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Apr 27, 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘Wil Pelly’

The Scoop: Farmtruk’s Samantha Mitchell named executive chef at The Libertine

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

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{ Samantha Mitchell, Farmtruk chef-owner and new Libertine executive chef }

 

Big changes are afoot in The Libertine’s kitchen. Farmtruk chef-owner Samantha Mitchell has been tapped as the Clayton restaurant’s new executive chef.

The Libertine co-owner Nick Luedde said the change has been in the works for a while. “Matt (Bessler, former executive chef), has a project he’s been working on that he’s not quite ready to announce yet, so I’ve been looking around town to see who’s available,” he said. “I’ve had my eye on Samantha for a long time. She’s so smart and so together. She has a lot of great ideas. I’m super excited.”

Mitchell said she’s excited to return to the restaurant world. “I’m stoked,” she said. “I miss it; it’s who I am. It’s what I’ve done since I was a teenager. It’ll be nice to have a home base and get back to my roots.”

 

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{ The Libertine chef de cuisine Wil Pelly } 

 

Mitchell’s arrival isn’t the only change in The Libertine kitchen. Sous chef Wil Pelly, formerly of Sanctuaria Wild Tapas and Sugarfire Smoke House, officially steps up as chef de cuisine. To round out the roster, Derek Northway, former executive chef at The Scottish Arms, joins the team as executive sous chef. Luedde said Mitchell and Norwood step up to the stoves full-time this week.

The Libertine recently debuted a new spring menu, so Mitchell will gradually add menu items over the next few weeks. Luedde said she will continue the restaurant’s focus on local, sustainable ingredients, but definitely put her own stamp on things.

But don’t despair, Farmtruk fans. Mitchell intends to continue as chef-owner of the truck and will still be onboard working the window three days a week. “I’ll just be working a lot of doubles,” she said.

Mitchell recently partnered with fellow food truck proprietor Paul Listenberger. The chef-owner of Steak Louie announced the opening of a food truck food court in South City in the former Annie Moons Bakery, which serves as a commissary kitchen for his truck, Farmtruk and Go! Gyro Go!

Mitchell said more changes were in store at The Libertine with a plan to introduce a “whole new format” – though she remained mum on the details.

Mitchell photo by Jonathan Gayman; Pelly photo by Jennifer Silverberg

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.

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Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

From new pizza joints in The Grove to 2nd Shift’s new home on The Hill, here’s what went down in the St. Louis food scene last week, in case you missed it.

 

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1. The Hill is about to get sudsier as 2nd Shift Brewing announced that after a three-year search, the brewery has leased a building at 1601 Sublette Ave., which will house both production facilities and a tasting room. The new facility will be open for a preview day on Thursday, June 9, and the brewery hopes to fully open in late June or early July.

 

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2. Doors open for dinner service at Cherokee Street’s newest restaurant on Monday, May 30. Executive chef Chris Bork and The Mudhouse owners Jeremy and Casey Miller have transformed 2609 Cherokee St., into Vista Ramen.

 

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3. With the goal of putting pizza and beer on the same footing, Atomic Cowboy owner Chip Schloss has teamed up with chef Wil Pelly and barman Tony Saputo to open Firecracker Pizza and Beer at 4130 Manchester Road in late summer.

 

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4. Look sharp, Maplewood. Artisan knife maker Nate Bonner and co-owner and CEO Melody Noel plan to open a production and retail space for nationally recognized NHB KnifeWorks on July 8 at 7328 Manchester Road.

 

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5. Staff is adding the finishing touches to Stone Summit Steak and Seafood in Wentzville. Developed by the same ownership group as Hotshots, Stone Summit will be located at 17 Cliff View Drive. Former J. Buck’s executive chef Patrick Viehmann will don the top toque when the restaurant opens in June.

The Scoop: Firecracker Pizza and Beer to open in The Grove

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

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{From left, Firecracker Pizza and Beer owner Chip Schloss, chef Wil Pelly and beverage director Tony Saputo}

With the goal of putting pizza and beer on the same footing, Atomic Cowboy owner Chip Schloss has teamed up with chef Wil Pelly and barman Tony Saputo to open Firecracker Pizza and Beer at 4130 Manchester Road in late summer. “The focus will be to match the quality of the pizza with the quality of the beer,” Schloss said.

The menu is still in development. While neither Schloss nor Pelly (who was most recently corporate executive chef at Sugarfire Smoke House and oversaw culinary operations at In Good Company restaurant group before that) will divulge specifics, they said their pizza style will be unique – “the opposite of thin, wood-fired pizza” – and will incorporate ingredients also used in beer, such as brewer’s yeast or spent grains. Available by the slice or as whole pies, the pizzas will feature a variety of toppings, some with an international influence.

“If somebody wants a pepperoni pizza, we can do that, but we will have mostly nontraditional options,” Pelly said

Schloss, Pelly and Saputo plan to have a large selection of craft beers on up to 60 taps, half of which will feature local options. The remaining 30 will be divided between regional and national brands. “We want this to be a place for beer drinkers, a craft beer house,” said Saputo, who also helms Atomic Cowboy’s beverage program.

Schloss has sustainability in mind which is why any bottle program would likely be limited. “The best recycling is to not use (bottles or cans) in the first place,” he said.

Once complete, Firecracker will accommodate 80 guests inside with an equal capacity on the back patio, which will also include space for yard games. Late-night Grove-goers can look forward to an eventual window service that will offer pizza by the slice. “We want a place that feels comfortable, where people can stop before or after a concert or just hang out,” Schloss said.

The Scoop: Marc Rollins to take the reins at In Good Company

Monday, June 29th, 2015

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{Diablitos Cantina}

 

As corporate chef Wil Pelly departs for smokier opportunities, Hendricks BBQ executive sous chef Marc Rollins will take over the In Good Company corporate kitchens July 1.

Rollins is a 15-year industry veteran who has manned every station in the kitchen from dishwasher on up, including time as sous chef at Hollywood Casino and Resort. Now he’ll head up the four restaurants with as many concepts under the In Good Company banner: Sanctuaria, Hendricks, Diablitos Cantina and Café Ventana.

“I’ve learned a lot during this last year working with Wil,” Rollins said. “My goal is to keep his concepts running while putting creativity in the people’s hands who are in the kitchens.”

As corporate chef, Rollins said he had to learn the business and communication skills required to oversee four different restaurants, something he looks forward to teaching others. “I’m excited to help people learn, whether from a cooking standpoint or a business standpoint,” he said. “I’m also looking forward to learning from the people under me who can further my knowledge as well.”

-photo by Ashley Gieseking

The Scoop: Chef Wil Pelly to helm Sugarfire downtown location

Monday, June 29th, 2015

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Chef Wil Pelly is leaving his post as In Good Company’s corporate executive chef to join Sugarfire Smoke House. Pelly will helm culinary operations at the barbecue joint’s new location downtown at 605 Washington Ave., when it opens in September. His last day with In Good Company (which owns Sanctuaria, Hendricks BBQ, Diablitos Cantina and Café Ventana) is tomorrow, June 30. Pelly will start his training at Sugarfire’s St. Charles location.

Although he will learn the Sugarfire ways of barbecue, Pelly is no stranger to the smoker. In addition to his ’cue duties at Hendricks, he has participated in competitive barbecue contests, including the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest at Memphis four years in a row. He also worked barbecue when he worked at Jake’s Steak on Laclede’s Landing.

Pelly will also flex his barbecue muscles at upcoming events. In August, he’ll represent St. Louis at the LuvLuv Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, an annual barbecue fete organized by former Overlook Farms exec chef Tim Grandinetti. In November, he’ll participate in the World Food Championships in Kissimmee, Florida.

The opportunity arose last month when Sugarfire co-owner Dave Molina, Pelly’s close friend, approached him. Pelly has spent the last five years with In Good Company, starting as a prep cook at Sanctuaria and eventually overseeing culinary operations for all four eateries after chef Chris Lee departed in late 2012. “It’s time to move on and learn something new,” Pelly said.

-photo by Jonathan Gayman 

Sanctuaria launches monthly social Cocktails by Candlelight

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

12611_cbycRevelers who rang in the new year at Sanctuaria will remember how “The Great Blackout, ” which caused power loss throughout much of the area, resulted in a most memorable evening at the restaurant on Manchester in The Grove. No electricity? No worries. Chef Wil Pelly cooked by bunson burner and on a grill outside. The staff grabbed candles and, recalled Sanctuaria bartender Joel Clark, “The place looked fabulous.” So, fabulous, in fact, that they are making no-electricity night a monthly occurrence.

Cocktails by Candlelight will be an evening of all-inclusive food and cocktails. The event will be held the last Monday of every month, running from 7 p.m. until midnight, with Feb. 28 slated for the debut. Cocktails by Candlelight will only be open to members of the recently created Sanctuaria Cocktail Club and to St. Louis chapter members of the U.S. Bartenders’ Guild. (Members of either are entitled to bring one guest.) For the February festivities, Cuban beef stew and snacks will be in the offering, and among drinks, patrons will find a punch and a selection of five cocktails to choose from.

The cost for the evening is $30 for Cocktail Club members, $35 for USBG members and for guests of members. Reservations are required. Ten percent of the proceeds will benefit nonprofit coffeehouse Urban Studio Café to support their community service efforts in north St. Louis City.

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