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Oct 30, 2014
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Archive for October, 2009

Friend of men (and friend of Martha)

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Maybe your son thinks that Bugles filled with Easy Cheese make for a fine after-school snack. Maybe your husband thinks that your absence during the dinner hour mandates a frozen pizza and half a six-pack.

Banish the processed and the lazy, says Lucinda Scala Quinn, and teach the men in your life to eat real food. Mad Hungry: Feeding Men & Boys is the new cookbook from Quinn, co-host of Everyday Food on PBS and executive editorial director of food and entertainment at Martha Stewart Omnimedia.

Quinn, who will discuss and sign Mad Hungry at the downtown Left Bank Books on Friday at 7 p.m., says that men and boys are ravenous beasts, and if you teach them to eat right, and to cook a little, everyone reaps rewards.

Her instructions for making such hearty dishes as Man Crêpes, healthier versions of Hot Pockets and “luscious oven-braised short ribs” are accompanied by beautiful photos.

Check out her recipe for a NY deli-style bacon, egg and cheese bagel breakfast sandwich, perfected by her 16-year-old son. The secret: The bagel is cooked on a griddle – not toasted – and the eggs are broken, not scrambled.

– Byron Kerman

Drunk with the taste of blood, perhaps

Monday, October 26th, 2009

You might recall the plot of the ’90s film comedy The Freshman, in which Matthew Broderick stumbles upon a plot to import a Komodo dragon so an underground exotic-species eating club can barbecue the 6-foot lizard.

Eclipse chefs Wes Johnson and Brendan Noonan and bartender Patrick Thomas wouldn’t dream of such a thing. Right? Guys, am I right?

I mean, just because the trio has concocted something called Carnivorale, a one-night-only “seven-course meat-centric meal” on Nov. 9 offering a feast that could shame a Roman emperor doesn’t mean they’d … I mean they’d never.

But take, for example, the fourth course, Three Cheeks to the Wind. It’s a savory meat napoleon made from the choicest cuts of three beasts: veal, halibut and pork cheek.

That’s obscene. That’s the product of drunken chef talk, right? Just like the first course, the three-egg monstrosity: poached quail egg, duck-egg hollandaise, caviar and truffle on a bacon croissant.

Good night! One more course, and then hit the Web site (makeminemeat.com) for more gory details. The fifth, christened Beef, Bone and Bug, joins a braised short rib, bone marrow and crawfish boudin.

And here I thought turducken was an affront to the animal kingdom.

– Byron Kerman

’Cue congrats

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Mike Mills, owner of seven well-regarded barbecue restaurants, including 17th Street Bar & Grill in O’Fallon and Murphysboro, Ill., has just been honored with yet another award. Mills – a four-time world champion and three-time grand world champion at Memphis in May – received the judge’s choice award at the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Lynchburg, Tenn., over the weekend. Mills was chosen for the honor by his peers: nine past winners of the award.

“Mike Mills puts a tremendous amount of effort into promoting the barbecue community and industry as a whole,” said competitor and writer Rocky Danner in a press release. “An elite group of his peers overwhelmingly voted to recognize his contribution and legacy.”

Cold beer, cool mullets

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Break out the wife-beater and wallet chain, and bag that tired ol’ trick-or-treat scene this Halloween. The International Tap House in Chesterfield is hosting a Hoosier Halloween Bash on Friday at 7 p.m. Dress down for the costume contest (a mullet and a flannel will get you an iTap koozie), rock out to hillbilly karaoke, or just mellow down easy with a friendly game of washers. There’ll be a couple of old cars out front to beat on, and PBR and Busch Light will be available on tap this one night only (along with iTap’s usual selection of 500 brews). So hop in your IROC and come on down.

– Matt Sorrell

Help to get your community garden on

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Community gardeners will soon have access to more education. At a summit last weekend, Gateway Greening proposed to create strategically located hub gardens that will offer resources such as events, workshops, tool-lending and seedlings to neighboring community gardens. According to Gwenne Hayes-Stewart, executive director of the St. Louis-based nonprofit, over the next three years, Gateway Greening plans to turn six existing neighborhood community gardens into hub gardens. Gateway Greening currently supports more than 170 greening projects, 113 of which are food-producing.

– Ligaya Figueras
Photo courtesy of gatewaygreening.org

The Scoop: New Balaban’s, old chef

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Just got word that Kevin Sthair has been hired to helm the kitchen at Balaban’s Wine Cellar and Tapas Bar, which is slated for a mid-November opening at 1772 Clarkson Road in Chesterfield. Sthair cheffed at the original Balaban’s for five years until it shuttered in 2006. Since then, he’s had stints at Chaumette Winery and Araka. The new incarnation of Balaban’s will offer small-plate riffs on many of the erstwhile restaurant’s original dishes along with carryout and a large retail selection of wines.

Photo by Josh Monken

The Scoop: Mathew Rice leaves Niche

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Mathew Rice has left his post as executive pastry chef at Niche Restaurant and Taste by Niche. “It was a hard decision to leave the best restaurant in town. I’m so proud of what I was able to accomplish there, but I’ve got other exciting things up my sleeve,” he said, declining to provide specifics but noting his recent consulting work with Pi. Rice (pictured), who was voted favorite pastry chef in this year’s Sauce Readers’ Choice poll, moved from Salt Lake City in 2005 to work at Niche with chef and owner Gerard Craft. Fortunately for fans of Rice and his red velvet cake, he said he is staying in St. Louis. We’ve got calls in to Craft to find out his plans to replace Rice. Stay tuned.

Photo by Brian Fagnani

C is for Caramel Apple Cupcakes, y’all

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Stefani Pollack, the sugar mama behind cupcakeproject.com, has joined forces with Paula Deen for a series of cupcake recipes now appearing at pauladeen.com.

The first feature is an adorable caramel apple cupcake: an apple-cinnamon cupcake topped with vanilla buttercream frosting, seasonal sprinkles and the cutest little mini caramel apple. It’s almost – but not quite  – too precious to eat. And how, exactly, to consume this unusual creation? “I would say you eat the caramel apple separately and then eat the cupcake,” Pollack recommended. “Think of it as the dessert after your dessert.”

Pollack, wife of Sauce photographer Jonathan S. Pollack, will share a fun recipe and photo for a seasonal cupcake at pauladeen.com each month through January, and possibly beyond, too.

This Sunday afternoon, she teaches a class at Kitchen Conservatory where she’ll whip up the little darlings, along with “witch cupcakes, which are chocolate-pumpkin cupcakes with little witch hats and pretzel rod broomsticks,” she said.

Byron Kerman
Photos courtesy of pauladeen.com

How do you say ‘free wine’ in Italian?

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

We can’t imagine you’d want to miss out on free wine at your favorite hangout. (You did vote 33 Wine Shop and Tasting Bar as your favorite wine bar in this year’s Readers’ Choice poll, after all.) So join proprietor Jeff Stettner (pictured) tonight in tasting the Italian specialties of Small Vineyards Imports, including Tre Donne Barolo, Podere Ciona Chianti Classico Riserva, Giuseppe Lonardi Amarone, Ronco della Rocca Pinot Grigio, Bibbiani Poggio Vignoso Chianti and Marchetti Verdicchio. Josh Hanson, director of Seattle-based Small Vineyards, will be on hand to lead the event. See you from 6 to 8 at the usual?

Photo by Brian Fagnani

North Africa via South Hanley

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Been craving some spicy fare? Then we’ve got a new one for you. On Saturday, The Wine Merchant in Clayton is sponsoring a taste of Tunisia. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., lamb tajine, couscous dishes and other delicacies from this North African country will be prepared by Majid Mahjoub of Les Moulins Mahjoub, purveyors of fine Tunisian foods. Mahjoub and his wife will be available all day to answer questions about all things Tunisian.

Reps from Pinnacle Imports, Premier Cru and Magic Hat Brewing will be pairing and pouring libations with the Tunisian fare, as well as with a new line of handmade raw sheep’s milk cheeses from Scott Pikovsky of Star Thrower Farm in Glencoe, Minn.

The food fest is a free deal, but reservations are requested; call The Merch at 314.863.6282.

Matt Sorrell

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