream pies in addition to your cakes?
I grew up working at Baskin-Robbins when I was a kid, and they had ice cream pies. I thought they were a nice option because it can be a little cheaper than a cake. It’s also more of a cookie than it is a cake, so even though they’re similar, they’re completely different.

What is the best crust for an ice cream pie?
I think it depends on the kind of ice cream and also personal preference. I do like the crushed up chocolate cookie crust, but we haven’t used it yet because of the gluten-free concerns. I really love our almond cookie crust. It’s nice and soft, it’s easy to make gluten-free and it … enhances a lot of our flavors.

Why cookies?
The cookie, as long as it doesn’t get baked too long, stays nice, soft and chewy when it’s frozen. It’s also a matter of balancing all the ice cream time and the baking time. We use (next-door neighbor) Black Bear Bakery’s oven, so we don’t bake a lot. It’s more focus on the ice cream, so it’s easier … to use the cookies as the pie crusts.

Have you ever made a pretzel crust?
No … now that you say that, it’s a really good idea!

What flavors of ice cream pie do you offer?
Right now, our seasonal pie is the Italian almond cookie crust with a layer of lavender-passion fruit swirl and blueberry cheesecake ice cream with a cream cheese icing. (But) I’m always making something different.

What do you top your pies with?
Either a chocolate ganache or a white chocolate ganache. We use Kakao’s burnt caramel sauce … for a caramel ganache. Cream cheese icing, maybe some fruits.

Describe how you make an ice cream pie.
We soften (our ice cream), spread it, and pretty much throw it in the freezer. After an hour or two, after it’s set, then we put a topping on it. The topping not only serves as an extra flavor and extra element, but it also is a good sealer so the ice cream isn’t exposed to air, so it stays fresher and doesn’t get freezer burn. Especially the ganaches – they kind of act like a magic shell.

Any tips for making an ice cream pie at home?
I like the crust to be frozen. I let (the ice cream) sit no more than five minutes to get it soft, then I squish it and press it into the corners so it’s all in there and smooth it out. But you don’t want it to get too melted because melted ice cream, when it refreezes, is icy and not a very good texture. You just want it to be soft enough to spread, smooth it out, and put it in the freezer.

I want the crust to be as close to the temperature of the ice cream as possible so you don’t get that icy layer of (refrozen) melted ice cream at the bottom. Then I do freeze the ice cream for an hour or two before putting the topping on for the same exact reason … The ice cream does need to be cold, so when the ganache, which is slightly warmer than room temperature hits, it … almost immediately hardens. That hardening will then also make the ganache stick to the ice cream so that it can be spread.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, can you make an ice cream pie with store-bought ice cream?
Absolutely. (Just use) the ones with the (purest), natural ingredients.

Any other helpful advice for home cooks?
Just play around! If you’re a little nervous at first, start out with everything store-bought. After that, bake your own cookies and make your own cookie crust … Just let the chewy cookies sit out, so they dry out and put them in a food processor with a little bit of melted butter. You can press that into the bottom of a pie pan and then let that freeze.

So do you prefer ice cream pie to regular pie?
No … I love pie, period. I really love strawberry-rhubarb pie; I love fruit pies.

And would you eat that a la mode?
Hell, yeah!


Salted Caramel Chocolate Pie
Courtesy of I Scream Cakes’ Kerry Soraci
Makes 2 9-inch pies

For the ice cream:
3 eggs
¾ cups sugar
1¾ cups whole milk
2¼ cups cream
3 oz. 100-percent cacao baking chocolate, chopped
1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
½ tsp. vanilla extract

For the Italian almond cookie crust:
2¾ cups raw almonds
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. gluten-free or regular cake flour
¼ tsp. kosher salt
½ cup egg whites (3 reserved egg whites plus 1 more)
½ Tbsp. almond extract

For the caramel-white chocolate ganache:
¼ cup cream
4 oz. high-quality white chocolate*, chopped
1 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup room-temperature caramel sauce
Coarse sea salt to finish

Chocolate Ice Cream
• Separate the eggs, reserving the whites for the cookie crust. Use a stand mixer to beat the yolks on high speed until pale, about 2 minutes. With the stand mixer running, beat in the sugar. Turn off the mixer and stir in the milk and cream.
• Pour the custard mixture into a large saucepot and warm over medium heat, stirring until it reaches 185 degrees. The custard should coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat.
• Add the chocolate, cocoa powder and vanilla to the warm custard and let it sit to melt slightly. Use a stick blender to blend until smooth. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours.
• Pour the chilled custard into the ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Makes 1½ quarts. Ice cream can be made 1 day ahead.

Italian Almond Cookie Crust
• Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
• In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the almonds and sugar together until roughly ground. Pour the almond mixture into a large mixing bowl and stir in flour and salt. Set aside.
• In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites and almond extract on high speed into soft peaks, about 3 minutes. Scrape the whipped egg whites into the nuts and stir gently to incorporate.
• Divide the mixture evenly between 2 9-inch pie pans. Bake about 15 minutes until the cookie is just golden. Let cool to room temperature, then freeze until ready for use.

Caramel-White Chocolate Ganache
• In a small saucepan, bring the cream to just below a boil over medium-high heat.
• In a small mixing bowl, pour the hot cream over the white chocolate. Add the butter and let it melt. Stir until the mixture is smooth, then stir in the caramel sauce. Let cool.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Pie
• To assemble the ice cream pies, remove the ice cream from the freezer and let it soften slightly, about 5 minutes. Divide it evenly between the 2 frozen crusts, pressing it into the corners and smoothing the top with a spatula. Freeze 1 hour.
• If the ganache has hardened, microwave it on low in 10 to 20 seconds intervals, stirring until it is viscous. Divide the ganache evenly atop the 2 pies to cover the ice cream completely, then sprinkle with sea salt and freeze until the ganache has hardened. Let thaw about 10 minutes before serving.

*Look for white chocolate that contains cocoa butter, not palm oil. 

-photos by Jennifer Mozier

By the Book: Warren Brown’s Peach Pie

Saturday, August 16th, 2014



Is there anything better than a ripe, juicy peach fresh from the farmer’s market right now? Actually yes, and it’s Warren Brown’s peach pie from his cookbook Pie Love.

I am hopelessly addicted to peaches and make cobbler quite regularly, so I was excited to try my favorite fruit in a different dessert. Pie Love is very accessible, with an introductory section on basic techniques and terms that are sure to make pie baking clear even to the novice. There is also a comprehensive section on classic and unorthodox pie crusts. Filling sweet and savory make up the rest of the cookbook, and Brown lets his simple recipes and gorgeous photos speak for themselves, leaving the anecdotes for another day.




The hardest part of making a pie for me is the crust. Every time I attempt to cut that butter in to produce that elusive, sand-like texture, I end up covered in flour with warm butter all over my hands. However, thanks to Brown’s simple step-by-step instructions and (and a handy food processor), I was able to construct the cinnamon-butter pie crust while keeping my hands relatively clean.




Brown blind-bakes the crust 5 to 7 minutes, but I found that was not enough to get the bottom crust perfectly flaky. Tack on a few extra minutes to your blind bake to achieve the ideal texture.




The peach filling was deceptively simple, but just quartering the peaches meant unmanageably large chunks of fruit in the filling. Next time, try cutting them in sixths to make the pie easier to eat. (And don’t throw the pits away! We’re got great recipes that use all that nutty goodness here.) After filling my pie to the brim, I still had a significant amount of peach left over. I kept it to eat with Greek yogurt, but if you prefer to use it all in one go, buy slightly less than the listed three pounds of peaches.




The finished product was delicious; the nutmeg, cinnamon and salt on top of the crust enhanced the natural sweetness of the peaches, and the flaky crust added another textural dimension to a dessert than could only be improved by a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.


Peach Pie
Makes 1 9-to 10- inch pie

3 lbs. fresh or thawed, well-drained frozen peaches, peeled and quartered
¾ cup superfine granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg, plus additional for sprinkling
¼ tsp. sea salt, plus additional for sprinkling
4 Tbsp. (½ stick) unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Cinnamon-Butter Pie Crust (recipe follows)
1 egg
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
Cinnamon for sprinkling

• Preheat oven to 375 degrees and position one rack in the middle of the oven and one on top.
• Put the peaches in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg, and salt. Stir the mixture into the peaches.
• Add the butter and cook the peaches over medium heat, stirring slowly but continuously, until the juices slowly simmer.
• Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the honey, and allow the filling to cool slightly. Scoop into the cooled pie crust.
• Cover with the crust of your choice. Whisk together the egg and vanilla and brush the wash over the pie.
• Place the pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
• Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg and salt across the top. Place an empty sheet pan on the top oven rack to prevent excessive browning.
• Bake the pie on the middle rack for 45 to 50 minutes, until the juices on the edges simmer rapidly and the crust turns golden-brown. Let the pie cool completely before serving.

Cinnamon-Butter Pie Crust
Makes 1 double-crust pie or 2 single-crust pies

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. superfine granulated sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. sea salt
10 Tbsp. (1¼ sticks) very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
5 to 6 Tbsp. ice water

• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9- to 10- inch pie pan with butter and lightly sprinkle it with sugar.
• Add the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt to the work bowl of a food processor and mix for at least 30 seconds.
• Stop the processor and add the butter all at once.
• Pulse in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs; pulse in the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough forms into a ball and rides on top of the S blade.
• Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment. Set aside one third of the dough. If you’re not making a double-crust pie, wrap it in plastic film and freeze or refrigerate it for another use.
• Form the remaining dough into a disk, place a second piece of parchment on top, and roll it into a large round about 12 inches in diameter and 1/8 inch thick.
• Gently fit the rolled dough into the pie pan, fold the excess underneath, crimp the edge, and chill the crust for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, if you are making a double-crust pie, roll out the reserved dough between two sheets of parchment to a round approximately 10 inches across. Set it aside, keeping it between the parchment sheets to prevent it from drying out.
• Dock the bottom crust and cover it with a circle of parchment paper cut to size and a disposable pie pan resting gently above the crust to prevent it from puffing up while toasting. If your pie filling will be baked, blind bake the crust for 5 to 7 minutes. If you’ll be using the crust for a custard pie where baking isn’t required, blind bake it for 10 to 15 minutes – checking often after 10 minutes.
• Set the blind-baked crust aside to cool while you prepare the filling of your choice. Top it as desired and bake it as directed in your recipe.

Reprinted with permission from Abrams Books.

Aside from pie, what’s your favorite way to prepare peaches in August? Tell us below for a chance to win a copy of Pie Love by Warren Brown. We’ll email this winner!

Extra Sauce: Pie Movie Moments

Monday, August 4th, 2014

This month, we’re celebrating all things pie, and that includes our favorite on-screen pie moments. Whether these classic scenes set our mouths watering or have us covering our eyes in disgust, these classic pie movie moments stick with us long after the credits have rolled.

Waitress (2007)
The opening credits alone are enough to start your mouth watering as Jenna, a troubled virtuoso piemaker, makes apple, chocolate cream, peach and a variety of others.

The Help (2011)
The best scene revolves around a “special” pie Minny prepares just for her racist boss. The kind of pie that would win number two at a competition, if you catch our drift.


Pushing Daisies (2007-2009)
In this short-lived dramedy, shy piemaker Ned bakes to cope with the stress of holding the power of life and death in his hands, which he uses to reawaken his childhood love.


Stand By Me (1986)
We won’t soon forget the campfire story about Davie Hogan, an overweight boy who gets revenge on his bullies in The Great Tri-County Pie Eat. Not the most appetizing pie scene, but still extremely satisfying.


Blazing Saddles (1974)
A climatic, chaotic, fourth-wall breaking battle with chorus boys, cowboys, and cream pie choreographed by Mel Brooks – classic.


American Pie (1999)
You will never look at apple pie the same way after Jason Biggs’ very close, very awkward encounter with the most American of desserts.


The Scoop (Updated): Annie Gunn’s, Balaban’s, Truffles earn international recognition for wine lists

Monday, July 28th, 2014



UPDATE: The Scoop has learned of another St. Louis restaurant that won top honors on the World’s Best Wine List. Truffles in Ladue earned three stars from The World of Fine Wine’s panel, putting its wine list alongside icons like Tom Colicchio’s Craft Restaurant and Thomas Keller’s Per Se and The French Laundry. Judges praised Truffles’ wine list as one that celebrated wine in all its iterations, from the classic to the obscure, stating on The World of Fine Wine’s website: “It’s one of those lists where those wines that may be considered esoteric are treated with equal respect to the established classics.”

Aleks Jovanovic, Truffles’ general manager and wine director, said the international honor was particularly appreciated since it was unsolicited. He added that only 225 out of 4,000 list-makers earned three out of three stars. “What we were really proud of was that they recognized that the diversity of the list, not just the volume,” he said, noting that Truffles wine list displays more than 1,500 labels. “To be recognized for it is very satisfying and kind of proof of your good work.”

Editor’s Note: This Scoop was updated on July 29. The original post appears below.

Your choice of vino at Annie Gunn’s and Balaban’s Wine Cellar and Tapas Bar now ranks among the world’s best, according to The World of Fine Wine magazine.

The London-based publication recently released its first World’s Best Wine List. The seven judges looked at 4,000 restaurants around the world and picked 750 to award one, two or three stars, with three being the best of the best. Both Annie Gunn’s and Balaban’s received two-star ratings. Glenn Bardgett, Annie Gunn’s wine director and Sauce contributor, said he was excited to be chosen.

“It’s our first international award, and it came out of nowhere,” he said. “They picked the restaurants to be judged. It’s a tremendous honor to be a restaurant in Missouri picked out by a panel of judges in London, not only for us but for Missouri, as well.”

Balaban’s managing partner Brian Underwood believes the more than 800 available labels at the restaurant and retail shop put Balaban’s list on The World of Fine Wine’s radar. “It’s always good to be recognized, and that’s certainly one of the better known international magazines,” he said. “I know when I travel I consult lists like that when I’m selecting places to go.”




The Scoop: Kräftig and Morgan Street win big at U.S. Open Beer Championships

Thursday, July 10th, 2014



Cheers to William K Busch Brewing Co., and Morgan Street Brewery for their successes at the U.S. Open Beer Championship earlier this month in Atlanta.

Busch’s Kräftig Lager Light won its third consecutive gold medal in the American light category, while its heartier sibling, Kräftig Lager, brought home the gold for American premium lager. Morgan Street brought home gold for its Black Bear dark lager in the Schwarzbier category, it took silver and bronze, respectively, for its When Helles Freezes Over and Golden Pilsner in the Light Munchner Helles and Bohemian Pilsener categories.

More than 3,000 beers and ciders were entered across 81 categories at the U.S. Open Beer Championship, which is the only beer competition to include both professional breweries and home brewers.

Billy Busch, president and CEO of William K Busch Brewing, said it was an honor to have won the award once again. “In the industry we’re in, there is so much competition against both giants of industry and smaller breweries,” he said. “To win the gold in both categories is a true tribute to our company, our brewmaster Marc Gottfried, and the way we brew our beers. It keeps us going, and we feel very good about what we have offer to St. Louis.”






5 ice cream sandwiches to cool down summer

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

On a hot summer afternoon, we yearn for the cold comfort of ice cream smashed between two crisp cookies. And while they’ll always be a place in our hearts for the classic vanilla and chocolate wafers, our palates have developed since those lazy summers spent at the local pool. Today, we’re reaching for ice cream sandwich in flavors like ginger, peach, cherry and even banana bread to sate our cravings. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with going old-school, particularly when it’s served from a 1940s ice cream cart.


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By the Book: Faith Durand’s Blueberry Angel Food Trifle

Saturday, June 28th, 2014


When summer hits St. Louis, we stay cool by any means necessary – and that includes avoiding the oven. Who wants to add extra degrees to an already hot kitchen? Faith Durand, executive editor of The Kitchn and author of the new cookbook, Bakeless Sweets, couldn’t agree more. The recipes in this book disavow the oven in favor of the refrigerator, the freezer, and in a few cases, the assistance of the stove. And who knew there were so many no-bake desserts to choose from? Durand divides her book into seven chapters: stirred puddings and custards; rice, tapioca and whole-grain puddings; panna cotta and other gelled puddings; mousse and blended puddings; real fruit jellies; whipped cream desserts and fluffs; and icebox cakes, pies, trifles and cookies.

With Fourth of July right around the corner and berry season in full swing, I decided to prepare Durand’s Blueberry Angel Food Trifle. To keep things patriotic, I substituted half the blueberries for juicy red strawberries (which also happen to be my Kryptonite).




The homemade pudding was the best part of the trifle by far. Do not cheat and reach for the boxed stuff, as tempting as it may be. I promise the extra effort required for Durand’s Rich Vanilla Pudding is well worth it; I found myself wishing I had doubled the recipe to eat again later.




Pudding novices like me can handle this recipe; Durand outlines every step clearly and concisely. Have a good whisk ready, as you will use it during almost every step. My biggest fear was tempering the slurry, but I followed the directions exactly and was rewarded with a bubbling custard that smelled “like the best vanilla ice cream ever,” according to my kid sister.




After the adult-task of making the pudding is complete, kid sous chefs love to help layer the cake and sprinkle the fruit, as my sister did. After tasting the trifle, I wish the cake cubes were a little smaller (bite-sized pieces would have made for easier eating), but the larger pieces supported all the pudding and fruit well, even two days after creating it. This treat was sweet, refreshing, and most important, cold – a perfect summer dessert.




Blueberry Angel Food Trifle
8 servings

About 8 cups (12- to 16-oz.) cubed angel food cake,
1 batch Rich Vanilla Pudding, well chilled (Recipe follows.)
4 cups blueberries
2/3 cup cream
1 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

• Spread about one-third of the cake cubes in the bottom of a large trifle bowl (or any deep 3- to 4-quart bowl). Spread about one-third of the pudding over the cubes and top with one-quarter of the blueberries. Repeat twice, finishing with the third layer of pudding.
• In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl using a hand mixer), whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla until it holds soft peaks. Spread it over the top and garnish with the remaining blueberries. Refrigerate the trifle for at least 2 hours, or up to 24, before serving.

Rich Vanilla Pudding
8 Servings

¼ cup cornstarch
½ tsp. salt
1½ cup cream
3 large egg yolks
2 cups whole milk
6 Tbsp. sugar
1 vanilla bean or 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

• Make a cornstarch and egg yolk slurry: Put the cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl and whisk out any lumps. Slowly whisk in the cream, making sure there are no lumps. Whisk in the egg yolks. It is important that this mixture be as smooth as you can make it. (To be really sure, reach into the bowl and gently rub out any lumps with your fingers.).
• Warm the milk and open a vanilla bean: Warm the milk with the sugar over medium heat in a 3-quart saucepan. Meanwhile, if you are using the vanilla bean*, open and scrape it out into the pan. Whisk the mixture so the vanilla seeds are incorporated into the liquid. (It should looked speckled, like milk after an Oreo has been dunked in it repeatedly!) When the vanilla bean has been scraped out, drop the entire pod into the milk as well. Warm until bubbles form around the edge of the milk and the entire surface begins to vibrate. Remove the vanilla bean and discard it. Turn off the heat.
• Temper the slurry: Pour 1 cup of the hot milk into the bowl with the slurry. Whisk vigorously to combine. The mixture should come together smoothly, with no lumps. If you see any, add a little more liquid and whisk them out. Pour the combined mixture back into the pot slowly, counting to 10 as you do and whisking vigorously.
• Thicken the pudding: Turn the heat back on to medium. As the milk comes to a simmer, stir constantly but slowly with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pan evenly so that the milk doesn’t scorch or form a thick skin on the bottom of the pan. In 2 to 5 minutes, the custard will come to a boil, with large bubbles that slowly pop up to the surface. Boil, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes.
• Flavor the pudding: Turn off the heat. (If you didn’t use a vanilla bean, stir in the vanilla extract now.)
• Chill the pudding: Immediately pour the hot custard into a shallow container. Place plastic wrap or buttered wax paper directly on the surface of the pudding (if you don’t like pudding skin). Put a lid on the dish and refrigerate it. This pudding is firm enough to be eaten warm after 30 minutes or so in the refrigerator.

*To scrape a vanilla bean, lay the bean flat on a cutting board and use a small, sharp pairing knife to make a slit down its entire length. Splay it open with your fingers over the pot of warming milk, and run the tip of a spoon (or the knife, carefully) down the length of the bean to thoroughly scrape out the paste of tiny seeds inside.

Reprinted with permission from Stewart, Tabori & Chang

What’s the best no-bake dessert you’ve ever made? Tell us about it in the comments below for a chance to win a copy of Bakeless Sweets.

And now, congratulations to Earen, whose comment on last week’s By the Book won a copy of Extra Virgin. Earen, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew!

Tweet Beat: The week’s best tweets from #STL

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Are you following us on Twitter? Come on, get Saucy @saucemag


Timothy Belz
Watching international soccer teams’ passing game is like watching Asians use chopsticks. Beautiful, but we Americans are not so good at it.

Mark DeBarr
Nothing to see here. Kitty drinking ..

Laura Hepburn Engert
After years of turmoil, I have finally arrived at a decision: If I could have a super power, I’d want to manifest pizza from thin air.

Madam Charcuterie
Tahitian vanilla ice cream with roasted strawberry sauce. Yeah, it’s heaven in a bowl.

Jenn Cloud
It is WAY past beer o’clock isn’t it?

Jenny Viviano
My burger from @SuperDuperSF was as super as advertised. Super duper, even. Next time, I will test their milkshakes for superness.

Loco Eric
If wealthy means upgrading from regular french fries to cheese fries without asking how much more it costs, then no I’m not wealthy.

Mike emerson
Rendezvous, Pappy’s, and Jack’s Stack. We got ya covered on BBQ  #BBQbrothers

Michael Randolph tgp
Needed some zen time so I fired up the new smoker ribs and brisket… anyone hungry? I need help #bbqrush

Thuy Nguyen
Turn down Pho what?!?!

Josh Allen
Woohoo! RT @smdezego: The day has to be great when you it start by riding home with @CompanionBaker on your back.


Think you should be on this list? Follow us and let us know @saucemag

The Scoop: Tim Hortons headed for St. Louis

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Tim Hortons

Hope you’re ready for a dose of doughnuts and a cup of coffee, St. Louis. Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop is coming to town, thanks to local developer Show Me Hospitality.

The Chesterfield-based developer announced plans today to open 40 Tim Hortons in the greater St. Louis area in the next five years, starting in 2015. The quick-service chain, known for its coffee, baked goods and on-the-go fare, will open free-standing restaurants with a drive-thru as well as kiosks in hospitals, universities, corporate campuses and sporting arenas, according to a press release.

St. Louisans can suggest locations where they’d like a Tim Hortons on the company’s website.

The Scoop: Sump Coffee takes high honors at Coffee Fest

Friday, June 6th, 2014


{From left, Zach Althaus, Scott Carey, Dylan Connell, Matthew Piva}

An adrenaline rush jolted the crew at Sump Coffee recently when it won top honors in the America’s Best Espresso competition at Coffee Fest. The thrice-yearly event showcasing everything to do with coffee took place at the end of May at America’s Center downtown. Coffee Fest also hosts three regional competitions: America’s Best Espresso, America’s Best Coffeehouse and the Latte Art World Championships.

Sump took the first place title and a cash prize after beating out 16 other entrants from the central region, which spans from Texas to Ontario, Canada. Barista Dylan Connell represented the South City coffeehouse in the espresso competition, which required him to pull a shot for each of three judges. The shots were evaluated based on flavor complexity, mouth feel and aftertaste. Connell moves on to the national competition in Portland, Oregon, where he will take on five other baristas in October.

Second place went to another local coffeehouse, Goshen Coffee Company, in Edwardsville, Illinois.

Sump Coffee also took second in the America’s Best Coffeehouse competition, which was determined by a combination of fan votes, secret shoppers and on-site finals. Sump owner Scott Carey and baristas Zach Althaus and Matt Piva brought home the title and a cash prize.

Carey said this is the first time one coffeehouse has placed in two categories during Coffee Fest’s two-year competition cycle. “Since we only do coffee, it’s the only thing the shop depends on,” he said. “To be somewhat externally validated in a competitive environment — it feels good. It definitely feels like some of the pain and heavy lifting is rewarding.”

 -photo courtesy of Scott Carey

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