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Jan 23, 2018
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Posts Tagged ‘Tim Murphy’

Blood & Sand hires chef Brian Coltrain, opens to public Monday and Tuesday

Friday, January 12th, 2018

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Members-only Blood & Sand has a new executive chef. Chef Brian Coltrain quietly assumed leadership of the kitchen in late November, according to general manager Sean Coltrain, who is also Brian’s brother.

Brian Coltrain has spent time in many of the area’s top kitchen, including Element, Niche and Guerrilla Street Food. Most recently he helped open Grace Meat & Three, where he served as front-of-house manager.

“We needed a true leader to be here,” Sean Coltrain said. The restaurant hadn’t had an official executive chef since Josh Charles left the post last spring. “(Brian’s) first real menu was our New Year’s menu. It’s cool to see the new direction he’s going. Now we have a creative force in the kitchen who can pull off what we’ve always wanted to do.”

Brian Coltrain said he’s excited to return to his fine dining roots.

“I’ve always felt I was meant to do fine dining,” he said. “It always felt right. I love the artistic expression. I love being able to use these unique ingredients from all over the world. It just feels like the right time to get back into what I really love.”  

Going forward, Coltrain said he wants to adhere to owner Tim Murphy’s motto: “The food you never knew you loved.”

“I want to introduce people to new ingredients that are prepared in a way that’s approachable and introduces them to another part of the world or another style of cuisine or brings in some history,” he said, adding he also wants to have more vegan and vegetarian dishes.

In addition to his new menu, Blood & Sand will host industry nights on Monday and Tuesday starting mid-January that are open to the public and feature a special menu.

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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The Scoop: New owner discusses vision for Blood & Sand

Friday, October 21st, 2016

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In December 2015, Blood & Sand co-owners TJ Vytlacil and Adam Frager announced they were putting the downtown restaurant up for sale in order to focus their attention on their software company, Brigade Society. On Thursday, Oct. 20, the duo announced that Tim Murphy, an early member, had purchased the business.

“Tim was the best fit and the best person,” said Frager. “We probably could have closed sooner and for more money if we wanted to just cash out, but we were willing to put our eggs in his basket because of the strength of Tim as a buyer and for his character. We’re excited to be able to leave it in such great hands.”

Murphy, who has a business background and managed restaurants in the 1990s, became a member at Blood & Sand only months after it opened in September 2011. While he first joined for the drink and cocktail program, he soon became enamored with its food menu, service and ambience as well.

“It’s one of St. Louis’ great jewels,” said Murphy. “I remember it went up for sale on Dec. 26, and that’s the day I started wanting to buy it. I thought, ‘It’s the only restaurant I’d consider buying. I have to make a run at this.’”

Enthusiastic and committed to Blood & Sand’s staff and concept, Murphy intends to keep the ethos of the fine-dining eatery, as well as its staff. Executive chef Chris Krzysik will helm the kitchen, where he has worked for last four years. Sean Coltrain will head the beverage program, and certified sommelier (and one of the youngest in the country at a mere 21) Zac Adcox will run front of house.

“The staff is amazingly good,” said Murphy. “It’s one of the best we’ve ever had. It’s a great place to come in and celebrate. Or if you come in to process having a bad day, the staff is kind enough to understand and let you do that as well.”

In addition to the atmosphere and people, Murphy intends to keep membership prices and volume consistent. “I want to be as full as we can be and still put out exceptional food and drinks,” he said. “I don’t need to be 100-percent packed. I’m not Applebee’s and don’t want to be.”

Members and guests can expect to see the same menu items with the addition of more adventurous dishes, potentially including wild game entrees and a pawpaw cheesecake. Diners can also expect to see a bit more playfulness and tweaks in plating.

For their part, the former owners report success in their restaurant point-of-sale business, and while they are sad to not be at Blood & Sand on a daily basis, they are pleased with the establishment’s direction.

“Our dream was the person who took over would build on the success and serve the community we created,” said Frager. “Tim’s going to be able to build upon that legacy. It’s exciting. He’s been with us from the beginning, and this couldn’t have worked out better.”

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