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Oct 07, 2015
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Posts Tagged ‘The Scoop’

The Scoop: Chef Sam Boettler steps into the kitchen at Planter’s House

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015



There’s a new top toque in the Planter’s House kitchen. Chef Sam Boettler stepped into the role today, Sept. 29, replacing former chef Bradley Hoffmann, who fired his last dish at Planter’s Friday, Sept. 25.

“Sam brings a log of great experience managing a kitchen,” said Planter’s House co-owner Jamie Kilgore. “We’re looking forward to working with him.”

Boettler brings 23 years of culinary experience to the table, including six years as the executive chef at The Vine in St. Charles. He most recently spent two years at Element as one of four chefs helming that kitchen when it first opened in 2013.

Describing his cuisine as “simple comfort food” with some French bistro influences, Boettler aims to roll out the fall menu at Planter’s House by mid-October. “The staff at Planter’s House is amazing,” he said. “I’m super excited to work with them.”


Editor’s note: This post was updated at 2:45 p.m. to correct chef Bradley Hoffmann’s name spelling.  

The Scoop: Perennial takes gold at the Great American Beer Festival

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015



{Some of the Perennial Artisan Ales team celebrate with a bottle of the winning Savant Blanc.}


Perennial Artisan Ales snagged a sweet win for its Savant Blanc sour ale at the Great American Beer Festival. The brewery took gold in the American-style sour ale category at the national beer festival, which took place in Denver last weekend, Sept. 24 to 26.

Perennial has previously won two silvers at GABF, but co-owner Phil Wymore said this is its first gold. “The win means a lot,” Wymore said. “We don’t expect to win a medal, so its validation that we’re making a good beer and our hard work is being recognized.”

Perennial brewmaster Cory King said it was an honor to be recognized from 85 other brews entered in this category. “There are so many beers and so many entries. It’s amazing to place let alone win,” King said.

Savant Blanc is Brettanomyces-fermented Belgian blonde ale aged with Chardonel barrels with Chardonel grapes. Wymore said St. Louisans can get a taste of this award-winning brew when the second batch releases in a month or two.



The Scoop: Bocci Wine Bar shutters in Clayton

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015



Bocci Wine Bar in Clayton poured its last glass last Saturday, Sept. 26, as first reported by St. Louis Business Journal.

Owner Frank Schmitz, who also owns Barcelona Tapas and Coastal Bistro, said space at 16 N. Central Ave., in Clayton is up for renewal, and he is weighing his options. “I’m looking into different concepts for the Bocci space but don’t have details now,” Schmitz said.

This isn’t the first closure for the Bocci space. Schmitz shut the doors at Bocci Bar in January 2014 to reconcept the eatery, reopening as Bocci Wine Bar with an updated menu, decor and wine menu in April 2014. Schtmitz opened the restaurant in 2010.



The Scoop: Absolutli Goosed to close for good Saturday

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015



After 13 years of serving up martinis on South Grand, Absolutli Goosed announced it will shake and stir its final libation on Saturday, Oct. 3. The bar will host a farewell party on its final day of service.

In a press release, co-owner Robin Schubert said the decision to close was difficult and cited changing customer tastes. “When the bar first opened in 2002, it was one-of-a-kind for St. Louis, but over the years the bar business has changed and the martini craze has fizzled out,” Schubert said.

Managing member Staci Stift could not be reached for additional comment.

The Scoop: Chef Bradley Hoffman leaves Planter’s House

Monday, September 28th, 2015



Planter’s House chef Bradley Hoffman worked his final shift on Friday, Sept. 25 after heading the kitchen since its inception and opening in 2013. Hoffman is currently keeping mum on his new endeavor, but he said his departure from the Lafayette Square bar was an amicable split.

“I had a blast,” Hoffman said. “I learned so much from working with Ted (Kilgore), Jamie (Kilgore) and Ted (Charak). It was like family in the kitchen and in the restaurant. I’ll have nothing but great memories forever from working in that kitchen.”

Co-owner Jamie Kilgore said the Planter’s House team was sorry to see Hoffman go but wished him well. “Bradley was a real asset to Planter’s House,” she said. “He’s going to do great things. We are happy for his continued success and the continued success of Planter’s House.”

Planter’s House has not yet announced Hoffman’s replacement.


Editor’s note: This article was updated at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 29 to clarify information about a replacement chef at the time of publication.

-photo by Carmen Troesser 


The Scoop: Tommy Andrew to join kitchen at Byrd & Barrel

Friday, September 25th, 2015



The band is getting back together. Tommy Andrew is slated to man the line as sous chef at just-opened Byrd & Barrel. He will join co-owner and chef Bob Brazell, as well as fellow chefs and cooks Ryan McDonald, Drew Sedlack and Luke Cockson. Andrew and McDonald first met in the kitchen at Monarch, and their paths have since crossed at eateries around town including Juniper and Truffles.

Andrew, a member of this year’s Ones to Watch class, currently serves as head butcher and sous chef at Truffles Butchery under executive chef Steven Caravelli. Andrew and McDonald worked together at Butchery until McDonald left for Byrd & Barrel in June.

Andrew’s first day at the new fast-casual fried chicken shack will be around Oct. 8, and he’s anxious to get back in the kitchen. “I haven’t cooked in a year and I’ve missed it,” he said.

Byrd & Barrel currently uses Andrew’s Inappropriate Apiaries honey in its sweet chili honey sauce, but Brazell recruited his former co-worker for more than his culinary chops. “He’s an amazing chef,” Brazell said. “And his attitude is the best. He’ll do anything for anybody.”


-photo by Carmen Troesser

The Scoop: Chef Jodie Ferguson steps into Ameristar kitchens

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015




Jodie Ferguson has left her position as executive chef at Table Three in Wildwood for a sous chef position at Ameristar Casino. Ferguson began her new job in August. “I had an excellent experience at Table Three and worked with a lot of great people,” said Ferguson. “Beth (Williams) gave me the freedom to be who I am as a chef.”

Ferguson said she made the switch because she was eager to put her skills to work in a higher volume venue. “Right now it’s more management than cooking, and that’s fine,” she said. “It’s a foot in the door as they look to expand.”

Former Table Three sous chef and 10-year kitchen veteran Andrew Simon took the reins in the kitchen after Ferguson’s departure and said the transition has been a smooth one. “We’re getting ready to roll out the fall menu with more braised and hearty items, as well as fresh pasta and gnocchi,” Simon said. “Things are going well.”



The Scoop: Casa del Mar closes doors in The Galleria

Monday, September 21st, 2015



{Margarita from now-shuttered Casa del Mar}

After almost a year in operation on the main level of the St. Louis Galleria, Casa del Mar served its final course on Saturday, Sept. 19. Co-owner Bruce Lazarus said there simply wasn’t enough foot traffic to sustain business.

“We don’t compromise on quality or standards,” Lazarus said. “The traffic doesn’t reach that end of the mall at this time, and the (lack) of volume made it impossible to operate at our standard.”

Casa de Mar’s sister restaurant, Canyon Café, has operated at Plaza Frontenac for nearly two decades. Lazarus said he and the other co-owners will continue to look in the St. Louis area and other markets for ways to expand their Mexican concept enterprises.


-photo by Meera Nagarajan

The Scoop: Sauce writers earn top honors in national competition

Friday, September 18th, 2015



Sauce Magazine is raising a glass to Sauce contributor and former managing editor Julie Cohen. The Association of Food Journalists awarded Cohen first place in the Best Writing on Beer, Wine and/or Spirits category at its prestigious food writing and editing competition. Cohen was recognized for her piece, “Super Somms: St. Louis’ Top Wine Students Prepare to Hold Court” from the 2014 Guide to Drinking.

Congratulations are also in order for New and Notable reviewer Michael Renner, who tied for second place in the Best Restaurant Criticism category with Tim Carman of The Washington Post.

Winners were recognized yesterday, Sept. 17, at an awards banquet held in conjunction with the AFJ annual conference in St. Petersburg, Florida. The organization recognized excellence in 20 categories of food writing and editing. A complete list of the results is posted here.

Sauce was also recently named as a finalist for two categories in the 2015 FOLIO: Eddie and Ozzie Awards. The March 2014 issue is nominated for an Eddie for best Full Issue – Epicurean, and the August 2014 feature, “Pie, Perfected” is nominated for an Ozzie in the Feature Design category (under 100,000 circulation). FOLIO winners will be announced Oct. 19 at an awards luncheon in New York City.

FOLIO also recently named Sauce founder and publisher Allyson Mace one of the 2015 FOLIO: 100 Honorees in the Up-and-Coming Trailblazers category. Mace will be honored at a networking reception on Oct. 19 in New York City.


-photo by Ashley Gieseking

The Scoop: Pieology Pizzeria to open first STL-area location in St. Charles

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015




Pieology Pizzeria, a fast casual pizza restaurant based in southern California, will fire up its first St. Louis-area oven in St. Charles this fall with five more area locations to follow. Midwest Pie, LLC has secured the rights to open the franchises, which will join Pieology’s 69 other locations in 11 states.

Offering customizable or pre-designed pizzas for $8, Pieology creates 11½-inch pies on a customer’s choice of regular, whole-wheat or gluten-free crusts. There is no additional cost for additional sauces, cheeses, meats and veggies. Pieology also offers made-to-order salads, as well as beer and wine.

“The focus is on quality,” said Jeremy Bonk, St. Louis-area director of operations. “We make our own sauce and dough daily. We shred our own mozzarella. We use a lot of fresh and made-from-scratch ingredients.”

When it opens in late November, Pieology will occupy 2,400 square feet at the Streets of St. Charles, a development off Interstate 70 that also houses eateries like Prasino, Tucanos and Bar Louie.


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