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Mar 18, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Ernesto’s Wine Bar’

The Scoop: Former Cleveland-Heath cook Jimmy Hippchen now executive chef at Ernesto’s Wine Bar

Friday, July 11th, 2014



In 2013, Jimmy Hippchen left his job as the executive chef at The Crow’s Nest to take a position as a line cook at Cleveland-Heath. Now, this member of the Ones to Watch class of 2014 wears the top toque once more as executive chef at Ernesto’s Wine Bar in Benton Park.

Hippchen, who joined Ernesto’s in June, spent the first few weeks adjusting to a new kitchen. Now he’s ready to unveil a new menu Tuesday, July 15, that he hopes is more tightly focused on food that reflects wine regions. “I am trying to develop a menu where the food goes with the wine. It’s a wine bar. I want to marry the two very well,” he said. “I don’t want a show-off menu as opposed to doing well-executed, good food.” Look for dishes like a Middle Eastern flatbread topped with harissa, roasted cauliflower, pickled raisins and feta, as well as his take on shrimp and grits, sauteed shrimp swimming in pool of roasted red pepper polenta, lobster broth and scallions.

Of his nearly seven years spent in restaurant kitchens, Hippchen considers his time at Cleveland-Heath under the leadership of chef-owner Ed Heath, voted Favorite Chef in this year’s Readers’ Choice poll, to be invaluable. “(I learned) what it means to cook for the guest and through the eyes of the guest,” he said. “Eric (Ed Heath) taught me how to clean up my flavors.”

-photo by Carmen Troesser




The Scoop: Ernesto’s Wine Bar hires new exec chef

Friday, April 15th, 2011

041511_ernestosChef Ryan Sexton has been hired to serve as the new executive chef at Ernesto’s Wine Bar. Tom Revie, owner of the Benton Park wine bar and restaurant, has been looking for an exec since chef Cassy Vires left the position last November. Revie told The Scoop that Vires had hired Sexton on a part-time basis to work brunch at Ernesto’s when the restaurant opened in October 2009.

Sexton, who earned his culinary degree at the Kendall College in Chicago, worked as sous chef at a few Chicago restaurants including The Pritzker Club and Sangria Restaurant and Tapas Bar. Though he was trained in classic French cuisine, his interests reach over into Spanish and Italian cooking and he’s passionate about working with local ingredients. Here in St. Louis, Sexton was a member of the team that opened Cielo, the restaurant atop the Four Seasons Hotel downtown, and he most recently served as sous chef at Frazer’s Restaurant and Lounge.

First on Sexton’s list: preparing new items for Ernesto’s spring and summer menus. Look for a new menu on the restaurant’s Web site and at its Hawaiian-themed patio opening event on June 4.

The Scoop: Mississippi Mud Coffee signs deal with Dierbergs

Monday, October 25th, 2010

102510_MissMudIf you order a cup of coffee at local indie establishments such as The Mud House, Sacred Grounds Cafe, The Stable, Kakao Chocolate or Ernesto’s Wine Bar, you’ll be served a tasty cup of java (that boasts great crema) brewed from Mississippi Mud Coffee beans. Today, owner Christopher Ruess told Sauce that his small-batch, fire-roasted, fair trade-certified beans will soon be available at all 23 Dierbergs stores.

The deal will bring six different roasts to Dierbergs’ shelves: Sumatra, Espresso, Guatemala Antigua, Italian Roast, Kenya AA, and Mississippi Mud’s newest, Mexican. “It’s like a Brazilian,” described Ruess. “It has a little bit of mocha on it, a dark, round flavor, a bold taste. It’s a good coffee with cream, which softens it up.” All are single origin beans, with the exception of Espresso, which is a blend of Ethopian, Sumatra and Brazil. Thus far, two Dierbergs stores – the location in the West Oak shopping center at Olive Boulevard and Craig Road in Creve Coeur, and the location in the Four Seasons shopping center at Olive Boulevard and Woods Mill Road in Chesterfield – carry the 12-ounce bags of whole beans. The remaining stores will be stocked by mid-November.

A bonus for buyers is that the coffee is in-line priced, which means that each category of coffee beans is sold at the same price. “I in-line priced so that everyone can try my coffee,” explained Ruess, who predicts that the Kenya AA will sell fast since those beans are typically the most expensive. “People are getting a good discount on that,” he added.

“This is a big expansion for us to get into 23 stores,” summed Ruess, who founded the business six years ago. Ruess roasts his beans in a Patty Long Catering Co. building on Sidney Street that, appropriately, overlooks the muddy Mississippi.

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