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Aug 28, 2014
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Archive for April, 2009

Herbal Cookery

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Any good cook knows to use fresh herbs, but many people don’t know much beyond basil and oregano. If you’re searching for inspiration on how to grow and use pretty much any type of herb under the sun, turn to The St. Louis Herb Society’s new cookbook, Herbal Cookery: From the Kitchens and Gardens of the St. Louis Herb Society.

This isn’t your typical spiral-bound local cookbook. The beautifully illustrated hardback contains creative dishes like Grilled Chicories With Nasturtium Blossoms, Smelt Fries With Lemon-Herb Aïoli and Rose Geranium Pound Cake. Plan to attend the book’s kickoff at Bowood Farms this Saturday at 2 p.m. Pick up a copy of the book and some herb seedlings. And if you’re unsure about how, when or where with regard to your herbs, St. Louis Herb Society members will be there to answer any questions.

Expand your horizons

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

There’s a new side to Johnny’s Sidebar. The Collinsville bar will triple in size when it completes an expansion into the building next door, just in time for a German beer tasting on Wednesday from 6 to 10 p.m. The new space will make room for another bar and a stage; plans for a patio are also in the works. Johnny’s Sidebar is at 109 E. Main St., 618.343.4409.

Celebrate early and often

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Cinco de Mayo starts April 30, we say. That’s when Roberto Trevino of Amigos Cantina in Kirkwood will be making Mexican shrimp cocktail and other favorites as part of the Cooking With Sauce series. (Also in the spirit of celebration: plenty of cold Sol cerveza.) Tickets are $35, and the event starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Sub-Zero and Wolf Showroom in Maryland Heights. Reservations and more information are with Maria Lammert at 314.991.0900 x110 or marial@rothdistributing.com. Proceeds will benefit the St. Louis Area Foodbank.

Photo by Jonathan S. Pollack

Fourth meal

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

As we speak, your friends at Schlafly Beer are bottling a quadrupel, the fourth in a series of bottle-conditioned Belgian-style ales. The quad is described on the label as having “a rich, malty backbone that is generously balanced by select, fresh hops to create a luscious, smooth character.” Adding to its strength: 12 percent ABV.

The quad still needs two weeks of conditioning and a few days to chill, so look for it mid-May in stores and at Schlafly’s Tap Room and Bottleworks.

New CSA in U. City

Monday, April 27th, 2009

There are about 10 shares left in the first community supported agriculture program from Winslow’s Farm, the Augusta farm behind Winslow’s Home market in University City. The CSA’s first share is expected to be ready the last week of May, with the growing season running through September.

Subscribers can plan on lots of fresh produce, culinary herbs, flowers and, occasionally, eggs. Farming has its risks – bad weather, pests – but Winslow’s stands ready to supplement its shares with pastries, soups and other prepared foods from the market. (Winslow’s delicious chocolate-chip cookie dough wouldn’t be the worst substitute for broccoli, would it?) “I’m very interested in exceeding expectations,” said owner Ann Sheehan Lipton.

The cost of a full share is $450; half shares are $335. Pickup will be on Thursdays at Winslow’s Home. More information and registration forms are available by e-mail at asl40@aol.com.

Soup of the day

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Looking for a light lunch? We spent some time on the ol’ horn this morning finding some hit-the-spot soups:

Bison chili makes you feel at home on the range at downtown’s Rooster: 314.241.8118.

• Choices, choices. Maplewood’s Foundation Grounds is serving Southwest chicken tortilla and tomato basil: 314.601.3588.

• Ooh, la, la. Franco has mushroom fennel with white truffle oil: 314.436.2500.

It’s Dale and Stephanie!

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Attention all you Top Chef fans: Top Chef: The Tour’s semi will pull into Soulard Farmers’ Market on Wed., May 27. You’ll have the chance to see season four winner Stephanie Izard and season three finalist Dale Levitski up close and personal as they cook and field your questions. Levitski took some time out of his schedule to chat with Sauce.

Tell me what people can expect at Top Chef: The Tour.
All the chefs are different, so every demo is going to be different based on our personalities and who we’re working with. It’s a nonchalant, easy cooking demonstration that’s a live Q&A at the same time. We’ll make a seasonal dish with ingredients that we’ve bought locally, probably that morning. We make up a dish and explain how and why we’re doing it and have a conversation with the audience. It’s the first time the viewers get to connect with us as individuals.

And what is it about that connection that you enjoy?
It makes the whole experience of doing the show and going through the competition, then viewing it, it kind of makes it real.

Give me a snapshot of some of the dishes you’ve made on tour.
I did a tour date with Stephanie, the winner from season four, she’s a good friend of mine here in Chicago. We made some ravioli with farmers’ market ingredients in Wisconsin. We got really great, local, organic Wisconsin cheese at a local co-op and then some great local produce and kind of make up a little ravioli dish. We find what’s available within the local markets and find out what the personality of the city is.

So audience members can ask you anything during this demonstration?
Oh yeah. If anything, having a conversation with the audience while cooking makes it a much better experience. I don’t want to get up in front of a crowd and just preach how to sear a scallop. I’d much rather have a conversation with them and have it develop from there.

How did being on Top Chef change you as a chef?
It made me more confident as a chef. When you’re watching yourself make mistakes with millions of other people, it’s a very humbling experience. When you make stupid mistakes, you’re definitely hung out to dry for it. It brings you down to earth. As a professional, it gives you an objective way to view yourself in a very odd format. It humbles you.

And what’s going on with you professionally?
I’m in the process of trying to get a restaurant open in Chicago and … I’m still about a year out on that. Then I have a weekly supper club. Every Thursday I do a three-course dinner at my business partner’s bar, Relax Lounge. All I cook on is a little 2-foot grill and that’s it. It’s fun.

There will be four demos between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Visit www.bravotv.com to reserve your seat at one of the demonstrations.

Photo courtesy of Bravo

The Scoop: New wine bar in Benton Park

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Local oenophiles will no doubt spend plenty of time this summer sniffing, swirling and sipping in Benton Park, which will be home to STL’s latest wine bar come the end of May. Ernesto’s, named after Ernest Hemingway, is a collaboration between owners Deitrich Volk and Tom Revie, both of Phoenix Redevelopment Group, and advanced sommelier Brian Hobbs, who will serve as general manager. “It’s sort of a celebration of food, wine and travel,” said Hobbs, who ran Brooklyn’s Stonehome Wine Bar for the last five years. “I hope to work with artisanal winemakers from around the world and source local products for our bar.” Hobbs plans to offer a diverse international wine list and nightly food and wine specials. Ernesto’s will be located at 2730 McNair Ave.

Another harbinger of heat

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Light and dark rums are ready to rock at The Stable. The Benton Park brewpub will release the rums – and officially open its microdistilling operations – on April 23 at 6 p.m. The launch party will feature Caribbean appetizers and music by Big Bamu. Look for cocktails made with the house rums, such as the Poison Pill (light rum, Midori, fresh lime juice, triple sec, sour mix and a sugar cube) and The Stable (dark rum and Maker’s Mark). Then keep an eye out for grappa – it’ll be The Stable’s next spirit.

Sure sign of spring

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

As promised, Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling’s taproom and beer garden are good to go. Opening May 2, the taproom will feature a 70-foot copper-topped tasting bar, a stone fireplace, and views of the bottling line and distilling operations. Outside, expect a fire pit and panoramic views of the Ste. Genevieve countryside. House brews will include American blond ale, amber lager, porter, dubbel, traditional wheat, raspberry wheat and cider, too. Spirits to follow soon.

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