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Nov 20, 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘La Patisserie Chouquette’

Holiday Hacks: Outsource the dessert

Friday, November 10th, 2017

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Host smarter, not harder. Dessert is one of the easiest things to outsource for the holidays.

Pick up favorites like pecan pie from Sugaree Baking Co., or opt for classics reimagined by the elaborate French pastry wizards at Nathaniel Reid Bakery (like the ones pictured here).

If you’re on the fence of the great pie-cake debate, have it all with the Pake from La Patisserie Chouquette, a cake/pie hybrid that layers toasted buttercream between eggnog cheesecake, spice cake, pumpkin pie and bourbon-pecan pie.

Photo by Carmen Troesser

Marianne Moore is a contributor to Sauce Magazine and Dierbergs culinary creative director. 

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Budget Crunch: 7 delicious deals to devour now

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Got $10 and a friend? Then contributor Kevin Korinek has seven tasty deals to try now.

 

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1. Guerrilla Street Food is making friends this month, offering weekly collaborations with a few St. Louis favorites, including farmers market favorite, The Tamale Man. This week, $4 gets you the Tamale Man’s take on a bubuto – the Filipino tamale– that includes roast chicken, coconut milk, annatto seed, rice flour, masa, dried shrimp and a hard-cooked egg wrapped in a banana leaf and corn husk.

2. The Royale launched a new light lunch menu this month that’s big on taste and Budget Crunch friendly. For $8, pick two items – a main dish and a side – or pick three for $10 and add an extra side. Choose from a mains like a taco, single cheeseburger or a vegetarian hopping John cake, then select sides like a green salad, chips, cup of soup, mac and cheese or a health-conscious Brussels sprout salad.

3. Happy hour is even better at Sardella. Gerard Craft’s restaurant recently updated its menu with some budget-friendly drinks and snacks to enjoy from 4 to 6 p.m. Try a variety of drinks from house red wine to a cold pint of Perennial White Impala, all $5 or less. While you’re there, nosh on $5 toasted ravioli or an assorted array of $6 bruschetta bites.

 

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4. La Patisserie Chouquette goes all out when it come to Turkey Day with its signature Turducken croissants. These warm, buttery pastries are filled with mouthwatering, crispy duck skin, chicken and turkey, surrounded by cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce and fried onions. With gravy available on the side, it’s a complete handheld Thanksgiving meal. These $7 treats are only available on Saturdays in November, and it’s first come, first serve – so get there early.

5. Get a jump on the Christmas shopping this year and get something in return. On Tuesday, Nov. 14, DiGregorio’s Italian Market on the Hill hosts a free fall wine tasting just in time for the holiday season. Sample more than 25 wines and try delicious hors d’oeuvres and signature entrees while perusing a variety of holiday gift baskets.

 

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6. Coming in at $8, The Goat is a must-have favorite from hip Cherokee Street coffee shop The Mud House. This delicious little veggie sandwich that is sure to have you asking for more. Cold slices of cucumber are stacked atop greens and a creamy goat cheese spread and topped with beet chutney on toasted wheat. It’s a light, refreshing bite for your lunch break.

7. ’Tis the season of giving, and Niche Food Group is looking to reward your generosity during the month of November with its Cookies for Cans drive to benefit Operation Food Search. Dine-in guests can bring a canned good or nonperishable food item to any of Craft’s five restaurants and receive a free banana-butterscotch-oatmeal cookie from Sardella pastry chef Sarah Osborn.

 

Kevin Korinek is a freelance writer and photographer with a passion for making homemade pie.

Related Content
• Budget Crunch: 8 delicious deals to try now

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The Scoop: Old Standard Fried Chicken to close

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

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Nearly two years after first flipping on the fryers, Old Standard Fried Chicken will shutter its doors after brunch service on Sunday, July 31. Owner Ben Poremba announced the closure today, July 26.

“It is a business decision,” Poremba said. “It wasn’t doing what we wanted it to do or fitting in with our general strategy.”

Poremba opened the fried chicken restaurant in Botanical Heights across the street from his two flagship restaurants, Elaia and Olio, in October 2014. Sauce reviewed the restaurant in March 2015.

Poremba, who also owns Parigi and co-owns La Patisserie Chouquette, said the space at 1621 Tower Grove Ave., will not sit idle long. He will announce a new concept, as well as any personnel changes or transitions, in the next week or so.

It’s been a busy year for Poremba. He opened his Italian concept, Parigi, in Clayton in February, and in June, he handed the executive chef role at Elaia and Olio to Ben Grupe in order to shift his focus from chef to restaurateur.

 

-photo by Michelle Volansky 

 

 

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

Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

From sneak peeks of new restaurants to hometown beer victories to a mouth-watering new issue, here’s everything that went down in the STL culinary scene last week, in case you missed it.

 

1. Our February issue hit stands Monday, featuring everything we love right now from bread to Scandinavian spirits to a swoon-worthy triple-chocolate croissant from La Patisserie Chouquette. Click above to read online for free now.

 

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2. We shared 4 new restaurants you absolutely must try this month, including Porano Pasta, Moya Grill, Nami Ramen and Midtown Sushi & Ramen. Check out the Sauce Hit List.

 

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3. Companion has invited the public into its baking process on Feb. 2, when doors opened at its new Maryland Heights campus.

4. A taste of China, India and the Mediterranean is slated to open at the end of March when first-time restaurant owner Venkatesh Sattaru welcomes diners to Absolute BBQ – Indian Wish Grill.

 

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5. After four months of renovation, the space in The Chase Park Plaza that formerly housed Eau Bistro, which closed on Nov. 3, 2015, has been transformed into The Preston.

6. Meat lovers in Mehlville and beyond have a new place to get their fix. Co-owners Wes Smith, CJ Baerman and Shawn Orloski opened Ol’ School Smokehouse at 7565 S. Lindbergh Blvd., on Monday, Jan. 25.

 

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7.  True, St. Louis isn’t exactly in love with the NFL at the moment, but we’ll take any excuse to slather wings in hot sauce and eat with reckless, sloppy abandon. Here, 4 chicken wing recipes to win the Super Bowl spread.

8. McArthur’s Bakery Café will whip up a lot more frosting next month. The 60-year-old St. Louis institution announced Feb. 4 that it will add another bakery and cafe at 6630 Delmar Blvd., in The Loop.

 

 

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9. Meet Patrick Devine, assistant pastry chef of Simone Faure’s La Patisserie Chouquette in Botanical Heights and learn about his love of challenging technique and crowd-pleasing sweets.

10. It was a good start to February for the St. Louis beer scene as several breweries, restaurants and retailers took home RateBeer awards at the website’s annual festival and awards show last weekend, Jan. 30 and 31.

 

-Porano photo by Greg Rannells, Patrick Devine photo by Carmen Troesser, Companion photo by Meera Nagarajan, The Preston photo by Michelle Volansky 

What I Do: Patrick Devine of La Patisserie Chouquette

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

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With a last name like Devine, this pastry chef was born to make dessert. Today, you can find Patrick Devine turning out French confections as assistant pastry chef of Simone Faure’s La Patisserie Chouquette in Botanical Heights. Here, he shares his love of challenging technique and crowd-pleasing sweets.

Why work with pastry?
I love to cook, but I also appreciate the rigid technical (aspect of) pastries, and the challenge of finding where you can be creative with it. … I liked that whole challenge of sticking with a recipe, and if you don’t do it right, then it doesn’t turn out –understanding why it worked or why it didn’t work. If we are all in this industry to please people and satisfy some creative need we have, too, dessert is really going to cap that off.

You worked at The Ritz-Carlton in Clayton for a long time. Why did you go with Faure to Chouquette?
Simone likes to say it’s this big Jerry Maguire thing, where she was like, “Who’s coming with me?” But it was more me saying, “That sounds like exactly what I wanted to do from the moment I moved back to St. Louis.” … We work together really well. She had a one-guy-in-the-kitchen rule for a long time, even at the hotel. She’s like, “There is enough testosterone in one person, and you are that person.”

How is working at a small, independent pastry shop different than working at The Ritz?
More control. In a hotel, you have your day-to-day dictated to you by what kind of events are going on. …  It’s more producing a lot of food. … It is extremely frustrating at times, very challenging, keeps you on your toes. It’s a great place to learn. Moving from that to something small … gives you a chance to be more focused on individual creative items.

Chouquette specializes in French pastry and elaborate cake designs. What are you in charge of?
My main focus is the baked goods, the individual pastries. … I don’t care to do cakes. When it comes to decorating, … I’ll just really overthink the details, where Simone is like, “I’m going to do this, and here it goes.” And it looks awesome. She can knock out someone’s wedding cake in half a day, and it’s the most glorious thing you’ve ever seen. For me, it would take like four days. And I’d still be staring at it.

What’s your favorite thing to make?
My favorite thing to make is The Darkness. It’s Simone’s creation – a triple chocolate croissant. … Laminated doughs are really fun to make, but I like this one because most people haven’t seen chocolate dough before. Usually when they see it coming they’re like, “Ahh.”

What’s the most difficult menu item to make?
The macaroons. We had a great recipe going into opening, and that first summer was so hot and humid it just didn’t work. A lot of work goes into those – I think more than anything in the shop. They definitely give laminated dough and croissants a run for their money.

You post a lot of food and architecture photography on Instagram. Where did your passion for photography come from?
I got this nice camera for Christmas from my in-laws. It started more as outdoor nature stuff, and then that turned into urban exploration photography, abandoned buildings. And now that I have been at Chouquette, it’s turned more into food photography.

Do both disciplines fulfill your creative needs in the same way?
I think most chefs or even pastry people have quite a creative aspect to their personality. I feel much more comfortable in a kitchen or behind a camera more than I am in front it. (They both require) being a little introverted.

-photo by Carmen Troesser

The Scoop: Ben Poremba to open two new restaurants in Clayton

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

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Restaurateur and chef Ben Poremba is adding to his lineup of area eateries with two new concepts in Clayton — Parigi, an Italian-inspired spot with a Parisian twist, and a soon-to-be-named Jewish deli.

As first reported by Feast Magazine, Parigi is slated to open in November and will be located in Clayton on the Park, a residential high-rise at 8025 Bonhomme Ave. “Since it’s an apartment building I wanted something solid, a place that can be everyone’s favorite,” Poremba said.

Parigi will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and room service will be available for building residents. Poremba said the dinner menu will feature both extruded and hand-cut egg pastas, as well as steaks, sauces and vegetable side dishes. “We’re working very hard to make things look very simple,” he said. “It’s going to look like it’s just pasta and steak, and there’s no froufrou, but it’s going to take experience and precision to pull it off.”

Breakfast will be counter service, offering a variety of pastries from La Patisserie Chouquette and Blueprint Coffee. Lunch will feature some items from the dinner menu, but will also have faster options for the time-strapped business crowd. Poremba intends to add brunch service a few weeks after the opening.

Josh Charles, a member of Sauce’s 2014 Ones to Watch class, is leaving his post as chef de cuisine at Poremba’s Elaia and Olio to be executive chef of Parigi. “The last couple years at Elaia and Olio have been amazing and I am looking forward to taking my experiences with me to Parigi,” Charles said. “At Elaia and Olio, we do Mediterranean food with a focus on French technique, so I am very comfortable with the flavors and techniques of Parigi.”

Poremba is confident in Charles’ ability to run the Parigi kitchen and execute the menu. “(Josh) almost intrinsically knows my style, my standards and my flavor profiles,” he said.

Aaron Sherman, wine director for Poremba’s Bengelina Hospitality Group, will spearhead the beverage program along with Bess Kretsinger, bar and general manager of Olio. The wine selection will feature an approachable array of French, Italian and American varietals, and Poremba expects Kretsinger to look to early 20th-century Parisian trends for inspiration. There will also be about 10 beers available on tap.

Parigi’s 75-seat dining room will have a sleek, contemporary decor with Parisian influences and accents. A 16-seat private dining room will be available for events, as well as Parigi’s rooftop bar with 360-degree views of the city.

The location for Poremba’s Jewish deli has yet to be finalized, but the concept is slated to open in Clayton next year.

Poremba’s hospitality group includes Elaia and Olio, Old Standard Fried Chicken and Simone Faure’s La Patisserie Chouquette. All of which are clustered in Botanical Heights, which Poremba considers his home and flagship for Bengelina. “Even when the new restaurant opens up, I’ll be spending most of my time here in Botanical Heights,” he said.

 

The Scoop: Local sushi star Naomi Hamamura joins the culinary team at United Provisions

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

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With the opening of United Provisions just weeks away, there’s news that another talented face from the local culinary scene is joining the team at the highly anticipated international grocery store at 6241 Delmar Blvd., in University City.

Naomi “Hama” Hamamura, previously executive chef at the Wasabi location downtown, has been hired as the chef at The Dining District, the prepared foods and dining section inside the grocery store. United Provisions partner Ben Poremba said he hired Hamamura two weeks ago. “He’s the best,” said Poremba, who also owns Elaia and Olio and co-owns La Patisserie Chouquette. “I called him up. He liked the idea of a new place … something a little different from what he’s done so far.”

While Hamamura will be in a new location, he’ll still be the focus of attention as he prepares sushi, ceviche and other raw far at the 16-seat raw bar at United Provisions. The Dining District’s other stations include a grill, a plancha and a deli with cured meats and cheese, according to St. Louis Magazine. Executive chef Jay Stringer will overseeing the entire dining and prepared foods operation. A veteran of the Chicago dining scene, Stringer has worked in the kitchen at Olio since it opened almost two years ago.

Lunch hours at The Dining District will be counter service with dine-in or carryout options, while dinner will be full service at this restaurant within a grocery store. There will also be a coffee shop serving up drip Northwest Coffee and pastries from La Patisserie Chouquette. Poremba said United Provisions is expected to open Aug. 11.

While Hamamura’s career began in Japan, the chef has made a mark on the local food scene since arriving to the U.S. in 1979, including working at now-closed Japanese steakhouse Robata of Japan and Ritz Carlton – St. Louis, and owning and operating the now defunct Sansui and Sansui West. In 2010, when Hamamura sold Sansui West to Wasabi, he stayed on as its corporate chef. After a stint at Prasino, Hamamura returned to Wasabi, where he worked until July 14.

-photo by Greg Rannells

Editor’s Note: This piece originally misstated Naomi Hamamura’s responsibilities at The Dining District. It has been corrected.

In This Issue: Trendwatch – Part 2

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

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Last Course: Earl Grey
Tea is no longer just for drinking. It’s accenting sweet treats across town, and Earl Grey – that black tea with a touch of citrus – is the blend of choice. You can find this timeless classic in baked goods and pastries at 4 Seasons Bakery (Earl Grey macarons), La Patisserie Chouquette (Earl Grey macaron with Cream Earl Grey caramel ganache and Earl Grey tea biscuits), at Comet Coffee (Earl Grey cookies), the recently relocated London Tea Room (lavender Earl Grey bread) and Winslow’s Home (a rotating special of chocolate cake-bread pudding with Earl Grey anglaise). In the mood for a tea-spiked frozen sundry? Go for Earl Grey-blended gelato at Gelateria Tavolini or Gelateria del Leone – both call it London Fog.

It’s a Southern thang
Pimento cheese, that pâté of the South, rises again. A pimento BLT has been on the menu at SugarFire Smoke House since it opened (And with location No. 2 soon to open in St. Charles, it will double the pleasure.). Pimento cheese also appears at Juniper, where y’all can find it in a pimento grilled cheese sandwich. The spreadable orange stuff is everywhere at Quincy Street Bistro: in smothered potato chips, pimento cheese skins and, of course, its (artery) killer The Hog Burger. Last November, QSB collaborated with Strange Donuts on a hog burger stuffed inside a doughnut and topped with pimento cheese; it still ranks among the most popular of the doughnut shop’s savory late-night Strangers.

No boloney
David Chang thinks bologna is going to be bigger than pork belly. At least in these parts, the old-school sandwich with its underappreciated meat is back and maybe even worth being dubbed “artisanal.” The Southsider at Quincy Street Bistro is no ordinary fried bologna sandwich with house-made, smoked, thick-cut bologna plus cheddar mornay and a farm egg on a Companion brioche. At Annie Gunn’s, diners dug into a hearty lunch of fried bologna with Comté on brioche served with heirloom tomato soup. It’s left the menu, but fear not; it’ll be back come June when tomatoes begin to ripen. And when Michon’s Smokehouse opens downtown on Washington Avenue in May, you can get a smoked bologna sandwich there, too.

 

 

The Scoop: Ben Poremba reveals plans to open a chicken shack

Friday, October 25th, 2013

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As if Elaia, Olio, Salume Beddu and La Patisserie Chouquette weren’t enough to keep restaurateur Ben Poremba busy, the chef-proprietor of the first two establishments and co-owner of the latter two is adding more to his plate. Poremba revealed his plans for another restaurant with an anticipated April 2014 opening.

Poremba is currently finalizing paperwork to lease the building on Tower Grove Avenue in Botanical Heights, next door to bakery Loafer’s, opening this spring, and near the same intersection anchored by Elaia, Olio and Chouquette.

As the restaurant’s working name implies, Chicken Shack will focus on fried chicken. “Fried chicken is my favorite food,” said Poremba, when asked the impetus for the restaurant’s concept. “There are enough taquerías, pizzerias … in town.” And while some restaurants offer weekly fried chicken dinners, he sees a niche in focusing daily on “just good fried chicken,” along with upgraded southern sides like black bean hummus or bacon cheddar cornbread muffins using a family recipe from Chouquette co-owner Simone Faure. And yes, there will be waffles.

The bar will center its attention on house-made sodas and American whiskey, which Poremba said will be categorized by grain type on the menu. In a somewhat “build-your-own” manner, patrons will choose a whiskey and then decide whether they want to sip it neat, on the rocks, as a highball with a house-made sodas or in an Old Fashioned, Manhattan or mint julep. No other cocktails will be offered.

Poremba hopes elements such as a vintage jukebox, a stage for live music, a 20-seat bar and communal seating only (five communal tables with 10 seats each) will lend a casual feel to the restaurant and make it a nighttime hangout.

-photo by Greg Rannells

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