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Jan 23, 2018
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The Scoop: Chef Michael Gallina to open series of pop-ups, new restaurant in native STL

October 17th 10:10am, 2015


{Tara and Michael Gallina}


After 12 years away from his native St. Louis, Michael Gallina, chef de cuisine at Dan Barber’s famed Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and his wife Tara Gallina, plan to return to the Lou in November, as reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Before diving headlong into a brick-and-mortar venture, the Gallinas plan to spend early 2016 doing collaborative events with St. Louis chefs and putting on pop-up dinners.

Blue Hill at Stone Barns is a working, four-season farm, restaurant and education center, and the Gallinas hope to bring the philosophy of Blue Hill to St. Louis. “We want to take our time and get to know the neighborhoods and see where would be a good fit,” said Michael. “We’ll be doing very similar things to what we do at Stone Barn … We will be utilizing local farmers and local farmers markets to showcase the entire farm and market.”

Michael, whose culinary resume includes time as sous chef at Eleven Madison Park, has served as Blue Hill at Stone Barns CDC since 2011. Tara also worked her way up at Blue Hill, starting in an apprenticeship program on the farm. She held every front-of-house position, including head bartender and now serves as senior captain.

“The food is in the moment. It’s here and we celebrate it,” Tara said. “We hope the dinners can be an engaging experience where people can go and have interactive moments with food and people. People in St. Louis are really interested in food … They’re thinking about what they eat and where it comes from.”

The Gallinas said the city’s rapidly evolving food scene called them back to St. Louis. “After making multiple trips in a short period of time, we’ve seen so many things,” said Michael citing the burgeoning craft beer scene, dining at Gerard Craft’s restaurants and innovative concepts like Kevin Nashan’s Peacemaker. “We’re coming back for personal and professional reasons. It’s time to do our own thing. We work really well together and are confident we can take what we’ve learned and share it with other people. It feels like St. Louis is on the rise, and we’re excited to get in while things are getting started.”


By Kristin Schultz

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