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The Scoop: Former Riddles owner KT Ayers now executive chef at Purple Martin

August 8th 12:08pm, 2014



KT Ayers is back at what she was born to do. Three weeks ago, she joined The Purple Martin as executive chef, and she’s set to launch a new menu Thursday, Aug. 14, which will double the restaurant’s offerings.

Food at The Purple Martin, which opened in this spring at 2800 S. Shenandoah Ave., is inspired by flavors from the northern and southern Mediterranean. Ayers said she and owner Brooke Roseberry, a long-time Fox Park resident, wanted to serve interesting but accessible food that appeals to destination diners as well as neighborhood families.

New dishes to debut on the menu include:

• Mischa Fish Stew, a hearty, Moroccan-inspired curry with three types of onions, carrots, tuna, white fish, lemon and orange served over Israeli couscous.
• Hindia’s Plate: Roasted potatoes tossed in berberé paste (an Ethiopian spice blend), braised green lentils, gomen (sauteed cabbage and greens) and a fresh tomato salad topped with a chopped hard-boiled egg.
• Roasted chicken: boneless, skinless chicken breast rubbed with thyme, roasted and served over wilted spinach, drizzled with pomegranate molasses and served with a goat cheese fritter coated in pistachios and pine nuts.

Ayers was previously the chef-owner of Riddle’s Penultimate Cafe & Wine Bar in The Loop, which her parents opened in 1985. She took over in 2007, but the restaurant didn’t weather the recession and closed in 2010. After Riddles, Ayers worked for two years as a line cook for a high-end steak and chop house in Chesterfield Valley.

Ayers said her background at Riddles taught her the value of sourcing locally and thinking on her feet. It’s this dedication that sparks ideas like making an abundance of dill and creating dressings, paste, sauces and compound butter and a quick bread with Schlafly Pale Ale for The Purple Martin.



By Greta Weiderman

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4 Responses to “The Scoop: Former Riddles owner KT Ayers now executive chef at Purple Martin”

  1. Sean Belt Says:
    August 8th, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Great news. Can’t wait to try some of the new dishes. Hope they keep lablabi on the menu, though!

  2. Linda Kurdi Says:
    August 8th, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    LOVE this chef. Will NOT disappoint.

  3. Emily Ayers Says:
    August 10th, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Looks soo yummy and healthy can’t wait to stop in. I want to try everything :)!

  4. kt Says:
    August 24th, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    I just love it here! Really really!

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