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May 29, 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘chef change’

The Scoop: Chef Josh Charles departs Blood & Sand

Friday, May 12th, 2017

 

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{ Chef Josh Charles } 

 

After three months helming the kitchen, chef Josh Charles has left Blood & Sand. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, Charles decided to redirect his career to focus on his growing family.

Before Blood & Sand, Charles was executive chef at Element. “When I took the job, my wife was pregnant, and we thought ‘We can make this work, it’ll be fine.’ But the second the baby came, we realized it wasn’t going to work. Those first five weeks, I was not there at all because I was at the restaurant.”

In an effort to spend more time at home, Charles has taken a position as a prep cook at Boundary, which he said gives him more normal, daytime hours and a reduced stress level. He said he’d eventually like to get back to his pastry chef roots and delve into making some of the breads and pastries for the restaurant.

Charles said he’s still consulting with Blood & Sand while the search is on for his replacement, and he’ll also continue to create recipes, videos and blog posts for his website. He also plans to do some pop-up events.

“Hopefully now that I have a bit more time I can do a pop-up every other month or so, so I can still work that creative side of me, and work with friends and farmers,” he said.

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
The Scoop: Josh Charles leaves Element, heads to Blood & Sand

• The Scoop: New owner discusses vision for Blood & Sand

Ones to Watch 2014: Josh Charles

 

The Scoop: Josh Charles leaves Element, heads to Blood & Sand

Monday, February 6th, 2017

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Chef Josh Charles has left his post as executive chef at Element to helm the kitchen at Blood & Sand, as reported by St. Louis Magazine. Charles’ former chef de cuisine Tudor Seserman has stepped up to assume the executive chef role. Charles said the passing of the torch was smooth thanks to their close working relationship.

In his new role, Charles said he’ll work with Blood & Sand’s current chef Chris Krzysik through Valentine’s Day, and then will begin making his mark on the menu.

“The day after, it starts,” he said, adding it should take a month of switching out a couple of dishes at a time before the transition is complete. Charles said diners can expect a bill of fare that reflects his focus on quality ingredients and techniques. While he’ll put his stamp on the food at Blood & Sand, the restaurant’s much-loved tater tots will remain.

“It’s a great platform and a beautiful place,” said Charles. “They’ve always had a reputation for putting out great food and drink. I’m super excited.”

Krzysik said he is currently in talks to take a position at another restaurant, but couldn’t share more information at this time. Element co-owner Carol Hastie did not return requests for comment.

Photo courtesy of Christina Lane 

Related Content
The Scoop: New owner discusses vision for Blood & Sand

• The Scoop: Josh Charles is named executive chef at Element

• Ones to Watch 2014: Josh Charles and John Fauz

 

 

The Scoop: Summer Wright to helm Vicia’s pastry program, Reeds American Table names new pastry chef

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

 

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{ Summer Wright’s panna cotta at Reeds American Table }

 

Summer Wright has been named executive pastry chef at new restaurant Vicia, set to open in late January 2017. Wright currently holds that position at Reeds American Table, where she will be replaced by pastry assistant Ashley Rouch.

Wright said she took the new position in part because of the opportunity it will provide to work with Vicia co-owners Michael and Tara Gallina, who previously worked at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, a highly regarded restaurant in New York’s Hudson River Valley.

“Supporting local farmers is at the core of their cooking philosophy,” Wright said in an email. “It’s really fulfilling to work with Michael and Tara, who put so much emphasis on using the local farmers’ products.”

Wright, who has 16 years of experience in the kitchen, previously worked at Niche, Five Bistro and Claverach Farm. At Vicia, she’ll be responsible for creating sweet and savory pastries for the midday and evening menus. During the day, diners can expect croissants, quiche, scones, cookies and fruit tarts. “Having the opportunity to do a daily daytime service that includes a bakery menu is a major point of interest,” Wright said.

The pastry program will make use of whole grains milled in-house. That’s a big priority for Tara Gallina, who hopes to show people that there is much more out there than all-purpose flour.

“We are really excited to put an emphasis on how versatile and delicious freshly milled flour can be in baked goods,” she said. “Our hope is to spark a conversation with people that there is just as much seasonality and variety in grains as there is with other produce that we now think more about.”

At Reeds American Table, Rouch will have the opportunity to experiment with the pastry program, chef-owner Matt Daughaday said, but he doesn’t predict drastic changes to the dessert menu. “Summer created a formula that works,” he said.

Photo by Greg Rannells

Related Content

Save Room for Dessert

The Scoop: Gallinas to open Vicia in The Cortex

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

Best New Restaurants 2015: No. 5 – Reeds American Table

 

Editor’s note: This post originally misspelled Ashley Rouch’s name. It was updated at 2:45 p.m. on Dec. 23 to correct the error. It was also updated at 4:40 p.m. to include an additional quote from Tara Gallina. 

 

The Scoop: Chef Chris Ladley to depart Quincy Street Bistro after two years

Friday, October 21st, 2016

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After two years, Chris Ladley is departing Quincy Street Bistro. His final dinner service is today, Oct. 21. Ladley had been executive chef since Chris Tirone departed in November 2015.

Ladley said he plans to take a break from the fast-paced workload of a chef, take a vacation and help some of his friends with restaurant projects. “I just realized that I’m not getting any younger,” he said. “I’ve been at Quincy for two years now, and they’re at a really good place with the menu so I decided to take a little break,” he said. Ladley’s resume includes time as executive chef at Herbie’s Vintage ’72, as well as PastariaBrasserie and The Dubliner.

Ladley said Quincy Street Bistro owners Mike and Sue Enright will continue business as usual this weekend, and he anticipates a smooth transition to a new, yet-to-be-named chef. “A lot of people here have been here for years, and we’ve become this functional family, so I’m kind of bummed to leave, but at the same time I’m looking forward to recharging the batteries,” he said. “I’m stoked about the dining scene that has been evolving in the city, and I want to stay a part of it for sure.”

Co-owner Mike Enright declined to comment on the transition at this time.

The Scoop: Anne Croy leaves Pastaria, to focus on Banner Road

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

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After four years at Niche Restaurant Group, Anne Croy has left her position as Pastaria’s executive pastry chef. Her last day was Thursday, Sept. 1, as reported by Feast.

Croy said she intends to focus on her business, Banner Road Baking Co. “Banner road is a wholesales specialty food business,” she said. Currently, she sells four varieties of granola under the Banner Road name. She hopes to expand her distribution throughout the Midwest and add more flavors and products like energy bars, granola bars, cookies and crackers.

“Anne makes some of the best granola in the world, and we’re proud to still serve her recipe at Pastaria,” said Niche Food Group owner Gerard Craft.

 

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Croy worked at Pastaria’s since it opened in 2012. “I’ve been able to work with some of the finest chefs in the city,” she said. “I just had an amazing team, and I’m really excited about what (executive chef Ashley Shelton) is doing with the restaurant.”

Craft said Sardella executive pastry chef Sarah Osborn has taken over pastry operations and will develop desserts for Pastaria and Taste. She will also have a hand in developing gelato pop flavors for Porano.

Pastaria Nashville executive pastry chef Mathew Rice has been named Niche Food Group executive pastry chef and will work with Osborn to develop the gelato programs at Pastaria and Porano, as well as the overall dessert programs at Pastaria and Taste.

Rice said he looks forward to the added responsibilities, as well as more frequent trips back to St. Louis. “This will keep me involved in the St. Louis food scene, so that’s something I’m excited about,” Rice said.

 

Catherine Klene contributed to this report. 

 

The Scoop: Ben McArthur leaves J. McArthur’s kitchen, Will Volny steps in

Monday, August 29th, 2016

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{Chef Ben McArthur}

 

A little more than a year after opening his first restaurant, chef Ben McArthur has left J. McArthur’s An American Kitchen. The announcement was posted on J. McArthur’s Facebook page yesterday, Aug. 28.

Co-owner Kathleen Bibbins said McArthur has “decided to pursue some other opportunities.” McArthur opened the Lindenwood Park restaurant in July 2015 with Bibbins (his stepmother) and his father, John McArthur. Bibbins said she and John McArthur will continue their ownership with a new chef at the helm, Will Volny.

“He’s going to carry on with the original concept that’s been developed,” Bibbins said, “He was recommended to us by a lot of people.”

Volny, who most recently served as chef at Bixby’s, said J. McArthur’s farm-to-table focus aligns with his own desire to work with area producers. “Over the last three years, I’ve build a lot of relationships with farmers doing the CSA at The Libertine and working at Bixby’s,” he said.

While regulars can rest assured that J. McArthur’s popular scallops entree isn’t going anywhere, Volny intends to add a few regular menu items like a steak and a burger.

Ben McArthur did not immediately return requests for comment.

 

The Scoop: Molly’s adds new exec chef, dining room

Monday, August 8th, 2016

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Molly’s in Soulard is growing with a new dining room and a new executive chef, Brandon Busby, who took the helm early last week.

Most recently sous chef at Copper Pig, Busby also has prior experience at The Shaved Duck, Evangeline’s, Planter’s House and Revel Kitchen. He has also built a reputation on coordinating Taco Tuesdays at Ryder’s Tavern, which he will continue while putting his stamp on Molly’s menu.

“I’m definitely working on new menu items now and making changes, like tweaking the gumbo and jambalaya recipes,” said Busby. “I’m going to bring over my five most famous tacos, and I want to step up the game on the bar food and make stuff from scratch.”

New menu items will include duck confit tacos and fried cheese curds and hand-dipped corn dogs, both featuring batter made with 4 Hands brews. Busby said guests can expect menu changes to start kicking in by next month.

Molly’s patrons can dig into these new offerings in a new 1,100-square-foot dining room. It seats 60 guests, and that capacity doubles when they step outside to a connecting 500-square-foot outdoor bar and patio area. The space opened to the public last Friday, Aug. 5

“That space originally had a structure that was considered a historic site and involved lots of negotiating with the city before we could knock it down to expand,” said owner Luke Reynolds. The space will allow Molly’s to host more private events.

 

 

The Scoop: Dan Sammons takes over as Demun Oyster Bar exec chef

Monday, July 25th, 2016

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A new tide has rolled in at Demun Oyster Bar. Fifteen-year kitchen veteran Dan Sammons began his tenure as executive chef today, July 25. Sammons fills the spot left behind after chef Ben Edison exited the kitchen earlier this year. Sammons brings a range of experience from corporate operations chef at McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood to working the kitchens at Berkeley, California’s eatery, Revival Bar & Kitchen.

“I fell in love with farm-to-table dining at Revival,” said Sammons. “The farmers brought the deliveries every day. We had to eighty-six menu items when we ran out of ingredients.”

For the past year and a half, Sammons has been working at LHM hotel properties, most recently serving a seven-month stint as the executive chef at Three Sixty. Both Sammons and Demun Oyster Bar general manager Tom Halaska said they are eager to work together to bring more local ingredients to the menu.

“In our initial interview, I asked him which farmers he knew and he said, ‘Which kind of farmer?’ That lead to a 45-minute conversation about who we knew and what they were doing,” said Halaska. “We have the same passion for food and drink.”

Diners can expect that passion to translate to changes on both the food and beverage menus. Halaska aims to create cocktails that complement the restaurant’s well-known oyster program and food menu, rather than a set list of standalone cocktails. “We want the food and beverage programs to work together in a unified way,” he said.

Sammons, who grew up on Southern cooking and summertime produce from his grandfather’s garden, plans to add and tweak menu items to reflect his experience. “There will be a salmon dish on the menu,” he said. “It will be like a salmon summer succotash with fresh vegetables.”

 

The Scoop: Chef Carl Hazel takes helm at West End Grill & Pub

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

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After taking six months off, chef Carl Hazel is once again top toque in the kitchen. Hazel started as executive chef at West End Grill & Pub (WEGAP) on July 13.

As The Scoop reported in January, Hazel spent the majority of the last nine years running The Scottish Arms’ kitchen before departing at the beginning of the year. “The pub atmosphere is something I really enjoy,” he said. “(WEGAP) runs the gamut from super, super casual, cold beer and flip-flops at the bar to a really nice date-night place in the dining room.”

The 20-year industry veteran plans to change the menu’s focus to an emphasis on local, sustainably grown and responsibly raised ingredients, but he will balance that change with what restaurant regulars have come to know and love. “We’re definitely going to change things quite a bit, but we’ll be real careful not to lose the personality of WEGAP,” he said. “People are more aware of what we eat and what we put in our bodies.”

Hazel also said he plans to improve plating presentations and perhaps incorporate wild game dishes. “People will see more than the standard beef, chicken and pork choices,” he said.

In addition to the menu, the 8-year-old restaurant will also update its interior and beverage selections. Hazel anticipates the new menu will be released in mid-August. “I’m excited to be back in the kitchen, doing what I love to do,” he said.

 

-photo by Carmen Troesser

The Scoop: Ben Grupe named executive chef at Elaia and Olio

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

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{Ben Grupe, Elaia and Olio’s new executive chef}

 

Chef-owner Ben Poremba announced today, June 7, that he has passed the toque at Elaia and Olio to Ben Grupe, who took over as executive chef of the Botanical Heights restaurants on June 1. Poremba said he needed to shift his role from one of chef to one of restaurateur, and so he tapped Grupe, whom he knew professionally but began speaking with in earnest in the last few months.

“I have five restaurants and a 4-year-old and a newborn,” said Poremba, whose company Bengelina Hospitality Group also owns Old Standard Fried Chicken, La Patisserie Chouquette and recently opened Parigi. “My workload needed to change, but I wanted to make sure the new chef would uphold our standards, continue what I started and improve on it.”

Most recently, Grupe helmed the kitchen at Meadowbrook Country Club before he struck out on his own, hosting monthly pop-up dinners out of the space that formerly housed Stellina. His five-course meals focused on regional ingredients and flavors. He also serves as the team captain for the American Culinary Federation Culinary Olympic Team, which competes in October.

 

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{Olio}

Poremba said Elaia and Olio’s menus will change regularly, as they did under Poremba, incorporating more and more of Grupe’s dishes. “He’s not making my food,” Poremba said. “He is introducing new techniques and ideas and making it his own. He’s paying attention to the progression and nuances of the meal.”

Don’t expect to find Poremba kicking back on his front porch in a rocking chair. Although the transition will allow him to spend more time with his family, he said he also looks forward to being more present in his other restaurants and focusing on other projects. “I’m looking forward to being seen in my other restaurants and going where I’m needed most,” Poremba said.

Grupe was not immediately available for comment.

 

-Olio photo by Carmen Troesser

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