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Mar 23, 2017
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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The Scoop

The Scoop: Wicked Greenz to launch food truck, open O’Fallon location this spring

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

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Clayton’s Wicked Greenz will soon open a new location in O’Fallon, Missouri and go mobile. Director of operations Matt Ratz said the company has purchased the former Shell’s Coastal Cuisine truck and will be taking its health-focused eating options on the road this spring. Ratz said the plan is to debut the truck at the Forever Vintage Market event at Taubman Prestige Outlets on Friday, April 21.

“We think we can provide something different than the normal food truck does,” said Ratz.

Wicked Greenz opened its fast-casual concept last October at 16 N. Central Ave., in Clayton, offering customizable salads and wraps. Ratz said the food truck’s abbreviated menu would likely include four or five salads and a couple of soups, as well as pitas and hummus and possibly some one-off specials. “We’ll really be able to put things out quickly,” he said.

Ratz said the company decided to launch a food truck to increase brand awareness. He said the truck may be parked at the upcoming Wicked Greenz location at 4015 Highway K in O’Fallon, which is expected to open in June, before the restaurant opens to give diners a sneak peek.

Photo  by Michelle Volansky

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The Scoop: 5 St. Louis chefs earn James Beard Foundation semifinalist honors

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

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{ Pastaria executive chef Ashley Shelton } 

 

The James Beard Foundation announced its 2017 restaurant and chef award semifinalists today, Feb. 15. St. Louis’s recent run of recognition from the foundation continues, as five St. Louis chefs earned nominations for the esteemed culinary awards.

Pastaria executive chef Ashley Shelton was named a semifinalist for Rising Star Chef of the Year. This award recognizes “a chef age 30 or younger who displays impressive talent and is likely to make a significant impact on the industry in years to come.”

“It’s pretty much every chef’s dream come true to be recognized in that way,” Shelton said.

The JBFA nod is the latest in a growing list of recognition for Shelton. She is a member of the Sauce Ones to Watch Class of 2016, and Eater named her a Young Gun of 2016. Shelton said the honors validate her leadership style in the kitchen. “For me, it keeps pushing me and telling that the path I’m on is the right path,” she said. “We’re trying to do something different in our restaurants – not screaming and yelling.”

Pastaria owner Gerard Craft, who won Best Chef: Midwest in 2015, said Shelton’s culinary future is bright, and not just because she’s a talented cook.

“Being a chef is being a chief. It’s being a leader. It’s one of the hardest parts of the job,” Craft said. “For somebody her age to lead a team the size that she leads and operation the size that she leads, I can’t imagine anybody doing it better. What she’s going to do in the future is sure to be amazing.”

 

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{ from left, Olive & Oak executive chef Jesse Mendica, Perennial Artisan Ales’ Phil Wymore and Olive & Oak owner Mark Hinkle }

 

JBF also named four area chefs as semifinalists in the Best Chef: Midwest region: Olive & Oak executive chef Jesse Mendica, Público chef-owner Mike Randolph, Sidney Street Cafe chef-owner Kevin Nashan and Farmhaus chef-owner Kevin Willmann. This category acknowledges “chefs who have set new or consistent standards of excellence in their respective regions.”

This is the first Beard Foundation honor for Mendica. Neither she nor Olive & Oak owner Mark Hinkle could immediately be reached for comment.

 

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{ Público chef-owner Mike Randolph }

 

This is the second semifinalist nod for Randolph, whose restaurant Público was named a finalist for Best New Restaurant 2016.

“Going into last year I had put so much emphasis on the restaurant getting the Best New nomination because I felt like that was kind of a loftier goal, to be honest,” Randolph said, crediting his team with the restaurant’s success. “But that being said, I look at this list – these are people that I admire and that I respect. Any time you get a chance to see your name thrown in that hat, it’s humbling. It makes me want to work harder – and go in and hug everyone at Público.”

 

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 { Farmhaus chef-owner Kevin Willmann }

Nashan and Willmann are no strangers to this prestigious honor. Willmann earned his first finalist nod last year. “It’s always an honor and always exciting, especially for the crew,” he said. “They go so hard to keep our standards up.”

 

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 { Sidney Street Cafe chef-owner Kevin Nashan }

 

Nashan has twice made it to the finalist round of this category. “It’s awesome and amazing,” he said. “I literally just found out. It’s an honor any time you’re mentioned — it’s just great to be on the bus.”

Finalists will be announced March 15, and the winners will be named May 1 in Chicago. A full list of the winners is available online.

 

Editor’s note: This post was updated Wednesday, Feb. 15 at noon to add comments from Kevin Willmann. 

Heather Hughes, Catherine Klene and Matt Sorrell contributed to this report.

Ashley Shelton and Kevin Willmann photos by Carmen Troesser; Kevin Nashan photo by Greg Rannells; Mike Randolph photo courtesy of Público by Greg Rannells; Jesse Mendica photo courtesy of Olive & Oak Facebook

 

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• The Scoop: James Beard Foundation declares Gioia’s Deli an American Classic

The Scoop: James Beard award eludes Willmann and Nashan

The Scoop: Chefs Kevin Nashan, Kevin Willmann earn finalist nods for JBFA Best Chef: Midwest

The Scoop: 5 STL-area chefs, The Side Project Cellar, Stone Soup Cottage all earn JBFA nods

The Scoop: Gerard Craft wins James Beard award

Sneak Peek: The Blue Duck in Maplewood

Monday, February 13th, 2017

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Washington, Missouri favorite The Blue Duck opens doors at its first St. Louis-area location tomorrow, Feb. 14, at 2661 Sutton Ave., in Maplewood. As The Scoop reported in September, the mixed-use development space previously housed Monarch.

According to co-owner Chris Rayburn, the eclectic menu celebrates American cuisine’s international influences, with nods to fare from Korea and Mexico to the American South and all points in between. Many dishes will be familiar to patrons of the original Blue Duck, like the DLT: cured and smoked duck breast, lettuce, tomato and a fried egg with honey-chipotle mayo on sourdough.

The food menu will rotate seasonally, while the dessert offerings should switch up every couple of weeks. The bar program has a selection of craft beers on tap, plus cocktails and wine. A small brunch menu, along with all of the regular menu items, will be available on Sundays.

The Blue Duck will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. until midnight, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until 1 a.m. and Sunday 10:30 a.m. until 9 p.m.

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky

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The Scoop: The Blue Duck to open location in Maplewood

• Sneak Peek: Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream in Maplewood

The Scoop: Vincent Van Doughnut to open in The Grove

Friday, February 10th, 2017

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Doughnut lovers rejoice! The new location of Vincent Van Doughnut at 1072 Tower Grove Ave., will be open for business on Valentine’s Day, bright and early at 6 a.m.

As The Scoop reported in February, the new store will initially have the same hours as the Clayton location: Tuesday through Friday from 6 a.m. until sold out, and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. until sold out. Owner Vincent Brian Marsden said he’s considering adding later hours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday down the line, given the active nightlife in The Grove – possibly with an evening menu of fry-to-order doughnuts.

Marsden said the core of the Tower Grove menu will remain the same as the Clayton location, though there will be some additional items, such as ice cream from local purveyor Ronnie’s Ice Cream. The location has 16 seats, and Marsden is looking into outdoor seating as well.

-photo courtesy of Vincent Van Doughnut 

The Scoop: French patisserie opens in Grand Center

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

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French pastry fans have a new place in Grand Center to satisfy their cravings. Mother and daughter duo Christine and Clemence Pereur, who hail from Conde-Sainte-Libiaire, France, opened Like Home French Café & Pastry on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 3855 Lindell Blvd.

 

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The small shop, which seats about 20, has a daily rotating menu of various macarons and pastries, plus breakfast and lunch offerings like soups, salads, sandwiches, quiches and tartines. Clemence Pereur, who formerly held the pastry chef position at Saint Louis Club, handles pastry duties while her mother, Christine, bakes all the breads. Hours of operation for the patisserie are Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

The Scoop: Sym•Bowl to open new locations in St. Charles, Creve Coeur

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

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Sym•Bowl, which specializes in build-your-own bowls, will open its third location at 1456 Bass Pro Shop Drive in St. Charles in late March or early April, according to co-owner Becky Schoening.

The new St. Charles location, which was formerly a sushi restaurant, will have approximately 30 seats, feature the same menu as its sister restaurants, and will also house a small bottling facility for Sym•Bowl’s line of hot sauces.

But the Sym•Bowl expansion isn’t over. Schoening said she and business partner Gregory Owens will soon open a fourth location in Creve Couer. Schoening said details should be finalized in the next few weeks, and store number five will hopefully follow soon.

“We’re also looking for something in the city, but nothing is on the radar yet,” Schoening said, adding that both upcoming locations will be approximately the same size as the other restaurants and feature the same menu.

Sym•Bowl opened its second location last year in Chesterfield at 137 Chesterfield Town Center. The original Kirkwood restaurant at 11215 Manchester Road, which had initially retained the name The HotPot, changed over to the Sym•Bowl moniker after the first of the year.

Photo by Michelle Volansky

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First Look: Sym•Bowl in Chesterfield

The Scoop: The HotPot to rebrand, open new location in Chesterfield

 

 

The Scoop: Good Fortune finds a home in Botanical Heights

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

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{ Rendering of the future home of Good Fortune in Botanical Heights }

 

Highly anticipated Chinese-American restaurant Good Fortune has finally found a home. Co-owner Corey Smale announced today, Feb. 8, that the restaurant will open this July in the Botanical Heights neighborhood.

Smale, former co-owner of Strange Donuts, purchased a building at 1654 Tower Grove Ave., with attorney James P. Sanders and realtor Chris Hulse. The trio will be the landlords, with Good Fortune as the tenant. The upcoming eatery is also co-owned by Bob Brazell, Ryan McDonald and Hana Chung of Byrd & Barrel.

Good Fortune announced its inception last year and was on the hunt for a location for several months. The team hosted several pop-ups and collaboration dinners around town, introducing people to its takes on Chinese-American fare.

J.P. Burcks will provide arts and graphics for the project, and Gabe McKee and V Three Studios will handle architecture duties. The building, which was constructed in 1954, was most recently a day care facility. Smale said there’s a lot of work to be done before the doors open.

“It’s pretty gnarly right now,” Smale said. “We’re going to keep the bricks and floor and whatever we can. We’ll make it ours.”

While construction is underway, Good Fortune will host some more pop-up events to whet the public’s appetite, including a 12-course collaboration with chef Mike Randolph at Half & Half in Clayton on Friday, Feb. 24, and Saturday, Feb. 25.

The Scoop: Josh Charles leaves Element, heads to Blood & Sand

Monday, February 6th, 2017

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Chef Josh Charles has left his post as executive chef at Element to helm the kitchen at Blood & Sand, as reported by St. Louis Magazine. Charles’ former chef de cuisine Tudor Seserman has stepped up to assume the executive chef role. Charles said the passing of the torch was smooth thanks to their close working relationship.

In his new role, Charles said he’ll work with Blood & Sand’s current chef Chris Krzysik through Valentine’s Day, and then will begin making his mark on the menu.

“The day after, it starts,” he said, adding it should take a month of switching out a couple of dishes at a time before the transition is complete. Charles said diners can expect a bill of fare that reflects his focus on quality ingredients and techniques. While he’ll put his stamp on the food at Blood & Sand, the restaurant’s much-loved tater tots will remain.

“It’s a great platform and a beautiful place,” said Charles. “They’ve always had a reputation for putting out great food and drink. I’m super excited.”

Krzysik said he is currently in talks to take a position at another restaurant, but couldn’t share more information at this time. Element co-owner Carol Hastie did not return requests for comment.

Photo courtesy of Christina Lane 

Related Content
The Scoop: New owner discusses vision for Blood & Sand

• The Scoop: Josh Charles is named executive chef at Element

• Ones to Watch 2014: Josh Charles and John Fauz

 

 

The Scoop: The Fifth Wheel exits 4 Hands tasting room

Monday, February 6th, 2017

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The Fifth Wheel Catering at 4 Hands Brewing Co. has closed. Its last day of service was Sunday, Feb. 5.

Fifth Wheel is under the umbrella of Baileys’ Restaurants, which includes Rooster, Small Batch, Bridge, Baileys’ Range, Baileys’ Chocolate Bar and Shift: Test Kitchen. The small kitchen at 4 Hands turned out tacos, burritos and other tasting room fare for the last five years.

Owner Dave Bailey said the company is refocusing its catering efforts on its two downtown event spaces, Willow and Slate. “It’s been great sharing space with 4 Hands,” he said. “We want to retool our catering business and focus on those two locations.”

4 Hands owner Kevin Lemp said the brewery will continue to offer food, and he is currently working on a new concept, which will be announced soon. “Dave was a pleasure to work with, and we’ll continue to be tight with the Baileys’ crew,” he said.

 

The Scoop: Kaldi’s Coffee to open new locations in Citygarden, CWE

Monday, February 6th, 2017

 

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The folks at Kaldi’s Coffee are going to have a busy 2017. The company has three new projects in the city: one coming soon to Citygarden, another to the Central West End and one that just opened in Midtown.

Co-owner Tricia Zimmer Ferguson said another location of the local coffee shop will open later this spring in the former Death In The Afternoon space at 808 Chestnut St., downtown.

Zimmer Ferguson said the new location will feature a bigger menu with more plated items as well as brunch service. Frank McGinty, Kaldi’s director of culinary development and marketing, said there will be beer and wine available at the Citygarden location, as well as batched cocktails, along with plenty of Kaldi’s signature coffee and tea drinks.We’ve really focused more on the food menu,” Zimmer Ferguson said. “And we want this to be a community space, so it’ll definitely have that laid-back vibe.”

McGinty said he plans to use the spacious basement area as a research and development test kitchen. Plans include taking advantage of the large space to host special events like chef collaborations and expanding the company’s catering operations.

McGinty said the only major renovation will be rebuilding the front bar to accommodate espresso machines, along with some tweaking of the décor. He said the plan is to have the location and up and running in time for Cardinals opening day on April 2.

 

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{ From left, co-owners Tyler Zimmer and Tricia Zimmer Ferguson and director of culinary development and marketing Frank McGinty. }

 

Yet another Kaldi’s Coffee is slated to open in November at The Euclid in the Central West End, a 72-unit mixed-use development that will also house St. Louis’ first Shake Shack.

To keep city dwellers satisfied in the meantime, Kaldi’s also debuted a new Midtown spot on Saturday, Feb. 4, at 3900 Laclede Ave. As The Scoop reported in April 2016, the spacious corner location features 36 seats inside – a mix of tables, soft seating and bar stools – and an additional 22 seats outside.

“We want to continue to be a part of the city landscape, and we think this is a great place to do that,” said McGinty. He said its proximity to The Cortex, Ikea and SLU, as well as Kaldi’s roastery at 3983 Gratiot St., make it an ideal location.

The full food menu includes a variety of sandwiches, wraps, salads and breakfast items. Of course, there’s a plethora of coffee and tea drinks to be had, including coffee and tea on tap. Hours will be Monday though Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

 

Editor’s note: This Scoop was updated at 10:45 a.m. to include information about another upcoming Kaldi’s location in the Central West End. 

Kaldi’s photo by Kimberly Morice-Damhorst; group photo by Allyson Mace

Related Content
The Scoop: Death in the Afternoon closes

The Scoop: Kaldi’s opens two new STL locations

Sauce Magazine: February 2017

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