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Oct 26, 2014
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Posts Tagged ‘Marcel Keraval’

The Scoop: Chez Leon shutters

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Chez Leon, the upscale French restaurant located in downtown Clayton at 7927 Forsyth Blvd., has closed. “I would like to thank my clientele for a dozen years of patronage. À bientôt and au revoir,” owner Leon Bierbaum said on the restaurant’s recorded voice message. St. Louis Magazine’s George Mahe broke the news yesterday.

Chez Leon spent its first decade in the Central West End, in the space on Laclede Avenue now occupied by Brasserie by Niche. In January 2010, the restaurant relocated to Clayton, with executive chef Colby Erhart at the helm. In August of the same year, Marcel Keraval, chef-owner of the defunct Café de France, took over in the kitchen. (Sauce spoke with Keraval about his move in 2010.)

While The Scoop has been unable to discuss the closure with Bierbaum, Mahe – as well as Ian Froeb of the Riverfront Times –  report that the restaurateur cited a lackluster economy and unsuccessful Groupon-type discount campaigns as factors in the restaurant’s declining business.

The Scoop: Former Chez Léon chef now walking to work at Walkers

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

082311_WalkersLast week, chef Colby Erhart assumed the top job at Walkers Restaurant and Bar. The chef, who lives near the South City restaurant at 6245 Gravois Ave., couldn’t be happier that his commute time is now all of two minutes.

Erhart most recently worked in the kitchens at Mosaic Bistro Market in Clayton and Prime 1000 downtown. He made the move from Prime to Walkers, he explained, because his close proximity to the restaurant enables him to spend more time with his infant son and because Walkers co-owners, brothers Griffin and Nate Walker, are close friends. He befriended the Walker brothers while training them in the kitchen at Chez Léon. (Erhart, a 2006 graduate from The Culinary Institute of America, worked his way up the ladder at Chez Léon and served as the executive chef at the French bistro when it reopened in January 2010 at its current location in Clayton. Erhart left Chez Léon when chef Marcel Keraval assumed the post in August of last year.)

Walkers opened in mid-March and, although Erhart plans to retain the “gourmet burger thing” at the restaurant, he is redesigning the lunch and dinner menus. When those are ready next month, look for more creativity on the menu, along with a wider selection of entrées and desserts.

The Scoop: Chez Leon extends bienvenue to familiar face from Café de France

Friday, August 20th, 2010

082010_ChezLeonLeon Bierbaum, owner of Chez Leon in Clayton, is feeling a bit of joie de vivre today as he announced the hiring of Marcel Keraval as executive chef. Keraval is known for his restaurant Café de France, which had a 23-year run, first downtown and later in Clayton.

“He’s very fluent in classic French cooking. It seemed to be a perfect fit,” stated Bierbaum, adding that he and Keraval go back 15 years to when Bierbaum waited tables at Café de France’s downtown location.

Keraval’s first day at the Clayton restaurant was yesterday, when he assisted Bierbaum with the preparation of a private dinner for a Saint Louis Symphony charitable event. According to Bierbaum, diners gave high regards to the meal, especially to Keraval’s stuffed quail and steamed trout served with both a nantua sauce and a leek sauce.

Next up for Keraval? “He’s looking at the recipes we have,” Bierbaum stated. “There will be some fine-tuning and tinkering.” As for Bierbaum, he is “pleased to see the staff working well with [Keraval] in just the last couple days.”

Have scoop on restaurants opening, closing or changing their menu in the St. Louis area? Email us at Scoop@saucemagazine.com.

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