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Jan 21, 2018
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Posts Tagged ‘Chris Tirone’

Ones to Watch 2018: Eric Tirone

Monday, January 1st, 2018

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Head Butcher and Sous Chef at Truffles Butchery
Age: 27
Why Watch Him: He was a born butcher.

What do you do if your kid tells you he likes cutting raw meat? Hide the knives? If you’re Eric Tirone’s family, you start buying whole chickens. Tirone’s older brother, Chris Tirone (a member of the Ones to Watch Class of 2011), convinced their parents to let them practice breaking down the animals. “My dad said it was a little creepy hearing a little kid say he liked cutting raw meat,” Eric said. “But it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.”

At 17, he was helping his big brother butcher whole lambs and fish at An American Place. “Eric shared the same interests I had: sports, cooking, hunting, fishing,” Chris explained. “When I got into cooking, he enjoyed it as well and continued to mess around in the kitchen. Even at home I wouldn’t let him skate by.”

To understand Eric Tirone, all you have to do is watch him break down a massive hog with the skill of a surgeon and finesse of a ninja. It’s that virtuosity that got him promoted to head butcher at New Orleans’ famous, swine-centric Cochon Restaurant in just one year. There, he was butchering at least four pigs a week. Now, at Truffles Butchery, he butchers about one a week and teaches classes.

Does Eric Tirone want his own place? “Oh my God, absolutely! It’s been my end goal my entire life,” he exclaimed. “I haven’t been doing all this for shits and giggles. I can’t see myself doing anything else!” And when that time comes, after “knocking out a few big-boy things” like his wedding next year, you can bet the Tirone brothers will be back, standing side-by-side in the kitchen.

Photo by Carmen Troesser

Michael Renner is Sauce’s longtime New & Notable critic. 

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: Chris Ladley takes the reins at Quincy Street Bistro

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

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{Chris Tirone}

Chef de cuisine Chris Tirone has left the kitchen at Quincy Street Bistro, handing the reins to chef Chris Ladley. Tirone (a member of the Sauce Ones to Watch 2011 class) left in late November after two years at Quincy Street, where he helmed the kitchen after chef Rick Lewis left the South City bistro in March to open Southern. Ladley has worked at Quincy Street since September 2014.

“I’ll be running the kitchen, and we’ll keep doing what we’ve been doing,” said Ladley. “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. We’ll keep cooking locally sourced, locally inspired food and give great service.”

After spending 15 years in kitchens, Tirone is training with U.S. Foods where he’ll stay involved in the industry, but from a sales perspective. “I wanted to try something new,” he said. “I wanted to learn more about the food industry, and after two weeks in training, it’s been eye-opening.”

Tirone said he’s learning the business side of the industry, including pricing and technology. “When I was a working chef, a lot of what I did was operations, working with my guys, getting things prepped,” he said. “Now I’m learning about technology that can help with inventory and order entry that can help restaurants.”

The List: 20 dishes, drinks, faces and places we love now – Part 1

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Each year, the Sauce editors compile an annual tribute to the dishes, drinks, people and places we love in The Lou: The List. Here, Part 1 of our 2015 lineup, featuring a badass kitchen crew, a farmers market fairy godmother, the best smartphone app ever, a smoky glass of comfort and the magical alchemy that is khao soi.

What’s on your list? Share with #TheSauceList on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

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{From left, Sam Gregg, Rick Lewis, Grant Twidwell, Kevin Ruck, Nick Vandas, Ari Ellis, Chris Ladley and Chris Tirone}

 

1. The Kitchen Crew at Quincy Street Bistro

On any given night, the music playing in the back of the house at Quincy Street Bistro ranges from “heavy metal and punk rock to Katy Perry and friggin’ classical music,” said Rick Lewis, Quincy Street’s executive chef and front man whose lineup of rock-star cooks nails every performance.

In Quincy Street’s kitchen, Nick Vandas and Paul Heinz handle the first set, with Vandas on morning prep and Heinz tackling lunch service. In the evening, you’ll find Chris Tirone expediting while Chris Ladley and Grant Twidwell tag-team on grill and saute and Dakota Kalb entertains entremets. Kevin Ruck keeps the oven and sandwiches under submission as Sam Gregg bangs out fries, and Ari Ellis plates like a drummer keeping the beat. Meanwhile, Lewis is ever moving – either on the pass or on the floor talking to QSB’s adoring fans.

Why would a bunch of folks with serious culinary cred – former exec chefs and sous from fine-dining restaurants – swap white cloths for the casual comfort of a South City bar and grill?

“Cooking is meant to be fun,” Lewis said. “The majority of these people probably got into this business because they enjoyed cooking and the camaraderie of the kitchen. We try to keep that as much as we can and play nice.”

It’s a lively kitchen playing a very nice rhythm, but a restaurant that’s churning out some of the very best food in town can’t always be just fun and games. The dinner rush brings a different tune. “We like to keep it pretty laid back until things are really popping. That’s when it gets down to business,” Lewis said. “We turn the music off.”

But now that Lewis is leaving QSB this month to team up with Mike Emerson of Pappy’s Smokehouse and open chicken spot Southern, the band will have to keep its beat without him. “They are all very accomplished, seasoned cooks and chefs. That transition there is going to be super easy,” Lewis said. “They’re just going to keep rocking and rolling.”   – L.F.

 

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2. Smoking Mary at The Scottish Arms

When I find myself in times of trouble, Smoking Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, sip at me. No joke: This devilishly good batch o’ bloody at The Scottish Arms is concocted with a house-made mix of peat smoked tomato and celery and Benromach Peat Smoke Speyside single malt Scotch whisky. Sip slowly and take note of the spicy, smoky notes at play in this remarkably complex cocktail – before and after your hour of darkness goes away. – G.F.

 

3. Deborah Henderson at Midtown Farmers Market 

It’s a sunny Saturday morning in The Loop. Throngs of people stroll amiably, music drifts through the air, toddlers eat fruit popsicles in their strollers, and a farmer offers you a just-picked strawberry to sample. This sweet moment is brought to you by Deborah Henderson, the fairy godmother of farmers markets. “I get such satisfaction from the generations I interact with at the market,” she said, “from bringing in high school students as interns, to the 90-year-old patron that comes every week, to the new mother that didn’t miss her Saturday morning at the market, just days after giving birth.”

Beyond her unpaid, full-time job as manager of the Midtown Farmers Market and interacting with customers, Henderson wants to make these open-air markets successful for vendors and farmers. In 2012, she wrote and passed through legislation known as the Farmers Market Ordinance, which provides fair permitting fees and standardized food safety and sanitation codes for St. Louis County farmers markets. Then, Henderson created the Midwest Association of Farmers Markets, a nonprofit that promotes the local food movement through farmers markets and community programs. “We set a precedent in the state – so it can be a model for others if needed,” Henderson said.  – D.R.

 

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4. Khao Soi at Fork & Stix

What is this sorcery in which otherwise unremarkable ingredients – egg noodles, cilantro, lime, yellow coconut curry, pickled mustard greens, red and green onions and your choice of protein – alchemize into perhaps the finest Thai dish in St. Louis? With khao soi’s harmonious ratio of cream, crunch, chew, sweet and savory, Fork & Stix’s northern Thai specialty demands to be ordered and reordered. Eat it with the accompanying soup spoon or slurp directly from the bowl. Table manners are no object at paranormal times like these.  – G.F.

 

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5. The Drizly App

Never run out of alcohol at a dinner party again with the Drizly smartphone app, which is basically Amazon for booze. (We’ll pause now to let that marvelous-ness sink in.) You can order beer, wine and liquor and have it delivered to your door in less than an hour. Type in your address and this user-friendly app will pull the thousands of libations – organized categorically and alphabetically – available in your delivery area. Place your order and voilà, your party is revived without you so much as teetering from your hostess throne. Available for iPhone and Android. – J.C.

-Quincy Street photo by Ashley Gieseking, bloody mary photo by Sherrie Castellano, khao soi photo by Greg Rannells

The Scoop: Rick Lewis to leave Quincy Street Bistro, open chicken shack with Pappy’s Mike Emerson

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

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Fried chicken is flocking to St. Louis, and two big restaurant names have just thrown their knives into the ring. Chef Rick Lewis announced today that he is leaving Quincy Street Bistro to open a chicken shack called Southern with Pappy’s Smokehouse owner Mike Emerson, as reported by St. Louis Magazine.

Emerson and Lewis hope to open Southern, which will be located at 3108 Olive St., next door to Pappy’s in Midtown, in mid-April. Lewis described the fast-casual concept as a mixture of popular Nashville hot chicken spot Hattie B’s and Southern/Cajun-focused Cochon in New Orleans. Southern will serve hot chicken as well as sandwiches made with house charcuterie and other classic Southern fare.

The two men have been friends since Lewis took the helm at Quincy Street in 2012. Lewis’ elevated comfort food at Quincy Street received local and national acclaim; in 2014 he was a semifinalist for a James Beard Foundation Award in the Rising Star category. The friendship grew to a business partnership recently when Lewis, looking to start another project, sat down with Emerson, who sought to add another restaurant to his fold. Emerson also co-owns popular barbecue spots Bogart’s and newer Adam’s Smokehouse, which Sauce reviewed in July 2014.

“We started our business based on comfort food, and this guy takes comfort food to another level,” remarked Emerson about Lewis’ talent as a chef. “In the barbecue business, you start with the best product, and when I get to start with one of the best chefs in town, that doesn’t hurt either. It’s like signing Derek Jeter.”

Emerson said he wasn’t worried about the growing roster of fried chicken restaurants opening in St. Louis, and that he looked forward to Lewis’ unique contribution to the genre. “It’s always been one of my favorites,” said Emerson of fried chicken. “We’re in love with anything along the comfort food line. I’m not going to stop just because places keep popping up.”

At Quincy Street, Lewis said chef Chris Tirone (a member of the Sauce Ones to Watch class of 2011) will take the helm as executive chef, a role he has unofficially filled since hip surgery limited Lewis’ role in the kitchen for several months last year. “I’m not trying to tear something I built apart,” Lewis said.

Despite his new project, expect to see Lewis frequently Quincy Street often – his in-laws own the joint. “I’m always going to be up in that place,” he said. “There’s no doubt about that.”

 

 

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