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Sep 02, 2014
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Posts Tagged ‘River City Casino’

The Scoop: Stephan Schubert wins ACF Pastry Chef of the Year

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

It’s a big week for River City Casino executive pastry chef Stephan Schubert, who was just named the National Winner in the American Culinary Federation’s 2014 Pastry Chef of the Year Award competition, standing out among over a dozen regional competitors and three other national finalists.

Schubert, who oversees the bread and pastry program at River City, applied to compete last fall. A judging panel reviewed a pool of several dozen applications from the Central region before selecting four finalists, including Schubert. The finalists squared off in the regional competition, held in St. Louis in March. (The Central region includes Missouri and 14 other states in the Midwest and South.)

After winning their respective regional competitions, Schubert and three other chefs from around the U.S. advanced to the ACF National Convention in Kansas City from July 25 to 29.

At the convention, Pastry Chef award finals consisted of a timed exhibition-style competition, in which contestants were given two and a half hours to create a cold-plated dessert that used cherries and pistachios, a showpiece and a signature cookie. The competition’s theme changes annually – this year, it was The Wizard of Oz.

“I wanted to do something that really showed my skills, to represent myself and my style of cooking,” said Schubert. “I wanted to set myself apart.”

He started with a traditional éclair “with a modern twist,” creating his own chocolate from fresh cacao beans and topping the éclair with cherry mousse. A from-scratch pistachio ice cream, colored with Matcha green tea, was served alongside it. A cardamom-flavored meringue rounded out the dish.

Next, Schubert devised an elaborate all-chocolate showpiece in homage to Oz. His was a darker interpretation of the story, complete with a molded chocolate tornado and gnarled yellow brick road.

“I wanted to focus on the bad things: the tornado, the poppy field, the witch,” he said.

For the cookie stage, he sandwiched milk chocolate ganache between two orange cookies and topped them with passion fruit jelly.

“What he was able to produce in that two and a half hours was fantastic,” said Darrin Aoyama, chair of the judging panel for the Pastry Chef category and executive pastry chef at River Oaks Country Club in Houston, Texas. “(The showpiece) had a high degree of difficulty and high degree of artistry to it.

“We were really impressed with his work,” he added. “He was well organized, managed his apprentices really well and had great focus.”

In addition to the Pastry Chef of the Year title, Schubert was awarded $5,000 for his win.

Since age 16, Schubert has led a distinguished career as a pastry chef, having previously worked in his native Germany, Switzerland, Greece and, for a time, on a Cunard Cruise Line ship. Before moving to St. Louis, he was an assistant pastry chef at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. He then worked as the executive pastry chef at Ameristar Casino in St. Charles for seven years before taking the top job at River City.

He cited the vibrant culinary scene in St. Louis as an under-the-radar nexus of good food. “It’s a big city, but it’s also really small. And underrated.” He added that this keeps him motivated.

“I’m trying to challenge myself to be better,” he said.

-photos courtesy of the American Culinary Federation

The Scoop: Chris Lee announces his next move

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Chris Lee has taken the position as catering and banquet chef at River City Casino, located in South County.

As reported by The Scoop, this past December Lee put in his resignation as executive chef for the hospitality group In Good Company. The group’s restaurants include Café VentanaSanctuariaDiablitos Cantina and Hendricks BBQ.

— photo by Jonathan S. Pollack

The Scoop: Doors shuttered at House of Savoy

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

121411_houseofsavoyHouse of Savoy, an Italian restaurant located downtown at 999 N. 2nd St., inside Lumière Place Casino and Hotels, shuttered Saturday, Dec. 10. According to Lumière Place spokesperson Candice Coleman, the closure of the fine dining establishment was due to a lack of business. “It wasn’t because it wasn’t a fantastic restaurant,” noted Coleman. “The food was so good. It was because everyone stays in the casino. They go where the action is. All the restaurants near the casino floor are doing well,” she explained. No decision has been made regarding future use of the House of Savoy space.

Coleman noted that Pinnacle Entertainment, the company that operates Lumière Place and River City Casino properties in St. Louis, is working to place the employees of House of Savoy, including executive chef Paola Bugli, elsewhere. “We are working with [Bugli] to find her something. We really love her,” she added. Bugli’s Lasagna Matta dish made our second edition of The List in 2010.

The Scoop: Former Lumière Place GM looks to open Soulard eatery

Friday, June 10th, 2011

061011_PizzaTodd George, former senior vice president for Pinnacle Entertainment and GM at Lumière Place and River City Casino, has hopes of soon opening a restaurant in Soulard. George and his business partner, Mario Maesano, former vice president of marketing for Pinnacle, signed a lease last week at 1709½ Ninth St., next door to International Tap House (iTap). The ink was for plans to open a pizza and sub shop tentatively named Epic Pizza and Subs.

The menu, like the space that Epic Pizza and Subs will occupy, will be on the smaller side, according to George. In addition to pizza, signature items will include a Philly cheese steak, burgers and hot ham sandwiches. The restaurant will also be taking advantage of its proximity to Soulard Farmers’ Market to offer as many locally grown and seasonal ingredients as possible.

George and Maesano are also excited about Epic Pizza and Subs’ other potential new neighbor: iTap. George has been in discussions about his new venture with iTap co-owner Sean Conroy, whose bar does not offer food on-site but does allows guests to bring in eats from outside vevnues. “It’s potentially beneficial for both of us,” said George. “ITap has become a place for people to hang out, have amazing beer and sample food from the local neighborhood – whether from Bogarts, Joanie’s [Pizzeria], Llewlyn’s … They encourage people [to bring in food] and it keeps people in the community.” The space that Epic Pizza and Subs will occupy has an interior door connecting the restaurant to the popular beer bar, and George expects that door to remain open during business hours.

Next week, George will be presenting his plan to the Soulard Business Association. He hopes to open Epic Pizza and Subs within 60 to 90 days, pending receipt of a business license and completion of a minimal build-out. Epic’s website, epicpizzaandsubs.com, should be up and running soon.

The Scoop: Pinnacle provides details on restaurants going into old SLeek and Jeff Ruby’s spots

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

1904 Steak HouseIt was widely speculated that Hubert Keller’s recently shuttered SLeeK Steakhouse and Ultralounge would become a sports bar. Today, the Scoop received confirmation from Pinnacle Entertainment, which owns the downtown venue, that the space at Lumière Place downtown would, in fact, be a dining destination for sports aficionados: Stadium Sports Bar and Grill.

When doors open this spring, Stadium Sports Bar and Grill will offer more than 40 high-definition flat screen TVs and a menu that includes appetizers, salads, sandwiches, hand-tossed pizzas, flatbreads, smoked meats and steaks.

Jeff Babinski, vice president and general manager of Lumière Place, explained the reason for the change from steakhouse to sports bar: “Although SLeeK was a successful venture by any measure, both we and chef Hubert Keller agreed that a more casual concept is appropriate for this location. Our location, so close to the Edward Jones Dome, and just blocks from Busch Stadium and Scottrade Center, will make Stadium an ideal choice for fans of all stripes.” Keller’s other dining venue at Lumière Place, Burger Bar Saint Louis, continues to operate.

Changes have also occurred at Pinnacle’s other St. Louis gaming property, River City Casino. Management has officially settled on the name 1904 Steakhouse for the Pinnacle-operated restaurant that replaces the vacated Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse, which closed in November. William Osloond was recently hired as the restaurant’s executive chef. The revamped menu – Sauce got a sneak peak of these dishes that are decidedly distinct from the Ruby’s bill of fare  –  debuts March 1. Lastly, the 1904 Beerhouse, also at River City Casino, has changed names and is now simply The Beerhouse.

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