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Jul 22, 2014
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Archive for June, 2010

Local Green Thumb Gives Gardeners a Place to Donate Extras

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

062410_JFCSEver find that your backyard garden produces more tomatoes, radishes and basil than you know what to do with? Well, after you’ve made all the fresh salads, soups and roasts you can imagine, consider donating your extra produce to those less fortunate in the St. Louis area.

The Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry, run by the Jewish Family & Children’s Service, has launched a new program called Share the Harvest, which will add fresh produce to the canned and packaged goods the food pantry distributes to more than 1,300 families each month.

The idea was started by Laura Silver, a local mother and a bit of a green thumb. Her 6-year-old twins picked out a bevy of colorful fruit and vegetable plants, and she enthusiastically planted them in the backyard. When the soil began bursting with colorful fresh produce, however, she found herself with more fruits and veggies than her twins were interested in consuming. After giving some away to friends and her kids’ teachers, she decided she’d like to donate her bountiful surplus to the area’s hungry.

Now, local gardeners who find themselves with a healthy harvest can drop off extra produce at the food pantry in Creve Coeur, which distributes to those in need in more than 89 zip codes in the St. Louis metropolitan area. All produce should be fresh, undamaged and homegrown – make sure anything you donate is something you’d put on your own family’s table. Got more fresh herbs than you can use? Those make great additions as well.

“Fresh-grown herbs are fantastic for the food pantry because they don’t spoil as quickly, and they also add such incredible flavor to dishes that you can make wonderful on a shoestring,” Silver said. Silver is also working to create recipes that the food pantry can pair with the food they’re donating, giving local families a quick and easy way to put a delicious dinner on the table.

Produce donations may be dropped off Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the Jewish Family & Children’s Service Allan R. Hoffman Building, 10950 Schuetz Road, Creve Coeur. To coordinate other drop off arrangements, call the pantry’s program coordinator, Susan Rundblad, at 314.812.9307.

– Stacy Schultz

The Scoop: Brasserie gets a new executive chef

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

062310_brasserieBrasserie by Niche is gearing up a bienvenue: Chef and owner Gerard Craft has hired William Fugitt as executive chef to replace Perry Hendrix, who is leaving the Central West End bistro to take a position at Custom House Tavern in Chicago.

Fugitt holds 16 years of culinary experience, including tenures at Jean-Louis Palladin at the Watergate Hotel and Equinox Restaurant in Washington, D.C.; Michel Bras Restaurant in Laguoile, France; Tru in Chicago; and Jack Nicklaus’ Country Club at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio. Most recently, Fugitt has been collaborating on dinners with farmer Lee Jones, owner of The Chef’s Garden in Huron, Ohio. Fugitt will take up his new role on July 7.

In a conversation last evening with Sauce, Craft expressed his excitement about Fugitt’s credentials and experience with French cuisine, but noted that the switch did not mean that Brasserie’s menu would be changing any time soon. “We’re not going to go in and flip anything. This is a menu that we created based off of dishes we love, and French cooking. We’ll keep things moving forward,” stated Craft.

“There is no negativity between me and Perry,” he added. “We have a lot of respect for Perry and the choices he has to make for his family. He got a great offer, and we have an amazing replacement.”

One of Fugitt’s first endeavors will be to assist Craft with the charity event Share Our Strength’s A Tasteful Pursuit, to be held at Brasserie by Niche on July 27. For this affair, top chefs from the Midwest will gather to create a multicourse menu paired with fine wines and beers.


– Ligaya Figueras

Liederkranz cheese returns – and St. Louis has it

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

062310_Wine&CheeseLiederkranz, a famed American cheese out of production since 1985, has just returned to the market in limited quantities, and The Wine and Cheese Place plans to stock it.

“We are expecting Liederkranz on Thursday, keeping our fingers crossed,” Paul Hayden, manager at the Clayton shop, notified us by e-mail today. “I cannot wait to taste it myself. I have been at The Wine and Cheese Place for 23 years, and production of Liederkranz stopped two years before I started.”

Earlier this year, DCI Cheese Co. of Richfield, Wisc., began to reintroduce Liederkranz to the market in specialty retailers across the Midwest. Hayden described it as “an American re-creation of Limburger cheese, made subtly different by the use of a different bacterial culture for ripening – cow’s-milk cheese, with an edible pale yellow-orange tan crust and a semisoft, pale interior with a mildly pungent flavor and distinct aroma”

Everything’s beachy in the Grove

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

062310_SanctuariaBeachcombers here have it tough – no one will ever mistake the Landing for Saint-Tropez. But this Saturday, June 26, Sanctuaria and Erney’s 32 are seeking to fix that with their inaugural Beach Bash on Boyle.

Starting at 6 o’clock that evening, the two Grove establishments will host a gonzo gala on Boyle Avenue, which will be closed between them. The event will include a hula-hoop contest, a dunking tank, a tug of war, a sand-volleyball tourney and – ladies, take note – both female and male swimsuit contests. At 10 p.m., hula dancing will also start, noted Sanctuaria front-of-house manager Virginia Miller. A DJ will provide music, and the event will include a shrimp boil and tropical cocktails. (When Miller chatted with us, by the way, Sanctuaria’s master mixologist, Matt Seiter, was still mulling what surprises to concoct for thirsty attendees.)

The event’s $10 cover charge includes a ticket for a complimentary drink. Part of the proceeds from the event will benefit The BackStoppers, the nonprofit devoted to providing support and financial assistance to the spouses and children of area police officers, firefighters and similar individuals who die in the line of duty.

For more information on the Beach Bash on Boyle, phone 314.535.9700.

Resetting the GPS on a frozen “mmm”

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

062210_DetersSummer’s arrival makes it integral to stay abreast of changes at area malt shops and similar oases. In that light, visitors to St. Charles County might need to consult their Garmins regarding Deters Frozen Custard. The shop – a 2003 outgrowth of a family dairy founded in Quincy, Ill., all the way back in 1892 – relocated from WingHaven to 804 O’Fallon Road in the Westwood Center in Weldon Spring roughly a month and a half ago, a call there confirmed. So if you find yourself adventuring in that vicinity and craving Deters’ Mill Creek Turtle (caramel, hot fudge and pecans) or Maple Petootie (Vermont maple, pecans and marshmallow), double-check your GPS readout. Then plot a course accordingly – and get set for some frozen relief from the heat index.

iTAP kicks off its World Cup celebration

Monday, June 21st, 2010

062110_itapSoccer fans, take note! In cooperation with Sauce, the new Soulard location of the International Tap House, at 1711 S. Ninth St., will be welcoming you to World Cup coverage not only with hundreds of thirst-quenching quaffables, but also with cuisine from local restaurants all this week for the 1:30 p.m. games. So today, as Spain and Honduras hit the field, Modesto will be providing tapas for fútbol fans – and iTAP itself will be discounting Barcelona’s Estrella Damm and Estrella Galicia. Save us a seat, will ya?

The Scoop: Schlafly’s head of brewing discusses possible sale

Monday, June 21st, 2010

062110_SchlaflyAs first reported in the St. Louis Business Journal on Friday, the founders of The Saint Louis Brewery, Tom Schlafly and Dan Kopman, are in preliminary discussions about selling their majority stakes in the company. James “Otto” Ottolini, head of brewing operations for Schlafly contacted Sauce to discuss what has transpired thus far and his involvement in these events.

“Tom and Dan are open to selling their controlling stake in the company. I’ve been talking to them and working on it. I got my MBA to assist with the exit strategy for the owners. I just didn’t expect to use it so soon,” stated Ottolini, who earned his MBA in May from Washington University’s Olin Business School Executive MBA program. “But this process could take years,” he added.

According to Ottolini, on June 2, Schlafly and Kopman met with him and eight other members of the company’s senior management to announce their intentions. The following day, the senior management group met to draft a statement notifying all employees. The statement was read to employees on June 7.

When asked which employees might be able to purchase a stake in the company, Ottolini responded that it is unclear at this time. “You can’t separate the (beer) brand from two restaurants. An employee stock ownership program with a restaurant? There are not many models like that. That’s almost putting the cart before the horse, because the main financing is going to have to come from somewhere else. You need to have an ownership group. It’s not like employees can pass the hat and have enough to buy the company.”

So who might be among those new investors? “Essentially, we’re looking for more Tom Schlaflys. We need to find someone who is happy with Tom Schlafly and a beer being called Schlafly,” replied Ottolini, adding that the investor would “need to know the right way to run a beer company – this beer company.”

Ottolini stated that the estimated worth of the company has yet to be determined but cited last year’s revenue as $11.7 million.

“It’s a great opportunity. This is not a distressed sale,” he said.


– Ligaya Figueras

The Scoop: iTAP Soulard preps its taps

Friday, June 18th, 2010

061810_itapSauce was on the scene at International Tap House in Soulard this morning, where owners Brad Lobdell and Sean Conroy and their crew were busy unloading cases of beer, affixing taps – including decorative ones to the water fountain (sorry, no free suds) on the huge outdoor patio – and tidying up the 3,500-square-foot renovated warehouse in preparation for tomorrow’s 11 a.m. opening.

The bar will be stocked with 460 different bottles, with another 44 beers rotating on tap. While the beer house doesn’t serve food, Lobdell and Conroy are more than happy for you to bring in your own food or order deliveries to the door. Next week, however, BYOF won’t be necessary as Sauce has teamed up with iTAP to bring you great grub as you sip a pint of your favorite brew and kick back for more World Cup soccer action.

Starting Monday and running through Friday, you can enjoy the cuisine of one of the countries playing in the match broadcast at 1:30 p.m. CST via catering through an area restaurant that specializes in that country’s food; select beers from that country will also be discounted. First up on Monday: Spain v. Honduras, with food from Modesto.

Considering that iTAP offers 85 percent of the beers of countries represented in the World Cup, whatever banner you wave, they are likely to have your sud of choice. Bring your thirst. Bring your appetite. As for bringing vuvuzelas, that’s up to you.


– Ligaya Figueras

Local chef takes part in first lady’s program

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

061710_mealthymesEarlier this month, chefs from 37 states visited Washington to participate in the launch of Michelle Obama’s Chefs Move to Schools program. The only area chef included: Lauren McCabe.

McCabe – who operates the MealThymes personal-chef service in Augusta, Mo. – passed a whirlwind 36 hours in the nation’s capital for the June 4 conference after being nominated to attend by Operation Food Search, where she volunteers.

“The first lady’s goal is to really eliminate or reverse the childhood obesity epidemic within one generation,” McCabe told us. Chefs Move to Schools, which the Department of Agriculture will oversee, will pair schools with local chefs, who will try to educate children about the benefits of a nutritional diet, she noted.

“Government can’t dictate this – we have to change this locally,” said McCabe. “You can’t legislate a healthy lifestyle. … It’s not part of our national culture to legislate those things, so we really have to change a belief structure.” The Agriculture Department should be pairing chefs and schools in late summer or early fall, McCabe estimated, although she herself has already informally spoken to one school district in St. Charles County, where she lives.

Other shoppers’ supermarket purchases often astound her, McCabe noted. “If people read what was in this stuff, if they took the time to learn it, then most people would never eat it again,” she said. “And I’m not one of those people that says you can’t ever have a bag of potato chips or you can’t ever go to a fast-food burger place. I mean, let’s be realistic. But know what you’re eating and know what’s in it so you can make the decision. And certainly don’t eat it every day.”

McCabe expressed great enthusiasm for Chefs Move to Schools. “The program is something that’s really, really very close to my heart,” she said, “because I’ve been a volunteer for Operation Frontline for about a year and a half now and teach classes in a classroom environment and work with economically disadvantaged families to try to teach them to eat healthy on a budget.”

Photo courtesy of Lauren McCabe

The Scoop: Laclede Coffee Co. closed

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

061710_lacledecoffeeMidtown’s Laclede Coffee Co. closed its doors last Friday and when Sauce showed up on the scene this morning, a moving crew was receiving instructions from owner Kelly Bruce about the tables, chairs and other items that needed to be hauled away. Bruce opened Laclede Coffee Co. three years ago at 3722 Laclede Ave., directly across the street from SLU’s campus, and added a wine bar in January. But she recently sold the business to a group that will be turning the space into Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe.

No word yet from the new owners on projected opening date, but Bruce stated that the space will only undergo “minor changes.” More as we learn it.


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