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Jan 19, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Josh Galliano’

Sneak Peek: Companion in Maryland Heights

Monday, February 1st, 2016



Companion is inviting the public into its baking process starting tomorrow, Feb. 2. As The Scoop reported in January 2015, Companion moved its headquarters, along with a baking school and cafe, to 2331 Schuetz Road in Maryland Heights. The 5,000-square-foot cafe seats 66 and will serve the same menu as the Ladue and Clayton locations with a few additions to the bakery offerings like bread pudding and doughnuts.

The airy, industrial cafe has two full walls of windows overlooking into the production bakery. “You weren’t in the middle of the process in the other locations,” said co-owner Josh Allen. “With the exception of dish washing, you see everything that happens.”

In addition to the visible bakery, Companion welcomes community involvement through a teaching kitchen at the new location. Chef Cassie Vires recently joined the Companion team to lead the array of public culinary and baking classes Allen hopes to offer in April. Chef Josh Galliano, who joined Companion as production manager in June 2015, will also teach.

The new Maryland Heights location will be open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Here’s a sneak peek at what to expect at Companion’s new home:


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-photos by Meera Nagarajan

The Scoop: The Libertine’s Josh Galliano to join Companion Bakery, Schlafly chef Matt Bessler to replace Galliano

Monday, June 15th, 2015




Executive chef Josh Galliano is leaving The Libertine and joining the bread-baking crew at Companion beginning June 22. Galliano’s last day at the Clayton eatery, which he has helmed since it opened in May 2013, is this Thursday, June 18.

“I’m going to be … learning the ins and outs of everything they do,” Galliano said, noting his recent fascination with fermentation. “It’s stuff I want to know about. This allows me to delve into (bread baking) more and to do it with training wheels on because these guys are pros at it.”

Companion owner Josh Allen likened Galliano’s position to that of a bread production manager. In addition to his interest in baking and food science, Allen said Galliano also brings “tremendous leadership skills and a great mentoring ability” to Companion. He also said Galliano’s skills as a chef will be used when Companion moves to a larger facility in Maryland Heights Sept. 1.

The new location will have an educational center with a baking school and a full-service bakery and cafe. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for both of us,” Allen said. “(Josh) is always posting pictures on Instagram about baking bread, and he’s kind of a science geek at heart.”

Galliano’s departure means that Matt Bessler, former chef at Schlafly Bottleworks will helm the kitchen at The Libertine. Bessler, a longtime friend of co-owners Nick and Audra Luedde, started his career at Schlafly in 2000 and worked his way from prep cook to chef with an emphasis on farm-to-table cuisine.

“Josh knew for months that he was going to move on to Companion,” said Nick Luedde, who wished Galliano well in his future endeavors. “Ultimately we’re a family restaurant and a close team … (Bessler) will be true to the heart of The Libertine.”

The Libertine kitchen will also see the departure of chef de cuisine Josh Poletti, who confirmed he is leaving for another opportunity. His last day is also June 18. However, sous chef William Volny will stay on to work with Bessler on the new menu, which Luedde said will change from “fine dining where people can only afford to eat once a month to a place where the neighborhood can come out once a week and not burn a hole in their pocketbooks.”

Bessler’s new menu will include a more traditional format – appetizers, entrees and sides – and also feature sharable items that can serve two to 20.


Ligaya Figueras, Kristin Schultz and Catherine Klene contributed to this report.

The Weekend Project: Fried Chicken Dinner

Thursday, March 19th, 2015



Fried chicken is everywhere in St. Louis right now. It seems like new chicken shacks are announced every other week, and the golden birds are popping up on menus all over town. (I myself am one of the guys who cooks your monthly fried chicken dinners at The Libertine.) Despite its popularity, people often think fried chicken is a huge ordeal to make at home. While I admit it can make a bit of a mess, with a few kitchen tricks, fried chicken can be a simple, relatively mess-free, tasty undertaking at home.​

There are three keys to juicy, golden-brown fried chicken:

1. Wet brine the chicken.
2. Season the dredging flour, or chicken flour.
3. Master basic frying techniques.




First, brining and seasoning. There are two ways to properly season chicken: a dry or wet brine. Dry brining requires salting the chicken liberally – ¼ to ½ cup –  and letting it rest in the refrigerator for several hours. Dry brining is the quickest, simplest way to season the chicken, but wet brining is the best method to introduce other flavors. Here, you can mix in fresh herbs, tea or most important, hot sauce. After an overnight brine, the chicken goes for a dip in a buttermilk and egg bath, which is much easier – and cleaner – than a traditional egg wash. The bath also imparts a tanginess from the buttermilk and yes, even more hot sauce. (Note: This recipe uses three bottles of Louisiana hot sauce, but the end result is a balanced, subtle heat – so don’t panic.)




The chicken flour adds the final layer of flavor. The flour mixture must include cornstarch to help the flour stick to the chicken; I prefer a 1-to-4 ratio of cornstarch to flour. Not all flours are created equal, either. In the South, you’ll often find a mixture of flour and cornmeal, which adds sweetness and crunch. I prefer a more traditional flaky breading, so I use a mixture of all-purpose and corn flour instead.


Finally, frying. You don’t need to a purchase a fryer to clutter up your counter. A Dutch oven and a deep-fry or candy thermometer are all you need for beautifully fried chicken. The Dutch oven is deep enough to prevent oil splatters, and the cast iron helps keep the oil at a constant 300 degrees. Finally, cook like pieces together; breasts and thighs will take 12 to 15 minutes, while the smaller legs and wings will take 11 to 13 minutes. Keep the chicken warm on a rack in a 170-degree oven until you’re ready to serve.

With three teenage boys in our house, I usually cook three to four whole chickens at a time. Even if you’re cooking for a smaller or less voracious crowd, I still encourage you to fry at least two birds, as cold fried chicken is the one of the greatest leftover meals. You decide if you want the traditional Coke and dry white toast to go with it.


The Shopping List*

½ cup paprika
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. dried thyme
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. dried basil
2 tsp. cayenne
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
4-5 sprigs thyme
3 12-oz. bottles Louisiana hot sauce
1 5-oz. bottle Tabasco
4 skin-on chickens, cut into 8 pieces each
10 eggs
1 gallon buttermilk
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups corn flour
2 cups cornstarch
Canola oil for frying
1 lb. red new potatoes
2½ lbs. fresh green beans
¼ cup pine nuts
¼ cup fresh basil
1 lemon

*This list assumes you have water, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, sugar and olive oil on hand in your kitchen. If not, you will need to purchase these items, too.

The Gameplan

Day 1: Make the Creole Spice Mix. Brine the chicken.
Day 2: Fry the chicken. Make the Green Bean Salad.



Creole Spice Mix
Courtesy of The Libertine’s Josh Galliano
Makes 1½ cups

½ cup paprika
6 Tbsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. dried thyme
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. dried basil
2 tsp. cayenne
½ Tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. red pepper flakes

Day 1: Mix the paprika, salt, garlic powder, pepper, onion powder, thyme, oregano, basil, cayenne, sugar and chili flakes together in a non-reactive bowl. Store in airtight container.




Fried Chicken
8 to 10 servings

1 gallon water
1 cup kosher salt
½ cup sugar
4 to 5 sprigs thyme
3 12-oz. bottles Louisiana hot sauce, divided
1 5-oz. bottle Tabasco
4 skin-on chickens, cut into 8 pieces each
10 eggs
1 gallon buttermilk
4 cups all purpose flour
4 cups corn flour
2 cups cornstarch
1 cup Creole Spice Mix (Recipe above.)
Canola oil for frying

Day 1: In a container large enough to hold all the chicken pieces, whisk together the water, sugar and salt until dissolved. Add the thyme, 2 bottles Louisiana hot sauce and Tabasco and whisk again. Submerge the chicken pieces in the brine, cover and refrigerate 24 hours.
Day 2: In another container large enough to hold all the chicken pieces, whisk the eggs, buttermilk and remaining bottle of Louisiana hot sauce until incorporated. Remove the chicken pieces from the brine and submerge them in the buttermilk bath.
● In the bottom of a shallow 9-by-13-inch baking dish, stir together the all-purpose flour, corn flour, cornstarch and Creole Spice Mix until well incorporated.
● Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Fill a Dutch oven with 3 inches of canola oil, place a frying thermometer or candy thermometer in the oil and set over high heat until it reaches 300 degrees.
● Meanwhile, place 2 racks on top of 2 sheet trays. Remove the chicken pieces from the buttermilk bath 1 piece at a time and dredge in the flour mixture. Place the chicken on the rack and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces. Dredge each piece in the flour again and return them to the rack.
● Carefully add the breasts to the oil, working in batches as necessary to not overcrowd the Dutch oven. Fry 3 to 4 minutes, then turn and fry another 3 to 5 minutes. Turn again and fry another 3 to 5 minutes, until the skin is a crisp, golden brown. Remove the breasts from the oil and place on the second rack. Repeat with the chicken thighs, adjusting the temperature as needed to keep the oil at 300 degrees. Place the tray in the oven between batches to keep warm.
● Add the legs to the oil, working in batches as necessary to not overcrowd the Dutch oven. Fry 3 to 4 minutes, then turn and fry another 3 to 5 minutes. Turn again and let fry another 2 to 3 minutes, until the skin is a crisp, golden brown. Remove the legs from the oil and place on the second rack. Repeat with the chicken wings, adjusting the temperature as needed to keep the oil at 300 degrees.
● Place the tray with the fried chicken in the oven to keep warm until ready to serve. Fried chicken will keep, refrigerated, 1 week.



Green Bean Salad
6 to 8 servings

Kosher salt for boiling, plus more to taste
1 lb. new red potatoes
2½ lbs. fresh green beans, trimmed
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil
Zest of 1 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ to ½ cup olive oil

Day 2: Prepare an ice water bath and set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add the potatoes and boil until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon, place on a plate and refrigerate to cool.
● In the same pot, blanch the green beans 2 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and shock in the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain the green beans and place in a serving bowl.
● Slice the potatoes into large bite-sized pieces and add them to the bowl with the pine nuts, basil and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper, toss with the olive oil and serve. Salad will keep, refrigerated, 1 week.

Can’t get enough fried chicken? Check out other recipes from area chefs like Old Standard’s Ben Poremba or The Libertine’s Josh Galliano.

 -photos by Michelle Volansky

Trendwatch: A look at what’s on the plate, in the glass and atop our wish list right now – Part 2

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Click here to read Part 1 of Trendwatch.






4. Eveything’s Better with Uni: Whether it’s Peter Gilmore at Quay in the land down under or April Bloomfield at The John Dory in NYC, top chefs around the world are diving into uni. When the sushi chefs at Baiku get their hands on the sweet, briny roe sacs from a prickly sea urchin, they get egg crazy with an uni shooter special: The creamy uni, a quail egg, masago and tobiko (capelin roe and flying fish roe, respectively) all swim in a sake-filled champagne flute. Or, try the spreadable version when Baiku runs its special of salmon with uni butter. The Libertine’s Josh Galliano proved uni has a place outside of Asian and seafood restaurants when he pureéd the raw orange lobes with sungold tomatoes for an uni sorbet to accompany tomato toast. Uni is nothing new to Vince Bommarito Jr. When the venerable Tony’s chef gets the itch to cook with the delicacy, it usually ends up on a billowy bed of house-made fettuccine. And we thought the egg-on-everything trend was nearing an end.

5. A Side of Flan: Jiggly flan always equals caramel custard, right? Wrong. Stop looking for the silky egg custard on the dessert menu and check out the entrees instead. Find carrot flan served on the side of duck confit at newly opened Avenue in Clayton, spoon up the horseradish flan served with rainbow trout at Three Flags Tavern or try Modesto’s goat cheese and salmon flan.

6. Don’t Be a Chicken … Eat the Skin: We all know the best part of fried chicken is the crispy, greasy skin. Recently, area chefs indulged us by ditching the meat altogether and taking strips of fatty chicken skin straight to the fryer. During the summer and into fall, Juniper featured fried chicken skins as a starter, and during a one-night-only event at the CWE restaurant, guest chefs Jeff Friesen of Farmhaus and Andrew Jennrich of The Butchery unveiled their ingenious idea for chicken skin: Wrap it around okra. At Franco, it wasn’t decadent enough for chef Jon Dreja to roll chicken around black truffles and pistachios; he served the roulade with a wedge of crispy chicken skin.

7. Tapping into Local Maple Syrup: Funk’s Grove was once the only local choice for sweet tree sap, but now the maple syrup market is booming, and chefs are stocking up. Just a year after its first bottling, DeSoto homestead Such & Such Farm saw its liquid amber stocked in pantries at Juniper, Dressel’s and The Libertine. New among maple syrup suppliers is Michael Gehman, the man formerly known as Veggie Boy, now the owner of Double Star Farms. Gehman peddles Raber’s Sugar Bush, a grade B maple syrup from Flat Rock, Illinois, to numerous area restaurants.







Raise your voice: Nominations open for James Beard Awards

Friday, October 17th, 2014



Calling all opinionated St. Louis foodies! The prestigious James Beard Foundation has put out a call to the public, requesting nominations for its annual awards. Here’s your chance to call out your favorite chef and restaurant. Click here to register and nominate. Don’t delay – submit your culinary nods before Dec. 31, 2014.

St. Louis is no stranger to the James Beard Foundation. In fact at this very moment, St. Louis is heating up the kitchens at the James Beard House in New York City. The Libertine executive chef and co-owner Josh Galliano cooks there tonight, Oct. 17. Though you can’t grab a seat at that esteemed table tonight, you can pull up a seat at The Libertine bar starting at 5 p.m. for a special happy hour where guests can watch Galliano in action on a live-stream from the James Beard kitchens.

St. Louis made waves on the JBFA stage earlier this year, too. Kevin Nashan, chef-owner of Sidney Street Cafe and the newly opened Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co., and Gerard Craft, chef-owner of Niche Food Group (including Niche, Pastaria, Taste and Brasserie) were both finalists in the Best Chef: Midwest category.




The Scoop: The Libertine’s Josh Galliano to cook at James Beard House

Thursday, August 14th, 2014


Heads up, New York: Josh Galliano is headed to the James Beard House. The executive chef and co-owner of The Libertine will prepare a five-course menu in this hallowed kitchen on Oct. 17, an honor granted to only a few St. Louis area chefs over the years.

The theme of Galliano’s dinner, Along the Mighty Mississippi, will highlight the unique food cultures that developed, merged and evolved for centuries along the Mississippi River’s banks. “(Beard House) asks you to come up with a dinner that reflects you and (that) you’re going to be proud of,” Galliano said. “We live in St. Louis, and we have our feet still in New Orleans. That connection to the Mississippi is more than just the drive. You see it in the community and culture, and you see it a lot in food tradition.”

The New Orleans native has written a menu that includes dishes like Southern vegetables with guanciale powder, green goddess dressing and crab-stuffed zucchini flowers; hay-roasted coppa with pickled collards, field beans, and sprouted wheat berries; and whole-roasted lamb with fried cauliflower purée, piquillo peppers and coffee-infused olive oil. Many of his dishes and hors d’oeuvres will be paired with St. Louis-area wines, beers such as Schalfly and Perennial and Kaldi’s coffee.

“Those are the people who have been supporting me and what I’ve done and what The Libertine has done for a long time,” Galliano said. “It’s also a way of showing the heritage of the food and showcasing what’s going in St. Louis, in our region, and (that’s) very much a part of the theme, too.”

Want to catch Galliano in action? If you can’t book that flight to New York, just head to The Libertine on the big night. A webcam installed in the Beard House kitchen will live-stream the chef in action at a special happy hour event at the Clayton restaurant. Galliano said he hopes to host the same meal here at home after the event for loyal customers and friends to get a taste, too.


The Scoop: Heritage BBQ by Cochon returns to St. Louis Sept. 14

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014


{From left, Blackberry Farm’s Michael Sullivan, 2013 Cochon competing chefs Fabrizio Schenardi, Gerard Craft, SPQR’s Matthew Accarrino, Kevin Willmann, Kevin Nashan and Cochon founder Brady Lowe}


Pork lovers, rejoice! Heritage BBQ by Cochon is returning to St. Louis this year. The national tour that celebrates heritage breed hogs will take place Sept. 14 at the Four Seasons Hotel-St. Louis. Cochon founder Brady Lowe brought his Heritage BBQ to town for the first time last year, and his 2014 ‘cue fest is set to be even bigger.

The main attraction at the event is a whole hog barbecue competition. Five area chefs will each cook up a 200-pound heritage breed swine to create six dishes judged by a panel of local industry professionals. The lineup of competing chefs is: Gian Nicola Colucci (executive chef, Four Seasons – St. Louis), Eric Heath (chef and co-owner, Cleveland-Heath), Patrick Connolly (executive chef, Basso), Josh Galliano (chef and co-owner, The Libertine) and Lou Rook III (executive chef, Annie Gunn’s).

But the pig-crazed can dine on more than competition barbecue. New this year is Barbecue Traditions, during which area meat moguls will serve a dish exemplifying their take on barbecue paired with wines, bbers or spirits. Look for Mike Emerson of Pappy’s Smokehouse and Chris Bolyard of soon-to-open Bolyard Meat & Provisions to be among those educating eaters on barbecue culture. Other food attractions will include a pop-up butcher shop featuring Andrew Jennrich of soon-to-open The Butchery, a tartare bar with edible delights by Creekstone Farms, a cheese spread by Rogue Creamery and ice cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.

Even though there will be pound upon pound of tender, juicy meat prepared every which way, libations aren’t an afterthought. Festival-goers will can partake in top-tier bourbons, Crispin ciders, wines, mezcals and Goose Island beers, including its rare Bourbon County brews.

VIP tickets are $200 and include a 4 p.m. early admission, as well as access to reserve wines and spirits. General admission tickets are $100; tickets available online.

Sauce Magazine is a sponsor of this event.

Readers’ Choice 2014: Favorite New Restaurant – The Libertine

Sunday, July 13th, 2014


With each seasonal iteration of The Libertine’s trademark entree Three Little Birds, executive chef Josh Galliano and executive sous chef Josh Poletti exhibit the classic elegance of fowl, whimsically reinvented and roasted to perfection. Chicken, quail and Cornish hen are deboned, brined, stacked in layers and finally topped with morsels of dark meat. The succulent casserole is gently CVapped for several hours, which caramelizes the crispy skin before the Three Little Birds are laid to rest upon a bed of tangy, old-school Carolina Gold rice middlins, cooked with milk and pecorino. The ensemble is finished with a saute of local, seasonal vegetables – this spring, it was Scharf Farm’s asparagus and Andy Ayers’ snow peas doused in spring ramp butter sauce. The end product is a testament to Galliano’s and Poletti’s ability to elevate mere chicken and rice to first-rate distinction.

To see all the 2014 Readers’ Choice winners, click here.

-photo by Jonathan Gayman 

A look at St. Louis’ lineup of 2014 James Beard Award semifinalists

Monday, March 17th, 2014

In February, the St. Louis culinary scene was buzzing with the news that six of its chefs and one of its bars were named semifinalists for a prestigious James Beard Foundation award. Now, one long month later, the finalists for 2014 awards will be announced tomorrow, March 18.

Our fingers are crossed in hopes that The Gateway City garners well-deserved representation in the next round. Follow @SauceMag on Twitter tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. as we live-tweet results and look for a full report on The Scoop.

In the meantime, let’s celebrate those semifinalists who make St. Louis such a tasty place to eat and drink.

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The Scoop: St. Louis is well-represented among 2014 James Beard Foundation Awards semifinalists

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014



The James Beard Foundation has announced this year’s restaurant and chef award semifinalists, and St. Louis is well-represented in among 2014 nominees.

Rick Lewis of Quincy Street Bistro was announced as a semifinalist in the Rising Star category, which recognizes chefs 30 years old or younger who “display an impressive talent and who is likely to make a significant impact on the industry in years to come.”

In another national category, Taste was nominated for Outstanding Bar Program.

In the category of Best Chef: Midwest five area chefs made the list: Gerard Craft, chef-owner of the Niche family of restaurants; Nashan, chef-owner of Sidney Street Cafe; Kevin Willmann, chef-owner of Farmhaus; Josh Galliano, executive chef at The Libertine; and Ben Poremba, chef-owner of Elaia and Olio.

While Nashan, Craft, Willmann and Galliano have all garnered James Beard Foundation award nominations before, this is Poremba’s first. We had the honor of sharing the good news with Ben Poremba (and possibly waking him up). “Dang!,” he said. “I’m very excited. It’s a big deal for me. What else do you say about something like that? I’m very honored.”

Finalists for the 2014 awards will be announced March 18; winners will be announced at a gala ceremony in New York on May 5.  See a full list of restaurant and chef semifinalists here.

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