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BAKING SPIRITS BRIGHT


Pairs well with

C AT C H I N G U P

Friends gather and the room fills with laughter. Nothing fits these moments better than a bottle of Chambourcin. After all, inside each bottle is a story, written by Missouri winemakers for anyone with a little Missouri in their hearts. Learn more about Chambourcin and other varietals at missouriwine.org.


FEATURES DeeP roots Inspired Local Food Culture | Midwest

56

DECEMBER 2014 from the staff |7|

Meet OUr CONtrIBUtOrS

|8|

frOM the PUBLISher

| 27 |

This month we’re sipping on Champagne in Kansas City, barrel-aged cocktails in St. Louis and coffee in Columbia, Missouri. We also travel to Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, to learn about how Charleville Brewing Co. has expanded its brewing production and distribution.

A toast to the New Year.

| 10 |

dIgItaL CONteNt

What’s online this month.

| 12 |

feaSt tv

A peek at the December episode.

| 15 |

| 37 |

DINe This month we visit restaurants in St. Louis, Kansas City and Columbia, Missouri, and catch up with a butcher in Kansas City as well as chefs in St. Louis and Jefferson City. In our monthly travel piece, Road Trip, writer Amy Lynch travels to New Harmony, Indiana, and shares where to dine, drink and stay in the tiny historic town. We also highlight two must-try dishes – a sweet-and-savory cinnamon roll-pretzel hybrid in St. Louis, and umami-rich, earthy pho in Kansas City.

DrINK

shoP This month we visit two regional shops – one a new gourmet specialty food shop in St. Louis, and the other an artisan boutique specializing in handcrafted, Americanmade products in Kansas City. Also, find out what inspired the interior design at Kaldi’s Coffee Roasting Co.’s location in Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza.

| 45 |

cooK | 46 | Seed tO taBLe farmer Crystal Stevens shares how to make chai tea from scratch this holiday season.

| 48 | MyStery ShOPPer Buy it and try it: Vietnamese cinnamon.

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DECEMBER 2014

breaD wINNer Go behind the scenes at fervere in Kansas City and learn why people are lining up for a taste of the bakery’s artisan-made breads and baked goods.

| 50 | MeNU OPtIONS Warm up chilly nights with Persian pomegranate and lamb meatball soup.

| 52 | Sweet IdeaS Pastry chef Christy Augustin’s candied gingerbread bundt cake puts a twist on a holiday classic.

the moDerN age

73

COVER PHOTOGRAPHY Of PASTRIES fROM LA PATISSERIE CHOuquETTE PAR SIMONE fAuRE (P. 88) BY Emily Suzanne McDonald. TABLE Of CONTENTS PHOTO Of MACARONS fROM LA PATISSERIE CHOuquETTE PAR SIMONE fAuRE (P. 88) BY Emily Suzanne McDonald.

78 88

4

Chef Liz Huff, owner of Catalpa restaurant in Arrow Rock, Missouri, has led a remarkable life. Writer Ian froeb profiles Huff’s journey from food-fascinated kid to successful restaurant owner, including her struggles and victories along the way.

This holiday season, upgrade your home bar by making barrelaged cocktails. With just a few simple ingredients and tools and a bit of time, you can prepare more complex and flavor-rich cocktails to sip and serve.

raIsINg the bar Visit the Askinosie Chocolate factory in Springfield, Missouri, to learn how the company’s products are made and meet founder Shawn Askinosie.

a baKer’s DozeN Writer Seán Collins shares a collection of snapshots of pastry chef Simone faure, the highly talented owner of St. Louis’ french-inspired bakery La Patisserie Chouquette.


Centuries of Tradition in Every Bottle

I SodI del ParetaIo ChIantI doCG Complex, fruit forward, and refreshing Chianti from one of Pisa’s most famous vineyards.

roSSo deI PoGGI IGt

A rich and fruit forward blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet, and Merlot. The ultimate pasta wine.

CalIGIano ChIantI doCG

Rustic and lush, this is one of the best values in Chianti!

BrICChI aStIGIanI BarBera d’aStI doCG Fresh and fragrant Barbera d’Asti with smooth tannins, the ideal partner for many dishes.

Proudly featured at the following Restaurants

Imported & Distributed by Tavolo Vigneto LLC, St Louis MO. www.tavolovigneto.com

Inspired Local Food Culture

DECEMBER 2014

5


Magazine Volume 5

| Issue 12 | December 2014

Publisher Catherine Neville, publisher@feastmagazine.com Director of Sales Angie Henshaw ahenshaw@feastmagazine.com, 314.475.1298

WE

BST

ER

EDITORIAL Senior Editor Liz Miller, editor@feastmagazine.com HOU

SE

Director of Digital Content Sarah Fenske, sfenske@feastmagazine.com Assistant Editor Bethany Christo, bchristo@feastmagazine.com Assistant Digital Editor Heather Riske, web@feastmagazine.com Kansas City Contributing Editor Jenny Vergara Editorial Assistant Matt Duchesne Proofreader Christine Wilmes Contributing Writers Christy Augustin, Jonathan Bender, Ettie Berneking, Seán Collins, Gabrielle DeMichele, Pete Dulin, Ian Froeb, Caitlyn Gallip, Kyle Harsha, Valeria Turturro Klamm, Amy Lynch, Ryan Sciara, Matt Seiter, Ragh Singh, Matt Sorrell, Crystal Stevens, Michael Sweeney, Shannon Weber

BAR SUMMIT GRILL &

ART Art Director Lisa Allen, art@feastmagazine.com Assistant Art Director Alexandrea Doyle, adoyle@feastmagazine.com Contributing Photographers Brad Austin, Travis Duncan, Jonathan Gayman, Aaron Lindberg, Emily Suzanne McDonald, Aaron Ottis, Jennifer Silverberg, Alistair Tutton, Landon Vonderschmidt, Cheryl Waller

More than 130 of the region’s top restaurants have come together for Kansas City’s premier dining event. Enjoy 10 days of multi-course menus at an extraordinary value. Visit KCRestaurantWeek.com for menus, reservations and a free app for your phone.

Make a Night of it Hotel Deals & Shopping Experiences

PLAtInuM sPOnsOr

FOunDInG sPOnsOrs

FOOD IMAGE BY LAnDOn VOnDErschMIDt PhOtOGrAPhY

6

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DECEMBER 2014

FEAST TV

producer: Catherine Neville production partner: Forever An Astronaut

Judd Demaline, Cameron Hill, Alessio Summerfield COnTACT US Feast Media, 900 N. Tucker Blvd., 4th Floor, St. Louis, MO 63101 314.475.1244, feastmagazine.com DISTRIbUTIOn To distribute Feast Magazine at your place of business, please contact Jeff Moore at jmoore@stldist.com. Feast Magazine does not accept unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Submissions will not be returned. All contents are copyright © 2010-2014 by Feast Magazine™. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use in whole or in part of the contents, without the prior written permission of the publisher, is strictly prohibited. Produced by the Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis, LLC


ContrIbutors

12.14

emily suzanne mcdonald St. Louis, Photographer Hailing from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Emily followed her passion for photography and her need to create art into an ongoing search for beautiful images all around her. It was this zest for life that drove her to join Fedele Studio in St. Louis in March 2013. Her keen eye for beauty has led her to collaborate with a variety of clients including the Kinfolk and Bleubird blogs, designers Another Feather and Hackwith Design House, as well as Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. When she is not photographing, Emily continues to express her creativity through music. An avid singer and multi-instrumentalist, Emily enjoys playing in various small venues in her new city with bandmate and composer Drew Sheafor. In her free time you can find Emily browsing antiques on Cherokee Street, in a coffee shop sipping cappuccino after cappuccino or walking her giant Bernese mountain dog, Henry.

crystal stevens Godfrey, Illinois, Writer Crystal Stevens is the writer of the monthly Seed to Table column in Feast, which focuses on seasonal eating in the Midwest (turn to p. 46 to learn more). Crystal is a farmer at La Vista CSA Farm on the bluffs of the mighty Mississippi River in Godfrey, Illinois. She is married to executive farmer and woodblock artist Eric Stevens. They enjoy farm life with their two children. Crystal is also a blogger for Mother Earth News and writes a monthly column for The Healthy Planet. Crystal’s forthcoming book, Grow Create Inspire, focuses on growing food, creating healthy food and medicine and inspiring others to follow their dreams. Crystal is an herbalist and teaches classes on medicinal herbs and herbal remedies, and she is passionate about growing food and cooking farm-to-table meals as well as art, photojournalism, travel, permaculture, foraging, growing native plants, wild crafting and teaching her children the wonders of nature. Follow Crystal’s adventures at growingcreatinginspiring.blogspot.com.

pete dulin Kansas City, Writer A Kansas City-based writer, photographer and avid cook, Pete Dulin is the author of Last Bite: 100 Simple Recipes from Kansas City’s Best Chefs and Cooks. His forthcoming book, Kansas City Ale Trail, out this month, explores regional craft breweries. He once night-fished for squid on a rollicking trawler in the Gulf of Thailand after a dinner of curry and Thai whiskey. It didn’t end well.

INDULGE IN CITY LIVING

At 1904 Steak House, an appetite for the best is always welcome. Come savor a selection of prime, dry-aged steak and delicious seafood dishes. Proudly featuring our Miso Roasted Chilean Sea Bass Baby bok choy, soy, and house miso For reservations, call 888.578.7289 or visit rivercity.com.

travis duncan Jefferson City, Missouri, Photographer Travis Duncan is an award-winning American photographer based in Jefferson City, Missouri. Working in concert with magazines, designers, agencies and corporate clients, delivering the best possible image is paramount to the Travis Duncan Photography brand. He strives to deliver excellence in both the quality of his photography and the service. Travis’ work focus is geared towards unique portraiture and product photography, with an emphasis on the food and beverage, agriculture and health care markets. Whether shooting in studio or on location, he provides visual solutions that keeps clients coming back for more.

888.578.7289 | rivercity.com ©2014 Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Inspired Local Food Culture

DECEMBER 2014

7


FeAst eVeNts

publisher’s letter KC

this issue marks the passing of 2014, a year that has been filled with growth and transition for feast.

luminary Walk

Fri., Nov. 28 & Sat., Nov. 29; Fri., Dec. 5 & Sat., Dec. 6 5 to 9pm; Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, arfop.donorshops.com

Stroll through a mile of candlelit trails and take in dazzling holiday lights, horse-drawn wagon rides, gingerbread houses, Santa’s woodland depot, a gnome village, hot apple cider by a bonfire and live music. stl

Help Operation Food Search reach its goal to raise $10,000 in one day to support its signature nutrition education program, Cooking Matters, which helps teach families in need how to plan, shop and prepare affordable, healthy meals.

putting the finishing stl

plan for Feast’s expansion,

Toast farewell to Heaven Hill Distillery’s exclusive Elijah Craig Bourbon barrels of whiskey with a “wake” and three-course dinner, as well as tastings of raw bourbon and three cocktails made with the bourbon.

working on distribution models and we were busy searching the region for Feast TV producer and host Catherine Neville and videographer Judd Demaline during filming of the December episode.

stl

videographers and editors to add to our roster of talented

Join us in the kitchen and learn how to make Persian pomegranate and lamb meatball soup, Shirazi salad, jeweled rice and saffron ice cream with pistachios.

the size of our staff, and it’s been an immense pleasure to welcome Sarah Fenske, Angie Henshaw, Bethany Christo, Alexandrea Doyle and Heather has a unique set of talents that impacts the overall success of the magazine.

stl

close to home as well as treasures you can seek out that are farther afield.

Experience the talent of internationally known vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist and songwriter Devon Allman in an intimate setting. KC

Get a taste of one of the best-kept foodie secrets in Kansas City during the annual exhibition of the city’s finest culinary talents, which offers tons of mouthwatering foods from top chefs across the area.

town of Arrow Rock (population: 56) to meet chef-owner Liz Huff and experience her food firsthand. Huff and her team cook everything from stl

table in the kitchen where you can watch every slice and every dice, just

Excite your taste buds and discover new flavors with friends at the largest international food and wine festival in the Midwest, which benefits The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.

and I had never heard of Catalpa, or Arrow Rock for that matter. It wasn’t until we started pushing our journalistic boundaries that we discovered Feast: The ability to discover and devour every delicious bite our region has

the st. louis Food & Wine experience Fri., Jan. 23 to Sun., Jan. 25, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, pricing varies, repstl.org/events

a few feet in front of you. I’ve been in local publishing for about 15 years

this truly unique culinary destination. That’s what excites me most about

Kansas City restaurant Week Fri., Jan. 16 through Sun., Jan. 25, Greater Kansas City, Pricing varies, kcrestaurantweek.com

Take Catalpa, for example (p. 56). Writer Ian Froeb journeyed to the tiny

scratch at this nine-table restaurant, and there’s even a six-person chef’s

New Year’s eve with Devon Allman Wed.,Dec. 31, 7:30pm; Moonshine Blues Bar, pricing varies, moonshinebluesbar.com

Each day, we strive to dig out stories on people you’ll be inspired by and places that you’ll want to explore. We want you to discover gems that are

schnucks Cooks persian pomegranate and lamb Meatball soup Wed., Dec. 17, 6 to 9pm; Schnucks Cooks Cooking School, $40, schnuckscooks.com or 314.909.1704

contributors. We’ve doubled

Riske to the team. Our work is highly collaborative, and each person here

Funeral of a Friend rare Whiskey tasting Wed., Dec. 10, 6 to 9pm; Sanctuaria, $125 per person, reservations required, sanctuariastl.com

and by spring, I was

writers, photographers,

Giving tuesday Tue., Dec. 2, St. Louis, operationfoodsearch.org

This time last year, I was touches on the business

15th Annual holiday

KC

party Arty: KC beautiful Sat., Jan. 24, 8pm to midnight; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, pricing varies, partyarty.org

to offer. I am very happy that you are joining us for the journey and look

Sample tasty foods and cocktails from some of the city’s best restaurants. The night celebrates Kansas City then and now, and invites you to immerse yourself in the neon lights and roaring sounds of 18th and Vine.

forward to a flavorful, fulfilling 2015. Until next time, stl

Maplewood sweet tooth tour Sat., Jan. 31, noon to 5pm; Downtown Maplewood, $15, www.cityofmaplewood.com

Tantalize your taste buds and cure your winter blues at the second annual tour of treats from Maplewood’s fine food purveyors. Sample chocolates, pies, donuts, teas, cakes, coffees, breads and specialty drinks.

Catherine Neville

publisher@feastmagazine.com

8

feastmagazine.com

DECEMBER 2014

@cat_neville

@cat_neville


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Inspired Local Food Culture

DECEMBER 2014

9


DIGITAL CONTENT

hungry for more?

feastmagazine.com

connect with us daily:

PHOTOGRAPHy By Cat Neville

FACEbook. Check out behind-the-scenes photos from

our Feast TV shoots (including Askinosie Chocolate in Springfield, Missouri) at facebook.com/feastmag.

PHOTOGRAPHy By Heather Riske

TWITTER. Follow @feastmag to stay up to date

with the latest openings, including Side Project Cellar in Maplewood, Missouri.

PHOTOGRAPHy By Jennifer Silverberg PHOTOGRAPHy By Minnie Dalton

PHOTOGRAPHy By Landon Vonderschmidt

PInTEREST. Find sweet dessert recipes (like chocolate-mint cake) on our Bake-Worthy Cakes and Pies board at pinterest.com/feastmag.

InSTAGRAm. Hashtag your local food and drink photos with #Feastgram for a chance to see them in Feast! Details on p. 98. onLInE ExTRA: In this month’s Drink section, writer Pete Dulin sits down with Boulevard Brewing Co. founder John McDonald as the Kansas City brewery celebrates 25 years (p. 34). Find the extended interview at feastmagazine.com.

Watch our videos and Feast TV. SPECIAL GIVEAWAY: Win five six-packs of Lewis Osterweis Hard Ginger Beer by entering the #GingerSnapsContest. Simply

head to the Promotions section at feastmagazine.com for all the details.

10

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DECEMBER 2014

youtube.com/FeastMagazine


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Inspired Local Food Culture

DECEMBER 2014

11


FEAST TV

TV

Look for the Feast TV splat throughout the magazine. It tells you which articles are part of this month’s episode! In the December episode of Feast tV, publisher Catherine Neville demos how to make chocolatestout brownies and chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting using Askinosie Chocolate products. Turn to p. 84 to find both recipes.

watch this month’s episode to:

Segment 1: Travel to Springfield, Missouri, to tour the Askinosie Chocolate factory and meet founder Shawn Askinosie.

Segment 2: Make a trip to Arrow Rock, Missouri, to visit chef Liz Huff’s Catalpa restaurant, which is flourishing in the tiny historic town.

PHOTOGRAPHy by Travis Duncan

Segment 3: Dig into classic American eats and drinks at St. Louis restaurateur ben Poremba’s Old Standard Fried Chicken.

Segment 4: Go behind the scenes at Fervere in Kansas City and find out why people are standing in line to try Fred Spompinato’s breads.

feast tv is brought to you by the generous support of our sponsors:

12

feastmagazine.com

DECEMBER 2014

Missouri Wines

Whole Foods Market

In December, reach for a bottle of Adam Puchta Winery’s Signature Port. Feast TV producer Catherine Neville pairs it with chocolate-stout brownies and chocolate cupcakes.

Get cooking at home! Pick up the recipes and ingredients from Catherine Neville’s December Feast TV demo at the brentwood and Town and Country locations of Whole Foods Market in St. Louis.


WATCH FEAST ON THESE NETWORKS

In St. Louis, tune into the Nine Network (Channel 9) to see Feast TV on Sat., Dec. 6 at 2pm; Mon., Dec. 8 at 1pm; and Sun., Dec. 21 at 2:30pm. Feast TV will also air throughout the month on nineCREATE.

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In Kansas City, watch Feast TV on KCPT (Channel 19) on Sat., Dec. 20 at 2:30pm.

You can watch Feast TV throughout midMissouri on KMOS (Channel 6) at 6:30pm on Sun., Dec. 14 and Sun., Dec. 28.

Feast TV will air in the southern Illinois region on WSIU (Channel 8) at 10am on Sat., Dec. 13.

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must-try dish

bite into this sweet treat on p. 18


st. louis

whErE wE’rE diNiNG kansas city

nick miller Bethany Christo

Although nick Miller loved owning Harvest, the now-shuttered farm-totable restaurant in St. Louis’ richmond Heights, his end goal was always to be in the kitchen. “it’s where my passion lies,” says the executive chef of 23 City Blocks Catering, which manages events at both Lumen Private event Space and newly opened the Caramel room at bissinger’s. Miller was hired into the bissinger’s family in August to elevate the food served at the company’s larger events – a realm in which he had not previously worked. Since opening in mid-October, the Caramel room has aimed to combine creative and surprising chocolate pairings with its savory offerings. Overlooking the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial bridge on the Mississippi river in the near north riverfront neighborhood, the modern, industrial venue boasts hardwood floors, original exposed brick walls, a striking black-and-gold granite bar and the same exposed beams that have been in place since the 1910 building operated as a former railroad depot.

photography by Jonathan

Gayman

What has the transition been like from closing Harvest to the work you’re doing with 23 City Blocks? we’re still going to use many of our local vendors and farmers that i’ve developed relationships with over the past 13-plus years. Obviously i know that they’re not going to be able to supply everything because they’re small and local farmers, but we’ll be able to utilize as much of their stuff as they have and keep those relationships alive. What can guests expect from the dining program at The Caramel Room? i’m going to keep doing stuff that i’ve come to thoroughly love, like housemade charcuterie and fun incorporations of chocolate into the savory plates, alongside Dave Owens [chief chocolatier at bissinger’s] leading chocolate pairings. i’m looking forward to a smoked brisket and cocoa-nib slider. there’s going to be a spinach, mushroom and ricotta ravioli with milk chocolate-mushroom sauce that’s awesome. there’s a white chocolate gnocchi – absolutely delicious – where i used the white chocolate in place of Parmesan cheese, and you get the flavor plus a hint of sweetness, which is dynamite. Have you conducted any chocolate experiments that didn’t work? earlier on i was going for a chocolate soy, and it was just like “yuck!” For a while it was just me testing stuff and playing around in the kitchen. you want to make sure everything on your plate is very well-balanced. How has this new role challenged you? it’s been my first real test as far as large parties go, but what i want to do is bring the restaurant quality of food to larger events. there’s absolutely no reason why people have to have “banquet food” at an event. As long as you have great planning and execution, all of the food that comes out of the kitchen should be absolutely delicious and beautiful for everyone. with a restaurant, there are many days you can just fly by the seat of your pants, with daily specials that you don’t even know what they are until 4pm. events like this, where everything is planned down to the minute, you have to be more prepared, but you can do it in advance. i can still have control of most everything in the kitchen and still be able to have a little bit of time with the family. i have three little kids, so that was a huge selling point for me. What should we expect in the New Year? Generally people begin to call on events a year-plus out. So, at this point, we’re gearing up for an incredibly busy year. i think 2015 is going to be our breakout year, and we only plan on increasing that business and filling in the remaining slots. in October, nearly every Saturday through next fall was already booked. we’re really looking to bring Lumen back, as well. The Caramel Room, 1600 N. Broadway St., Near North Riverfront, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.615.2480, caramelroom.com

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DECEMBER 2014

tutton

written by

photography by Alistair

ONE ON ONE

executive chef, 23 city blocks catering

the farmhouse written by

Pete dulin

the Farmhouse serves Midwestern farm-to-table comfort food with a French twist. humble ingredients such as beets, rabbit, pig tongue, hanger steak, okra and apples are elevated into flavorful dishes at chef-owner Michael Foust’s restaurant near the City Market in Kansas City. the Farmhouse draws from regional sources such as green Dirt Farm, farmer thane palmberg and Crum’s heirlooms. examples of Foust’s seasonal dishes include an apple fritter with local apples, fall herbs and an ancho hot sauce. even the charcuterie plates are dotted with unexpected ingredient and flavor combinations – try the pork rillette with smoked cherries and sage, chicken offal pâté and assorted cured meats. guests interested in a taste of the exotic might opt for the potato-encrusted scallops with uni on Japanese short-grain rice with pickled mustard greens, sesame turnips, roasted garlic and coconut-leek nage. weekend brunch standouts include the earl of biscuit, a heaping helping of fried pork tenderloin with a bacon-cheddar biscuit, fried egg and chicken gravy, the veggie benedict or the corned beef hash. the Farmhouse, 300 Delaware St., river Market, Kansas City, Missouri, 816.569.6032, eatatthefarmhouse.com

must-try dish

kansas city

deluxe pho

written by

Jenny Vergara

earlier this year, chef Dom wiruhayarn and his wife, Marisa, opened big bowl Pho next door to their tasty thai restaurant in Kansas City’s northland to rave reviews. get the Deluxe pho, with rice noodles floating in a umami-rich, earthy broth filled with thin slices of beef shank, brisket and tendon with fresh herbs. big bowl Pho, 7106 nw Prairie View road, northland, Kansas City, Missouri, 816.382.3488, kctastythai.com photography by

Landon Vonderschmidt


Inspired Local Food Culture

DECEMBER 2014

17


One On One kansas city

stuart aldridge

owner-operator, broadway butcher shop wRIttEn by

Pete Dulin Chef Stuart Aldridge sells more than meat and gourmet groceries at Kansas City’s Broadway Butcher Shop, where he took over as general manager in november 2013, just 11 months after it opened. As the shop’s new owner-operator, Aldridge says customers buy into his belief that they can prepare amazing meals using his high-end meat, seafood and cooking tips. Aldridge acquired culinary knowledge from his work at the former Starker’s Restaurant, the Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange, tannin wine bar and Port Fonda. He won the 2014 People’s Choice Award for best Chef at the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired’s annual Food Fight. In short, he’s got plenty of chops.

Alistair Tutton PHotoGrAPHy by

pretzelmon roll

written by

Bethany Christo

Sitting prominently in the display cases at Crepes Etc. in St. Louis’ Central west end is the mysterious and enticing exotic cousin of the cinnamon roll, the Pretzelmon roll. the massive, gooey conglomeration of a pretzel-baked cinnamon roll is topped with chocolatey praline, caramel sauce and sea salt and makes for a sweet winter morning treat alongside a piping-hot cup of coffee. Crepes Etc., 52 Maryland Plaza, Central west End, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.367.2200, crepesstl.com PHotoGrAPHy by emily Suzanne mcdonald

where we’re dining columbia, mo.

Travis duncan

Broadway Butcher Shop, 3828 Broadway St., Westport, Kansas City, Missouri, 816.931.2333, facebook.com/BroadwayButcherShop

st. louis

PHotoGrAPHy by

Where do you source your meat and seafood? I have used products from Arrowhead Specialty Meats over my entire career in Kansas City. the seafood is flown in overnight from Hawaii by Honolulu Fish Co., [and] it’s all sashimi grade. Tell us about the variety in your meat and seafood case – you have wild sardines and kangaroo loin as well as familiar cuts of beef. I like to throw oddball things in. Sometimes it’s on request, but it depends on seasonality, too. In the summer, I carry lots of steaks that are quick and easy to grill. In the winter, you’ll find braising cuts like short rib and oxtail, more heartfelt items that you have to put more love into. You make sausages by hand, right? Our handmade sausage uses Duroc pork and all-natural pork casings. I try to have a standard assortment of six sausages like bratwurst and linguica de porco, and I started offering small sausages derived from drinks, called Cocktail weenies, that are flying off the shelves – flavors like Mint Julep, Old Fashioned and bloody Mary. You focus on customer service and interaction as much as quality product. Why? I love talking to my guests about food. I explain why I would cook it this way… one customer needed to make a special meal to win his girlfriend back. I wrote down instructions for a bone-in ribeye with sides. She came back. He said it was the best meal and so easy to prepare. What is most daunting for your customers to cook? Duck breast. It’s expensive in restaurants, so they don’t want to mess it up at home. It takes time. Don’t overcook it. I also offer duck breast prosciutto as another way to have duck. People are scared of it until they try it. How did you come up with octopus pastrami? I get weird ideas when I’m tired and think, “It could work.” I don’t like waste and try to find a use for ingredients. So I let a Montrealbrisket rub on octopus cure for four or five days and steamed the octopus with red wine. the cure retained the moisture and meatiness; it was magic. What are your bestselling items? the 18-month-old Serrano ham and the Molinari Salami Milano imported from San Francisco. Montreal brisket is our no. 1-selling deli meat. Customers also come in for our biscuits and gravy on weekends: housemade buttermilk biscuits with sausage and sage gravy or mushroom and artichoke gravy. you’ll always find the standards here with nuances. For special requests, please ask or call ahead and I’ll get it for you.

muST-Try diSh

umbria rustic italian

written by

ragh Singh

After the closing of the Upper Crust bakery and Cafe in downtown Columbia, Missouri, owner Adam Guy and executive chef Peter Hawkins opened Umbria Rustic Italian in August. the restaurant takes its name and culinary inspiration from the Umbria region of italy, with a focus on fresh, seasonal italian comfort food. the kitchen makes its pastas from scratch, and that extra bit of work shines in dishes such as the pappardelle, with your choice of giordino ragu or the house bolognese sauce, and the gnocchi quattro fromaggio with pecorino, Gruyère, Gorgonzola and farmhouse cheeses tossed with toasted breadcrumbs, basil oil and tomato jam. entrée highlights include costola breve, veal pizziola and the house special, porchetta di cacciatore, which plates pancetta-wrapped porkloin with truffled mashed potatoes, braised greens and forest mushrooms in housemade ragu. Umbria Rustic Italian, 904 Elm St. #108, Columbia, Missouri, 573.447.8627, umbriaitalian.com

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Christmas for wine lovers • Get into the holiday spirit and visit Hermann for a European Christmas in December • Pick up a bottle of Adam Puctha wine from any of our fine Missouri retailers • Make plans for a relaxing winter getaway and make reservations at our Homestead Guesthaus (winter rates available) • Visit us for award-winning wines with friendly and knowledgeable staff Fall/Winter Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm • Sunday 11am-5pm

1947 Frene Creek Road • Hermann, MO • 573.486.5596 • adampuchtawine.com

Voted Best Bakery in St. Louis 2014 Traditional European style pastries made from scratch. Authentic German Christmas Cookies. Pies and Tarts. Specialty Cakes. Macarons. Warning: This photo is not edible. Stop in and find something that is!

4 Seasons bakery

T-F: 7am - 5pm Sat: 8am-3pm

2012 Campus Dr. • St. Charles • 314.288.9176 • 4seasonsbakery.com Inspired Local Food Culture

DECEMBER 2014

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where we’re dining kansas city

jax fish house & oyster bar Dave Query, owner of Big Red F Restaurant Group, chose Kansas City as the home of his first Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar outside of Colorado based on the exciting food scene he found in the city, and he picked the right piece of real estate. This gorgeous new seafood restaurant and oyster bar opened in October on the east side of the new Polsinelli building in a lower level space. Open for dinner only, the West Plaza restaurant is pleasantly intimate, decorated in deep sea

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blue with warm wood accents that feel like the interior of a luxurious yacht. There is a large, handsome bar offering cocktails along with a pleasing selection of wine and beer. The bar also sports a bank of four high-tech steamer pots for shellfish, chowder and gumbo delivered in seconds. The front of the bar, facing the front door, features a fresh oyster shucking station where up to 12 types of oysters are available on any given night. The restaurant has a relationship with sustainable East Coast oyster

WRiTTEn By

Jenny Vergara

PHOTOGRAPHy By Alistair Tutton

farmers and cousins Ryan and Travis Croxton, of Rappahannock River Oysters, which developed a boutique oyster exclusive to Jax called Emersum – as in, “them are some tasty oysters.” Emersum oysters are a large, plump oyster with an impressive amount of briny liquor and shells that are thinner and easier to open. Chef de cuisine Bobby Bowman, formerly of Webster House, and pastry chef Kelly Conwell, formerly of Bluestem, are well known in the Kansas City restaurant community and have been brought on board to

create a menu completely distinct to Kansas City, while the executive chef of all the Jax locations, Sheila Lucero, helped cultivate the menu as well. Choose oysters, caviar, crab cakes or chowder before navigating to the entrées, including fresh seafood salads, steamed shellfish, steaks and seasonal seafood dishes. Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar, 4814 Roanoke Parkway, West Plaza, Kansas City, Missouri, 816.437.7940, jaxfishhouse.com/kansas-city


roAd trip

new harmony, in.

destination: new harmony, indiana INDIANA

TENNEssEE

Amy Lynch

In a bucolic setting tucked into rolling hills where southern Indiana meets Illinois and kentucky, New Harmony, Indiana, casts a captivating spell. Two 19th-century communities claimed this territory with an eye toward developing it into utopian societies. Neither establishment ultimately thrived, but echoes of their early spiritual and scholarly endeavors are still present. Today, the tiny town continues to attract visitors with its historic architecture and vibrant arts scene. In 2014, New Harmony celebrated its bicentennial, making it an ideal time to visit and explore.

Cook’s on Brewery Bed & Breakfast This painstakingly maintained two-guestroom b&b makes a peaceful retreat in the heart of New Harmony within easy walking distance to shops, restaurants and landmarks. Johnathon scott and David Flanders, welcoming owners of the cozy 1908 home, spoil guests with thoughtful details such as fresh flowers, handironed sheets, complimentary use of bicycles (and helmets) and sumptuous breakfasts composed of locally sourced ingredients including farm-fresh eggs, housemade baked goods and seasonal fruits and veggies.

eat

Atteberry

sleep

PHOTO COUrTEsY OF Todd

kENTUCkY

wrITTEN bY

Red Geranium Restaurant New Harmony’s most notable fine-dining establishment, the delightful red Geranium has been serving the region since 1964. Part of New Harmony Inn, this restaurant is the destination of choice for anniversaries, birthdays and other special-occasion meals thanks in no small part to a romantic atmosphere that includes three intimate dining rooms, a crackling fireplace and cozy rustic décor. The traditional American menu highlights premium black Angus steaks, seafood, poultry, pasta and an impressive wine list. 520 North St., 812.682.4431, newharmonyinn.com/dining PHOTO COURTESY OF VisitNewHarmony.com

local gems Grapevine Bar

If you don’t have time for a full-fledged dinner at the red Geranium restaurant, stop in for an abbreviated bar menu and draft beer, wines by the glass, bourbon and single-malt scotch at its Grapevine bar, a dreamy little room garnished with wood wainscoting, a vaulted ceiling and walls hand-painted to look like lush foliage. 520 North St., 812.682.4431, newharmonyinn.com/dining PHOTOS BELOW COURTESY OF VisitNewHarmony.com

815 S. Brewery St., 812.682.3646, cooksonbrewery.com

The Old Rooming House No misnomer – this character-rich 1896 Italianate Victorian was actually a boarding house in the 1940s. Guest rooms boast conveniences such as coffeemakers and mini-fridges, but be forewarned: You won’t find any televisions on-site – just a peaceful, shady respite furnished with antiques, books, board games and a chalkboard for conveying messages. If you like affordable accommodations with eclectic personality, this quirky inn may just be your speed. 916 E. Church St., 812.781.9218, oldroominghouse.com PHOTO COURTESY OF Sara Schmitt

Yellow Tavern

Sara’s Harmony Way

keeping the colorful theme going, this casual eatery holds court in a sweet historic building defined by a sunny golden-yellow façade and airy arched windows. The 21-and-up tavern keeps its clientele happy – and stomachs satisfied – with a familiar roster of pub grub heavy on pizzas, salads and sandwiches. save a little room for the sinfully good signature bread pudding, and hit the ATM before your visit – the Yellow Tavern doesn’t accept credit cards.

with mismatched furniture, local art and antiques, a meal at sara’s feels like dining inside an adorable vintage store. This is the place to go to sample small-batch Harmonist Lager, Indiana’s first commercial beer made from a 19th-century German recipe. stop by in the morning for baked goods, coffee and light breakfast fare, or later in the day for a light dinner menu or appetizers such as tasty cheese plates, sausages, blue cheese terrine and fragrant lavender-shortbread cookies paired with a glass of Indiana wine.

521 Church St., 812.682.3303, theyellowtavern.com

Pop’s Grill

New Harmony Inn Resort and Conference Center with 90 simply furnished but perfectly contemporary shaker-style guest rooms and suites scattered across a handful of buildings, as well as meeting facilities and three historic guesthouse accommodations, visitors might be surprised at how tranquil stays at this 125-acre facility can be. The beautifully landscaped property spans several blocks, and many rooms offer idyllic views from private balconies or patios, along with free wi-Fi and a continental breakfast. 504 North St., 812.682.4431, newharmonyinn.com

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Time-warp back to the 1950s at this nostalgic all-American diner brimming with route 66 style – black and white checkerboard-tiled floors, exposed brick walls and red swivel stools at the counter. kid-friendly fare such as cheeseburgers, crinkle-cut fries, housemade potato chips, root beer floats and old-fashioned hot fudge sundaes are a perfect pairing for the décor. A must-visit for families with little ones in tow. 516 S. Main St., 812.682.3880, www.popsgrill.biz PHOTO COURTESY OF Sara Schmitt

500 Church St., 812.682.3611, sarasharmonyway.com

Bliss Artisan The wafting aroma of freshly made waffle cones greets customers craving scoops of handcrafted ice creams in creative gourmet flavors like salty caramel, brownie batter chunk, pretzel and brown sugar, peppermint bark and butter-toasted pecan made at the location in Mount Vernon, Indiana. bliss Artisan normally closes every October and reopens on the first day of spring, but a recent merger with woody’s Pizzeria, which is under the same ownership as bliss, means the ice cream shop can stay open throughout the winter. For more substantial appetites, pizza and a handful of grilled wraps are also available. 610 Church St., 812.643.5009, facebook.com/myvintageharmony

Walking Tours work off a few days of culinary indulgence with a free self-guided walking tour that trails past significant art, architecture and garden sites like the starkly modern Atheneum visitors center, the mushroom-domed al fresco roofless Church, plus fountains, shrines and chapels. Cap off the stroll with a leisurely wander through the mysterious Harmonist Labyrinth anchored by a stone grotto. visitnewharmony.com

New Harmony Farmer’s and Artisans Market Looking for some edible souvenirs to commemorate your trip to New Harmony? The market is now closed for the season, but each saturday morning between April and October, visitors and locals browse a vivid inventory of seasonal, organic products including produce, meat, eggs, herbs, baked goods and more. 406 W. Tavern St., 812.270.1717, facebook.com/newharmonyfarmersmarket


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DECEMBER 2014

23


whErE wE’rE DiNiNg university city, mo.

owner, revel catering & events written by

Valeria Turturro Klamm Housed in the historic Lohman Opera House building across from the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City, REVEL Catering & Events hosts and caters the gamut of celebrations, from fundraisers and election watch parties to weddings and holiday parties.

photography by Cheryl

johnny graham

waller

ONE ON ONE jefferson city, mo.

peacock loop diner written by

when Joe edwards says he’s gone all out on the décor at the Peacock Loop Diner in the Delmar Loop, anyone who’s stepped inside one of his other extravagant St. Louis staples – including blueberry hill, the Moonrise hotel and pin-Up bowl – will know it’s a bold statement. the 24-hour diner is open seven days a week and connects the heavily trafficked east and west ends of the Delmar Loop, enticing patrons with its flashing blue, green and yellow exterior sign. edwards has displayed 15 years’ worth of peacock and diner-themed collectibles in the dining room, where four custom-made neon-lit counters resemble the fan of a peacock tail. the menu features a mix of asian-influenced takes on traditional fare such as the shrimp po’boy with fried shrimp and sesame-ginger slaw, as well as classic diner grub, like the Loop Sling and red Velvet waffles. a slice of cherry pie, plus seven other flavors made by pastry chef beth hughes, is sure to satisfy late-night or early-morning wanderers looking for a sweet finish to their night out. be sure to try a cocktail or spiked milkshake before the bar closes at 1am Monday through Saturday. “i feel happy here,” edwards says. “this is a place people can pick up their spirits and put their troubles behind them.”

photography by Travis

Duncan

Owner Johnny Graham spent close to 20 years in the fine-dining industry before making the switch to catering special events. Opening reVeL in February 2014 was a homecoming for Graham, who grew up in Jefferson City. He got one of his first jobs in the industry as a line cook at Garozzo’s ristorante in Kansas City and honed his cooking skills at restaurants throughout the country, including stints at restaurants in San Francisco and Chicago. He also spent several years as a celebrity chef in Martha’s Vineyard and in Los Angeles – his past clients have included bruce willis, Keith richards and Stevie nicks.

REVEL Catering & Events, 102 E. High St., Jefferson City, Missouri, 573.636.0023, facebook.com/revelcatering

Peacock Loop Diner, 6261 Delmar blvd., Delmar Loop, University City, Missouri, 314.721.5555, peacockloopdiner.com

Silverberg

whErE wE’rE DiNiNg st. louis

photography by Jennifer

Do you think cooking for celebrities prepared you in any way for catering larger-scale events? Catering for the movie industry for a number of years gave me the chops needed to pull off the larger-scale events. i spent the better part of a year working in the Caribbean catering with Hat trick Catering for the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean films, feeding 300 to 700 people two meals a day. everything [was] made from scratch, too. i thrive on the kind of organization that it takes to pull that off on a daily basis. What do you enjoy most about catering events? Feeding people is an intimate act. it should, in my opinion, be treated as such. As chefs, we are putting something inside of people, providing nourishment, sustaining life and creating memories. Most of my strongest memories in life are interwoven with sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the food that was involved. At my wedding, my friend made his greatgreat-grandmother’s Pakistani curry recipe for 168 people. next time they have a similar curry, they’re probably going to think of that wedding they went to in Missouri. So many weddings [serve] the same stuff over and over because it works from a business sense. i love getting to know what each couple loves and being a part of those memories for people. What’s next for you and your work with REVEL? while i grew up in mid-Missouri, i am still relatively new to the food scene here. i am still avidly looking to meet and connect with more of the farmers, local wine and beer producers and others to build an infrastructure of sorts of locally sourced products and services. i am still looking forward to the day when i have the place to grow our own vegetables, grapevines and have fresh eggs every day. On the rare occasion when you’re off work for the day, where are you going and what are you doing? when i’m off i like to get outside. if it’s not hunting season, i like to get on my bike and head to Hartsburg Grand restaurant or Claysville Store on the Katy trail.

Bethany Christo

old standard fried chicken written by Liz

Miller

Few restaurants capture mise en scène like those helmed by St. Louis restaurateur ben poremba. in october, the chef-owner of elaia and olio in botanical heights opened his third concept, Old Standard Fried Chicken, focused around his favorite american fare – fried chicken with all the fixings and american whiskey. Crispy, crunchy, well-seasoned and golden on the outside, poremba’s fried chicken cracks open to reveal tender, juicy white meat. Chicken can be ordered in individual pieces a la carte or in orders of half or whole chickens. Sides include tangy coleslaw, rich mashed potatoes and gravy and the bread basket, which comes piled high with flaky biscuits, fluffy biscuits, “real” cornbread and yankee cornbread, with your choice of butters (think pistachio-mint and lemon-honey), jams (stone fruit and strawberryblueberry) or marmalade. behind the bar, two shelves are stocked with 50-plus whiskeys and bourbons. wine and beer is also served, as are housemade sodas in flavors like rose water-toasted almond. Old Standard Fried Chicken, 1621 tower Grove Ave., botanical Heights, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.899.9000, oldstandard.co

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where we’re drinking

perk up what’s in your cup on p. 34


drink destination ste. genevieve, mo.

where we’re drinking kansas city

charleville brewing co. wRiTTen by

Liz Miller

For the past year and a half, Charleville Brewing Co. in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, has been upgrading its brewery. Construction on its new 10,000-square-foot production facility will be fully operational this month. With the expansion, the brewery has increased its production from a seven-barrel system to an additional 30-barrel system, reserving the initial system for small batches. “We were maxing out at around 1,000 barrels on our current system, and with the new system, our goal is to go up to between 3,000 to 5,000 barrels in the next couple of years,” says Tait Russell, Charleville’s director of sales and distribution. “The system itself will take us to between 10,000 to 15,000 barrels; it has that capacity. We went with a larger system than we probably needed, but we didn’t want to go through [construction] again anytime soon.” The new building will open to the public this spring, and in the meantime, the brewery plans to expand into new markets early next year, including Kansas City and Springfield, Missouri. Earlier this year, Charleville launched in Columbia, Missouri, and Russell says that within five months it became the brewery’s No. 2 distribution city, second to St. Louis. Although Charleville is best known for popular brews such as Hoptimistic IPA and Tornado Alley Amber Ale, the brewery also has a robust selection of seasonal beers. Charleville Vineyard, Winery & Microbrewery, 16937 Boyd Road, Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, 573.756.4537, charlevillevineyard.com

PHOTOGRAPHy by Landon Vonderschmidt

three must-try beers

Ça va

As autumn ebbs into winter, Charleville’s rich, malty barley wine strong ale is sure to warm up cool nights. The barley wine is available year-round on tap at the brewery’s tasting room and is also sold in 12-ounce four-packs in stores in St. Louis and select markets in Arkansas and southeast Missouri. Russell describes the barley wine’s flavor as caramel-y, with notes of dried figs, dates, raisins and even hints of cotton candy. “It’s a big beer; when it’s younger, it’s heavily hopped and heavily malted, and over time the hop flavor drops out and the malt comes forward,” Russell says. In 2012, the barley wine won the silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival, and Russell says production and distribution have increased every year since. wRiTTen by Jenny Vergara

chef-owner Howard Hanna and his new general manager caitlin corcoran, have managed to keep a traditionally formal and “sky’s the limit” celebratory drink carefully tethered to the earth in both price and atmosphere at Kansas city’s first champagne bar, Ça Va, located in westport. This is not a plush or high society bubbles bar; this is a friendly, yet contemplative, place where people can sit down with friends, order a bottle or a glass of their favorite sparkling drink and get a smattering of delicious snacks to share while catching up with one another. Ça Va, (pronounced sah-vah), feels like a place of intelligent conversation, with a long bar and a handful of tables sprinkled around the diminutive space.

Ça Va, 4149 Pennsylvania Ave., Westport, Kansas City, Missouri, 816.255,3934, cavakc.com

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Charleville Brewing Co.

The food offerings are rich and stand up to the palate-cleansing bubbles. enjoy simple charcuterie and local cheese plates or a more substantial croque madame. The bar also serves sunday brunch from 11am to 3pm, a most natural time to sip some champagne.

For the past year, Charleville has been brewing a nitro coffee stout, which it began distributing in Cape Girardeau and St. Louis in November. Due to construction on the new production facility, the coffee stout is currently only served on tap at the tasting room and at bars and restaurants in select markets, but Russell says the brewery hopes to release a carbon dioxide-carbonated version in six-packs as a winter seasonal next year. The stout is brewed in collaboration with St. Louis’ Chauvin Coffee Co., who provides its whole Highlander Grog beans for a sweet, hazelnut flavor.

imAGes cOuRTesy Of

with cultivated selections from Jim coley, the charming wine director at Gomer’s fine wines and spirits in westport, rest assured that you will be delighted with the selection at every price point. On the menu, you will find wines from france, italy, spain and even some domestic choices that will educate your palate on the differences between true champagne and sparkling wine, while giving you a hearty appreciation for both.

The brewery’s resident winter holiday seasonal, playfully named whiskey scented santa, is an imperial porter aged with whiskey-infused oak chips. Russell says the draft exclusive is usually released the day after Thanksgiving and remains on tap at the tasting room and at select bars and restaurants throughout the region through the end of December. Black in color, this malty beer boasts big, oaky flavor, thanks to oak staves that soak in whiskey for several weeks before being placed in a conditioning tank, where the beer is finally added. “There’s just enough residual sweetness that the whiskey is not overpowering, but it has a distinct whiskey flavor along with the drying effect of the oak on the tongue,” Russell says.


• Cajun Entrees • Breakfast • Appetizers • Burgers/Sandwiches • Entrees • Salads • Desserts

jazz at the bistro Dec 3-6

Joey DeFrancesco Trio: Home for the Holidays

Drink Specials

Dec 7

Bottle Beer Always $2.50, Well Drinks $3

Big Band Christmas with the Dave Dickey Big Band Dec 12-13

A Very Manley Christmas with Jim Manley’s Mad Brass & Rhythm Dec 22-23

Jazz St. Louis Big Band plays Ellington’s Nutcracker

The food is Creole, St. Louis style cooking. It’s a little spicy, little different, highly seasoned, and highly desired!

tickets & info: jazzstl.org | 314.289.4030 the harold & dorothy steward center for jazz 3536 washington ave. st.louis, mo 63103

255 Union Boulevard Saint Louis, MO 63108 (314) 454.1551

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29


wHErE wE’rE DrinKing st. louis

barrel-aged cocktails at dressel’s public house wRiTTen by Kyle Harsha

what is one to do when a social engagement goes awry, leaving a need for hearty food and strong drink? when this happened to my wife and me last fall, we headed to the coziest place in St. Louis’ Central west end: Dressel’s Public House. we got exactly what we wanted at Dressel’s, in the form of barrel-aged cocktails served by a friendly face alongside dishes packed with pork belly.

Emily Suzanne McDonald

Dressel’s has been serving comfort food and libations for nearly 35 years and is a place where diets and inhibitions should be left at the door. when Mary Mangan joined the management team in the summer of 2013, she brought with her a passion for barrelaging cocktails. Alongside bar manager brandon Thomas, Mangan offers two to five barrel-aged cocktails at any time – a mix of gin and bourbon-based drinks. by aging the cocktails in wood, she says it helps to mellow the drinks and imparts new layers of flavor. Some choices are traditional, such as a Manhattan or a negroni, but others are house specialties like the Handsome Stranger, which is delightful and potent with higher-proof bourbon, aged rum, cherry liqueur, brandy, bénédictine and bitters.

PHOTOGRAPHy by

The cocktails fit in nicely with the bar program at Dressel’s. The wine list is wellcurated and reasonably priced, with options from France, italy, California and Oregon. About half of the taps on its beer list are from local breweries such as Urban Chestnut brewing Co. and Civil Life brewing Co. – the latter’s Dressel bier is made specifically for Dressel’s. The food menu is an excellent example of locally sourced ingredients used to make hearty fare. Dressel’s is known for its pretzel twist served with rarebit, but also opt for an order of the daily stockpot special or the sweet potato poutine.

73

Turn to p. to learn how to barrel-age cocktails at home!

On tHE SHElf

Dressel’s Public House, 419 N. Euclid Ave., Central West End, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.361.1060, dresselspublichouse.com

kansas city

augusta, mo.

BEER

WINE

wRiTTen by Michael Sweeney

wRiTTen by ryan Sciara

style: Russian imperial Stout (11.8% abv)

Provenance: Augusta, Missouri

Pairings: Roasted duck ∙ bacon-wrapped figs

Pairings: Cheese ∙ Charcuterie

Gifts don’t matter much to me this time of year. The thing i love about the holidays is the ability to spend time with family and friends, and Boulevard Brewing Co.’s imperial stout is an ideal beer for enjoying with a group. This beer is dark and rich with a touch of vanilla, thanks to a portion of barrel-aged stout that’s blended with freshly brewed beer. One unique aspect of this beer is the use of belgian yeast, which provides a subtle raisin note, rounding out the entire beer.

Noboleis Vineyards is one of the relatively new kids on the block in the Missouri wine industry, and the winery has hit the ground running. The noboleis Chambourcin reminds me of a quality beaujolais-Villages or a Loire Valley Cabernet Franc/ Gamay blend; bright blueberry, huckleberry and raspberry fruit are framed by savory toasted oak and brown spices, followed by brilliant acidity and chalky tannins on the finish. Chambourcin is a teinturier, a grape whose juice is colored rather than clear like most red common grapevine varietals. The end result is a wine with a beautiful bluish-purple color and moderate tannins. beaujolais is always one of my go-to wines to recommend with holiday fare, but this year i’ll be pouring local Chambourcin.

Boulevard Brewing Co., 2501 Southwest Blvd., Greater Downtown, Kansas City, Missouri, 816.474.7095, boulevard.com

Noboleis Vineyards, 100 Hemsath Road, Augusta, Missouri, 636.482.4500, noboleisvineyards.com

bouleVard brewiNg Co.’s imperial stout

The creator of stlhops.com and founder of St. Louis Craft Beer Week, Michael Sweeney is also the craft beer manager at Lohr Distributing.

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Noboleis ViNeyards ChambourCiN 2012

Ryan Sciara has been in the wine business for more than half his life and has spent the past nine years solely dedicated to selling wine, spirits and craft beer in the retail market. His latest venture, Underdog Wine Co., is the culmination of 23 years of knowledge and experience all crammed into a 600-square-foot retail shop in Kansas City.


the mix

mulled wine To mull implies to “sweeten, spice and heat a drink,” circa the definition that’s been floating around since the 1600s, of unknown origin – perhaps from the Dutch word mol, a kind of white sweet beer, or from Flemish molle, which also refers to a type of beer. Long before the words mol, molle or mull existed, humans were mixing other ingredients into their wine. The ancient Greeks commonly mixed water into their wine – something we now regard as absurd – because they believed only Dionysus (the Greek god of winemaking and grape harvests among other things) could drink unmixed wine without risk. They also did this to make the water safe to drink. Ancient Romans mixed herbs and spices with wine to make poor-quality wine taste better, and sometimes to preserve wine for long trips. After distillation was invented, humans mixed wine with spirits, again, as a preservative. As the distillation process was being mastered to make brandy and rum, wine was also added into those alcohols as well. Around the same time mull was entering the lexicon,

Story and recipe by Matt Seiter Photography by Jonathan Gayman

many types of hot mixed drinks were becoming popular among kings and commoners alike. We see things like possets, punches and grogs appear in journals and diaries of people all over the globe. These mixed drinks contained a plethora of ingredients, with wine appearing in some recipes. The term mulled came to mean what it does today – a sweetened and spiced hot drink. As the winter holiday season approaches – and with it, the return of cold weather – we turn toward warm drinks to tide us over until spring. Along with punches and nogs, mulled wine has become a common drink to serve at holiday gatherings. This season, try making mulled wine for your holiday guests – odds are you’ll already have most of the ingredients needed, as the foundation of this recipe pulls from the same winter baking spices that pop up in dishes and desserts this time of year. Mulled wine is easy to make and will keep well on its own; there’s no need to stir it as with punches or eggnog, and it gets better with time.

Matt Seiter is co-founder of the United States Bartenders’ Guild’s St. Louis chapter, a member of the national board for the USBG’s MA program, author of The Dive Bar of Cocktails Bars, bartender at BC’s Kitchen and a bar and restaurant consultant.

Mulled Wine If you want additional flavors to develop from the spices, allow simmering wine to cool off of the stove for 15 minutes and refrigerate overnight. You can bring it back up to temperature immediately after cooling or you can save it for another time. Mulled wine will keep for four to six days. I recommend using a crockpot to reheat and serve your mulled wine – think of it as a warm punch bowl. Yields | 1 Batch |

1 2 1 6 2 2 6 2

orange Tbsp brown sugar** 750-millileter bottle red wine oz aged liquor, such as bourbon* star anise pods cinnamon sticks whole cloves tsp freshly grated nutmeg

| Preparation | Using a vegetable peeler, remove skin from orange over the pot where you will mull wine. Peel skin into multiple strips. Place brown sugar in the pot and muddle, or firmly rub sugar granules over orange peels to release as much of the essential oil as possible. Place all other ingredients in pot and turn stovetop to medium. Allow mixture to reach a simmer (achieved when a candy thermometer roughly reads 175°F) but do not let it boil. Simmer for 15 minutes and remove from heat. Ladle wine into heatproof glasses or mugs and serve. *For this recipe, I highly recommend using a spirit that’s been aged. Bourbon is an easy go-to, as is brandy or Cognac. For a more fruity character, I highly recommend using Calvados, an apple brandy from the Normandy region of France. Aged rum is a great substitute as well. **If brown sugar is not your thing, try other sweeteners such as honey, agave nectar, orgeat syrup or white sugar in this recipe.

Mulled Wine 101 I recommend preparing this mulled wine recipe in a saucepot on your stovetop. However, let’s say either you don’t have time to do so or there are only a few glasses of wine left in the bottle. In a pinch, this same recipe can be slightly modified to be prepared for a single serving in a microwave. To do so, place a small cinnamon stick in a microwave-safe coffee mug with a pinch of grated nutmeg, one to two cloves, an orange slice (or other citrus), a serving of the sweetener of your choice, about an ounce or two of liquor and then fill with wine. Place the mug in the microwave on high for about one-and-a-half to two minutes. Allow mug to cool for a few minutes to allow flavors to develop.


whErE wE’rE driNkiNG columbia, mo.

ONE ON ONE

kansas city

john mcdonald founder, boulevard brewing co. written by Pete Dulin

John McDonald founded Boulevard Brewing Co. a quarter-century ago. His PHOTOGRAPHy by

startup brewery launched a wave of modern craft brewing in Kansas City – and, arguably, in the Midwest. the brewery now has a growing presence in select markets across the U.S. How does it feel to have built and run a successful brewery for 25 years?

Aaron Ottis

Fantastic. it has been a lot of hard work and determination since the late ‘80s. As i look back at our history, it is our dedicated employees who have had the talent and focus to do their best every day – that has made the biggest impact on boulevard’s success. Many of Boulevard’s current employees have been with the brewery almost since the beginning. Can you share a few of their stories? trip Hogue has been with me since the beginning and still works for boulevard today. He has done everything from building our first bottling line – when the instructions were in German – to making sure we have all the parts needed on-hand to keep our modernized brewery working today. Steve Decker has been around since very early on. He was instrumental in delivering our beer in the early days throughout Kansas City and is still a part of our warehouse team. A handful of employees have worked for us for about 20 years, and each of their efforts have aided us throughout our history. How did Boulevard celebrate its 25th anniversary? we [celebrated] with employees on our actual anniversary, nov. 17, and [had] a week of festivities in Kansas City leading up to that date. Tell us about Boulevard’s 25th anniversary beer. we’ve collaborated with Odell brewing Co. on an American strong ale, the Silver Anniversary Ale. Odell celebrates PHOTOGRAPHy by Landon Vonderschmidt

its anniversary the day after we do. Since we are both turning 25 and have a mutual admiration for each other, we thought it made sense to make a beer together to celebrate our milestone. it [was] released the week before our

shortwave coffee

As the echo of crunching leaves fades and a winter chill sets over Columbia, Missouri, a fresh cup of coffee waits at Shortwave Coffee to warm you up. The shop has been roasting beans and serving coffee Downtown since February 2014, when owner Dale bassham opened Shortwave. The shop offers simple pastries and an even simpler drink menu. Here, the mission is to enhance the complex flavors that can be found in coffee beans – try a cup of the citrus-like Gelena Abaya from ethiopia’s coffee-famed yirgacheffe region or Papua new Guinea’s Ulya. The flavors of Shortwave are also found in a partnership with broadway brewery, where the Shortwave Stout is Columbia’s first locally made coffee stout. The coffee bar at Shortwave mixes old-school techniques with new ideas and inspiration. Unfinished wood panels and chrome accents cover the walls in a quilt-like pattern, while exposed pipes give the shop a speakeasy atmosphere. The oldest equipment inside the shop is not the large robin’s-egg-blue roaster in the corner, but the record player behind the counter. As baristas create foamed flower art on lattes, a spinning soundtrack of Johnny Cash and bluesy classic rock can be heard from the old but well-cared-for machine. Shortwave Coffee, 915 Alley A, Downtown, Columbia, Missouri, 573.214.0880, shortwavecoffee.com

anniversary. What persuaded you to sell Boulevard to Duvel Moortgat Co.? it was time in my life to think about my future as well as the brewery’s, and i wanted the best partner i could find. Duvel Moortgat of belgium is one of the oldest family-owned craft breweries in the world. it is not that much bigger than boulevard, and they have the same dedication to only the best-quality beer possible. it truly was a perfect partnership, and i am excited to see what our future holds with their influence and direction. i still am a part-owner, so going to the brewery is part of my daily routine. Closing thoughts? the support of Kansas Citians throughout our 25 years has been phenomenal. thank you to everyone who has believed in us over the years. we will continue to work hard every day to make Kansas City proud. Visit feastmagazine.com to read Pete Dulin’s extended interview with John McDonald.

Boulevard Brewing Co., 2501 Southwest Blvd., Greater Downtown, Kansas City, Missouri, 816.474.7095, boulevard.com

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wRiTTen by Caitlyn Gallip

ON thE ShELf

st. louis

SPIRIT

SPiritS of St. LouiS Vermont night Liqueur wRiTTen by Matt Sorrell

ProvenanCe: St. Louis, Missouri (40% abv) try it: On its own as an aperitif before your big holiday

dinner, or as a liquid dessert indulgence afterwards, in front of a crackling fire. Square One brewery and Distillery has been a pioneer in the St. Louis spirits scene, starting up the city’s first microdistillery after making a name for itself creating fine microbrews. One of Square One’s flagship spirit products – sold under the Spirits of St. Louis moniker – is Vermont night. This whiskey-based liqueur has all of the flavors of the season: a bit of orange, some vanilla and assorted baking spices augmented with Vermont maple syrup. it’s a taste combination that has garnered numerous awards and accolades at spirits competitions all over the country, and it’s conveniently available in both 375-milliliter and 750-milliliter bottles for all of your holiday-imbibing needs. Square One brewery and Distillery, 1727 Park Ave., Lafayette Square, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.231.2537, squareonebrewery.com When he’s not writing, Matt Sorrell can be found slinging drinks at Planter’s House in St. Louis’ Lafayette Square or bartending at events around town with his wife, Beth, for their company, Cocktails Are Go.


season’s eatings

stock up on holiday gifts on p. 42


SHOP HERE

kansas city

urban provisions general store

written by Jenny Vergara

Savannah northcraft and britton turnbull are longtime friends who share an appreciation for handcrafted, American-made products. to celebrate and support the artisans in Kansas City and beyond, they decided to open Urban Provisions General Store next to the Local Pig in the east bottoms over Labor Day weekend. this modern day general store delivers a carefully curated collection of locally made products; from soaps and candles to cocktail mixes and spaghetti sauces you are guaranteed to find something here your home can’t be without. everything in the shop is made with a “maker’s” eye for aesthetics, quality and artist appeal. you simply cannot walk out of here without buying something – and better yet, supporting an artisan producer with your purchase. the idea of a shop full of locally made goods is hardly new, but it is the owners’ eyes for the useful and the unusual that make this the perfect place to check things off your holiday gift list.

PHOtOGrAPHy by Brad Austin

northcraft’s husband, Adam, is a partner at the Local Pig next door, so look for collaborations between the two shops. On the third Friday of every month, Urban Provisions will feature local artisan pop-up shops with street art and a food fest, as well. the shop is also planning to host classes and crafting events inside the store. want to learn how to make your own craft cocktails or tackle a weekend “makers” project? this is the place that will connect you with the people that will show you how to get crafty. Urban Provisions General Store, 2616 Guinotte Ave., East Bottoms, Kansas City, Missouri, 816.591.3924, urbanprovisionskc.com

ARtiSAn PROductS chesterfield, mo.

my coconut kitchen’s exotic orange coconut butter written by Liz

Miller

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iStOCK PHOtO CreDit: Oranges by joske038

Based in Chesterfield, Missouri, My Coconut Kitchen produces a line of 10 tasty coconut butters in flavors like Espress-Oh My Love, Tart ‘n Toasty Cherry, Sweet Lemon Kiss and Exotic Orange. We love the latter for its refreshing tang of orange, tempered by a nuttiness imparted by almond extract. Free of gluten, dairy and soy and low in sugar, My Coconut Kitchen’s coconut butters make flavorful spreads, dips or, as the company suggests, are “delicious right off the spoon.” Visit mycoconutkitchen.com to learn more or to place your order.


Discover Your Holiday Spirit! You will discover some of the most charming and authentic gifts in the world – gifts that will be treasured and remembered long after they are received. VOM FASS offers a unique shopping experience and a delight to countless customers all over the world. Where else can you leisurely browse through specialty oils, vinegars, spirits, and liqueurs, sample them, and then have your desired products freshly filled in your choice of bottle? Find a unique and thoughtful gift for the people on your list that have everything. Choose an oil and vinegar set for one, a fine liqueur for another, and an aged scotch for yet another. And voila! Enjoy the spirit of giving – or simply treat yourself!

7314 Manchester Ave • Maplewood • 314.932.5262 • vomfassslmo.com

Chairs that give. We want to make everyone a lot more comfortable this holiday season. Come in to Dau Neu and get $200 OFF any Stressless® seating or $400 OFF select Stressless recliners when you donate $50 or more to charity. But hurry – this special offer ends January 19, 2015! Mayfair chair and ottoman from Stressless starting at $2,695.

16966 Manchester Rd. • Wildwood, MO • 636.405.2400 • dauneu.com

Your Ticket to a FABULOUS Holiday Early Gift - See a Show at The Fox

Gift Idea - Fox Theatre Tickets

“ONE OF THE BEST FAMILY MUSICALS EVER PENNED” -Chicago Tribune

December 2-7

December 9-10

January 20 - February 1

February 27 - March 1

March 4-15

March 24 - April 5

Give them a FABULOUS gift with show tickets or a gift certificate!

An old-fashioned Christmas with Charles Dickens’ classic tale. April 10-12

December 12-14

December 16 - January 4

May 15-17

FabulousFox.com

Fox Theatre • 314-534-1111 • MetroTix.com Inspired Local Food Culture

DECEMBER 2014

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dine on design kansas city

PHOtOGrAPHy by Tyler

Burrus

go for the goat

written by Bethany Christo

the owners of Kaldi’s Coffee Roasting Co. care deeply about coffee. they work closely with a network of farmers around the world to source the finest coffee beans, and they strive to have the interiors of their coffee shops reflect that same level of quality. the St. Louisbased company has expanded over the years – first to Columbia, Missouri, and now with six locations in Kansas City – and in celebration of its 20th anniversary in 2014, launched a new logo and branding in its stores. in Kansas City, design consultant Deanna Kuhlmann-Leavitt, of Kuhlmann Leavitt, inc., was approached to remodel the Jefferson Street location in Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza, which was completed in March. “the overall feel is collected, but not too thematic,” she says, describing the warm ambience that surprises with pops of color such as red-orange chairs and a striking high ceiling. “the design feels intentional, but we incorporated different eclectic finishes, colors and materials so that it also feels friendly and comfortable. it’s a style most people can’t put their finger on.” this same approach can also help homeowners trying to reimagine their space. “everything doesn’t have to match,” she says. “the process is more fun and your personal tastes reflect more if you pick up different pieces and styles in your travels, at flea markets, wherever. Plus, you’ll feel more at home.” Kaldi’s Coffee Roasting Co., 4771 Jefferson St., Country Club plaza, Kansas City, Missouri, 816.931.7577, kaldiscoffee.com

PHOtOGrAPHy COurteSy Of Joseph

Joseph

geT This gadgeT

quincy, il.

joseph joseph garlic rocker “This is a fantastic new way to mince garlic – the design crushes the garlic, and at the same time, the stainless steel removes the [scent] from your fingers and hands. it’s incredibly well-made and useful all around.” –Sondra Bartley, owner, Quincy Steamboat Co. Quincy Steamboat Co., 833 Kentucky St., Quincy, Illinois, 217.224.6644, facebook.com/QuincySteamboat

eTChed MeTal. “we redesigned the logo and bags for Kaldi’s before we remodeled. i call this ‘covert branding,’ where we subtly use the same element from the brand, such as the goat-andcircle pattern on the bags, throughout the store, like it is [in this location] on etched metal near the coffee roasters behind the counter. Subtle patterns [like this] are a nice way to add texture that you can live with for a long time.”

layeRS of lighT. “we used several different lighting styles at once to throw off different layers of light in the space. Lighting really brings people in – no matter a coffee shop, restaurant or home. the custom chandelier with the grid of amber ball lights give off a warm glow that’s different than the clear pendant lights hanging over the tables. the pendant lights above the chandelier complement the hand-written chalkboards across the room.”

|2| SuRpRiSe Ceiling. “there’s this great unexpected twostory ceiling when you first walk in, which wasn’t utilized in the old design. we put a fan in over the order area because it’s striking and fills up the space. the stainedglass cutout [was existing], and it’s something we had to work around. it was a great opportunity to implement the Kaldi’s goat, plus there’s a warm back-lighting from the sun during the day.”


Havel i indian Restau R an t You are cordially dially invit invited to HOLIDAY SPECIAL BUFFET LUNCH AND DINNER Lunch Buffet NOW ON WEEKENDS 11 AM to 2:30 PM Tuesday thru Sunday DINNER 5 PM to 9 PM Tuesday thru Sunday

Dinner Buffet 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM ONLY ON Tuesdays and Sundays.

Now thru Dec. 31st

indian restaurant

Come enjoy the finest flavors of Northern India

Call (314) 423-7300 for Reser Reservations ations | Or Stop by at 9720 PPage Ave. • Overland MO 63132 • www.havelistl.com

Town & Country

1160 Town & Country Crossing Dr. 636-527-1160

Galleria

1601 S. Brentwood Blvd. 314-968-7744

Not too fancy, just seriously fun! All se7en sweet sins $8.77 Martini Sinful Sweets - $3.50 cupcake Everyday 1 sinful sweet + 1 sweet sin = $10.00 Book your Birthdays, Baby Showers, Bridal Showers, Weddings and Corporate events with us. Specials Sunday - Thursday All Specials run from Open to Close Hours: Monday 11 am - 10pm Tuesday-Wednesday 11am - 11pm Thursday 11am - 12 midnight Friday-Saturday 11am - 1am

5045 N HWY N • Cottleville • 636.244.5185

se7encupcakes@gmail.com

New Haflinger, Fun and Comfy! Join Le Shoe this Holiday Season and receive some 'fun and comfy' specials.

Receive 20% off Osgoode Marley and Pikolino's handbags. Visit our sister store Seliga Shoes and buy 3 pair of Features, Fits, Goodhew & Sockwell Socks (mix & match) and get 1 pair FREE (equal or lesser value). Purchase a $100 gift certificate and receive $20 in Bonus Bucks to be used between December 31 and February 28, 2015. Be sure to 'Shop Small' with your American Express on November 29. Register on le-shoe.com and 'Click to Win' a FREE pair of shoes. 2538 S. Brentwood Blvd.• Brentwood, MO • 314.963.1300 • le-shoe.com Inspired Local Food Culture

DECEMBER 2014

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artisan products kansas city

sHop HErE maplewood, mo.

zim’s sauces’ kiksas sauce wRitten by Jenny Vergara

PHOTOGrAPHY bY cheryl Waller

todd and Janet Zimmer are the couple behind Zim’s Sauces in Kansas City. their Kiksas Sauce blends barbecue sauce from todd’s adopted home of Kansas City with a spicy buffalo wing sauce from his hometown of buffalo, new york. the sauce enhances proteins and can sub in as a ketchup with some serious heat. Visit zims-sauces.com to learn more.

PHOTOGrAPHY bY todd odd

larder & cupboard

Zimmer

WrITTen bY Bethany christo

In november, Larder & Cupboard opened in Maplewood, Missouri, and St. Louisans are welcoming the gourmet specialty food shop with open arms. “It’s a one-stop shop, but it’s not your typical grocery store,” says store manager Cindy Higgerson, who opened the shop with Kakao Chocolate owner brian Pelletier. The shop doesn’t sell fresh produce, but stocks pretty much everything else an artisan food-enthusiast would want or need. Products focus on three areas: First, Larder & Cupboard connects shoppers with St. Louis products not currently available in Maplewood – including cheese varieties (some, like M&T Farms’ Garlic Jersey Jack and Missouri Special, are only sold there), charcuterie, pastas, pickles, jams, oils, grains, desserts and much more. Second, the owners sought out small, independent artisan producers for items that aren’t distributed to the masses, such as St. Louisan ryan Maher’s Missouri Wild edible items like mushroom miso paste and ramp mustard. Third, the shop is selling local chef-made products, such as Juniper chef-owner John Perkins’ Gift Horse items or housemade pastas and sauces from Pastaria’s Gerard Craft. “Although we find a lot of items in St. Louis, we’ve found some amazing products by traveling,” Higgerson says. “I talk to people and chefs, look for things I’ve never seen before, taste everything. My fridge at home is cram-packed with things we’ve tried for Larder & Cupboard.” The store is outfitted with a variety of old and new larders – a fixture traditionally used to store food items. Higgerson found five vintage larders for the shop, with plans to add more in the future. Larder & Cupboard also plans to feature tastings, pairings, collaboration events and eventually handcrafted products made in the shop’s kitchen. “We want to inspire our customers so that they can put together a fantastic gourmet meal with the best ingredients available,” Higgerson says. Larder & Cupboard, 7310 Manchester Road, Maplewood, Missouri, 314.300.8995, larderandcupboard.com

culinary liBrary st. louis

“Who Moved My Gooey Butter Cake?!” Written and illustrated by ryan nusbickel, gooeybuttercakebook.com WrITTen bY liz Miller

earlier this year, former award-winning St. Louis television reporter-turned-writer and illustrator ryan nusbickel published a followup to his 2013 children’s book, The St. Louis Night Before Christmas, with the release of “Who Moved My Gooey Butter Cake?!” The premise of the picture book is simple: A little girl can’t find the last piece of her mom’s gooey butter cake, and she and her dog set off to find some answers. She interrogates her father, but he’s busy chowing down on St. Louis-style pizza, and her brother also has an alibi – he was throwing washers in the backyard. Undaunted, the little girl and her pup hit the streets of St. Louis, making stops at the City Museum, the Gateway Arch, Union Station and Grant’s Farm, and visit neighborhoods including Webster Groves, Kirkwood, University City and Lafayette Square. Although they don’t find gooey butter cake in any of those spots, they do snack on T-ravs on The Hill and sip milkshakes at Crown Candy Kitchen in Old north. We won’t ruin the ending – but let’s just say it doesn’t end without the little girl finding some concrete evidence. nusbickel’s writing is fun and full of St. Louis|personality, and his whimsical, playful illustration style 3| would surely delight any youngster as a gift or stocking stuffer this holiday season.

tHrEE local Buys at lardEr & cupBoard: | 1 | “We visited the 2014 San Francisco Good Food Awards, and these pickled sea beans were the judges’ favorite for the pickles category. They are absolutely fantastic – foraged in the salt marshes on the California coast and pickled small-batch by hand, they are the perfect crunchy, briny complement to your holiday charcuterie and cheese plate,” Higgerson says.

| 2 | “We don’t have a liquor license, but we do have these artisanal craft cocktail mixes and kits for the home that are fun as a gift or for hosting a party,” Higgerson says. | 3 | “How cool would it be to receive a gift basket that’s compiled of chefmade products?” Higgerson says. “You can’t get that anywhere else, and I’d be happy to tailor the basket based on whoever would be receiving it.” 42

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|2|

|3|


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R e stau R a n t

Presents

The return of your neighborhood butcher!

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Daily prepared salads, soups, sandwiches, hand crafted salumi, cheese, pasta, unique accoutrements, exclusive award winning wine selection and much more...

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menu options

find a taste of the exotic on p. 50


seed to table

Fiery Chai with Cayenne PePPer Winter in the Midwest can be harsh. The trees are barren, the frost is heavy upon the ground, dormant life rests beneath our feet, icicles hang from front porches and long nights are followed by short days. on these days, a hot cup of spicy chai tea couldn’t be more welcoming. Chai takes a backseat for much of the year, but during the winter, I can’t get enough of it. Some of my favorite childhood memories are the scents of cinnamon and pumpkin spice candles my mother burned, the pot of cinnamon sticks and orange peels she simmered on the stove just to give our house a pleasing aroma and the taste of cinnamon-sugarroasted almonds my father loved to bake during the holiday season. The effect spices have on taste buds this time of year can be compared to the comfort brought on by being wrapped in a quilt your grandmother made, or being fireside with a favorite book. Words like hearth, warming, layered, complex and sweet come to mind, and all are words I would use to describe the fiery body of chai tea. The first time I tasted chai tea was at MoKabe’s Coffeehouse in St. Louis one december morning more than 16 years ago with my mother. It was delicious, and I immediately tried to decipher the flavors: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger with milk and sugar. As it happened, on our way home my mother needed to stop in Jay International Foods on South Grand to pick up some grocery items. I wandered the aisles and stumbled across the bulk herbs and spices. I nearly squealed with excitement when I saw whole cinnamon sticks, whole nutmeg, whole cloves and dried ginger root. Next to those

SToRY ANd ReCIPe BY Crystal Stevens PHoToGRAPHY BY Jennifer Silverberg

were cardamom, vanilla beans and Chinese star anise, which I thought would make both beautiful and flavorful additions. I also grabbed fresh ginger root and black tea. I started simmering the gorgeous array of dried spices in a large stainless steel pot; the house smelled amazing. I added lots of honey and vanilla-almond milk. I made chai tea nearly every other day that month. When I think of chai, I can’t help but remember those cold winter mornings when tea turned a gloomy day into a bright one. When I make chai tea now, I have a little more intention behind it. As a farmer and an herbalist, I recognize the medicinal properties of the food we put into our bodies, and I now know the amazing active constituents that spices and herbs contain, which make up their healing qualities. Chai is a warm soothing cup of immunity. Cinnamon contains antibacterial, antiviral and immune-building properties. Ginger strengthens the immune system and aids in digestion. Cloves have antioxidant, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. The secret ingredient in my chai tea recipe is dried cayenne pepper. My husband and I derive so much joy from growing food and herbs that have medicinal properties. We pick as many of the sun-ripened fire-red cayenne peppers as we can throughout the season and dehydrate them to use all winter. Cayenne peppers are revered as containing some of the most healing properties in the world, and are used to treat many ailments in communities across the globe. They boost the immune system; provide relief from cold and flu symptoms, migraines and headaches; and improve circulation and overall heart health. Nothing pleases me more than sipping on hot chai tea on a cold winter day with my family.

Crystal Stevens is a farmer at La Vista CSA Farm on the bluffs of the Mississippi River in Godfrey, Illinois, where she farms with her husband, Eric. They have two children. Crystal is an advocate of integrating creativity into sustainability through writing, art, photojournalism and seed-to-table cooking. Find more of her work at growingcreatinginspiring.blogspot.com, which she created to launch her forthcoming book, Grow Create Inspire.

Fiery Chai with Cayenne Pepper This chai tea is rather spicy. If you would like to make it for children, omit the Darjeeling tea and either add less cayenne or more milk and honey. yields | 16 8-oz cups 1 ¼ 3 1 1 2 6 1 1 4

|

gallon purified or distilled water cup dried Darjeeling tea tbsp fresh grated ginger tbsp whole cloves dried vanilla bean pod whole nutmeg seeds, cut in half whole cinnamon sticks dried or fresh cayenne pepper, deseeded and cut into strips cup vanilla almond milk (per 4 servings of chai tea) tbsp local honey (per 4 servings of chai tea)

| Preparation | In a large pot over medium heat, combine all ingredients except almond milk and honey. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. I recommend preparing the tea 4 cups at a time. In a blender, combine 1 cup vanilla almond milk with honey. Blend for 1 minute or until milk is frothy. Pour 8 ounces of warm chai tea into 4 mugs. Top each with equal amounts milk and honey and serve.

Where to Buy Local Chai I share my love of herbs and my chai obsession with Lisa Govro, the owner of The ReTrailer in St. Louis. She approaches dried chai tea from the Ayurvedic perspective and adds her own flair by combining red rooibos tea, tulsi and cardamom as the sweet components, as well as black peppercorn and other spices for some kick. Govro’s charming mobile tea trailer is a regular fixture at Tower Grove Farmers’ Market. Now that the outdoor market season is over, you can find her line of dried tea blends in St. Louis at the Schlafly Winter Market, Local Harvest Grocery and Whisk: a Sustainable Bakeshop. This month, look for her packaged artisan chai tea concentrate available for purchase in St. Louis at Rise Coffee House, Foundation Grounds Coffee House & Cafe and Kitchen House Coffee. You can also purchase Govro’s tea blends online by visiting theretrailer.com.


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Inspired Local Food Culture

DECEMBER 2014

47


mystery shopper

MEEt: ViEtnaMEsE CinnaMon this holiday season, up your cinnamon game with Vietnamese cinnamon, a

WhAt Do i Do With it?

darkly aromatic and richer alternative to the common baking spice. if the

the in-your-face intensity of flavor and aroma is precisely what makes Vietnamese cinnamon a superb choice for holiday (and everyday) baking. its high concentration of aromatic oils makes it easier to incorporate into baked goods, leaving other cinnamons in the dust. Use it to add a kick to classics like cinnamon rolls or holiday pies, but don’t limit it to the sweet stuff: remember, it’s a key ingredient in Vietnamese pho and can add spark to savory dishes, too.

spice’s exotic nature alone isn’t enough to convince you, its ability to easily enhance sweet and savory recipes surely will. WhAt is it?

Vietnamese cinnamon comes from the thick, richly fragrant bark of the cinnamomum loureiroi tree, native to Vietnam and more closely related to cassia than ceylon, the two main types of cinnamon. distinctions abound: ceylon is sweet, frail and lightly colored and will remind you of your grandma’s coffee cake, whereas cassia is powerful, complex and dark, with a heady aroma that’s almost too much to breathe in.

these individual Vietnamese cinnamon-goat cheese soufflés topped with vanilla bean crème anglaise are easy to prepare and taste just like classic snickerdoodle cookies.

Shannon Weber is the creator, author and photographer behind the award-winning blog aperiodictableblog.com, and her work has appeared on websites such as bon appétit, serious eats and america’s test Kitchen. She is a self-taught baker and cook who believes the words “I can’t” should never apply to food preparation and that curiosity can lead to wonderful things, in both the kitchen and in life.

story and recipe by Shannon Weber photography by Jennifer Silverberg

Vietnamese CinnamonGoat Cheese Soufflés serves | 8 |

Crème AnglAise

¾ ½ 2 3

cup whole milk vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped egg yolks tbsp plus 1 tsp granulated sugar

soufflés

2 ½ ½ ½ 3 3 4 4 5

tbsp plus ½ cup granulated sugar tsp plus 1¼ tsp ground Vietnamese cinnamon cup whole milk vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped tbsp unsalted butter tbsp all-purpose flour oz goat cheese, softened fat pinch kosher salt egg yolks, at room temperature egg whites, at room temperature

| Preparation – Crème Anglaise | in a double boiler set over simmering water, heat milk until steaming. remove from heat, add vanilla bean pod and seeds and steep for 10 minutes. in a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar. remove vanilla bean pod from hot milk and slowly stream into egg mixture, whisking constantly, until smooth. pour back into double boiler set over simmering water and whisk constantly for 3 to 4 minutes until thickened. push mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a small bowl and chill in an ice bath, stirring occasionally. once cool, transfer to refrigerator to chill completely.

| Preparation – Soufflés | place oven rack slightly above center and preheat oven to 375˚F. butter 8 ramekins. add a few spoonfuls of sugar to 1 ramekin and rotate to coat sides and bottom. sugar all ramekins and set aside. in a small bowl, combine 2 tbsp sugar and ½ tsp cinnamon. set aside. in a saucepan over medium heat, heat milk until steaming. remove from heat and add vanilla bean pod and seeds, and steep for 10 minutes. in a saucepan, heat butter over medium heat until melted, add flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. remove pod from milk mixture and stream into flour mixture, whisking constantly until smooth. remove from heat, add cheese, 1¼ tsp cinnamon and salt, and whisk until smooth. add egg yolks and whisk until incorporated. in a large bowl, use a mixer to beat egg whites until soft peaks form. continue to beat and slowly add ½ cup sugar until stiff peaks form. transfer cheese mixture to large bowl. add ⅓ egg whites and fold in gently. add remaining whites, folding until no streaks remain. divide into ramekins, sprinkle cinnamon-sugar on top and bake 12 to 15 minutes, until puffed and set.

| To Serve | transfer soufflés to serving plates. pour chilled crème anglaise over top and serve. %PG

feastmagazine.com

DECEMBER 2014


Celebrate New Years Eve Turkish Style Three delicious courses for $49.99. Wine pairings selected by our sommelier available for every course. Belly Dance performaces throughout the evening. New Year's Eve Dinner served from 5pm until midnight. Stay for dancing and cocktails until 1:30am. Please call 314-645-9919 or visit our website www.ayasofiacuisine.com to make reservations

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Inspired Local Food Culture

DECEMBER 2014

49


menu options

PerSian PomegranaTe and Lamb meaTbaLL SouP

STORy AnD ReCIPe by tory Bahn PhOTOGRAPhy by Jennifer Silverberg

One of my very best friends since childhood is Persian-American. Growing up, I was treated to meals prepared by her mother, and it was some of the best food I’ve ever had. Looking back, my experience with that food probably played a large role in my decision to go into the culinary field. One of my favorite dishes she made was loobia polo, a rice dish containing green beans and beef. This dish is something I wouldn’t dare attempt to recreate and serve to others, as it would never compare to my friend’s mother’s cooking.

pickled vegetables – and so much more. At the same time, Persian food is refined, elegant and exotic, with almost seductive spices and flavors, and rice that has never tasted so good.

Like loobia polo, I consider Persian cuisine quintessential comfort food: rice, stews, kabobs, homemade torshi – a mind-blowing condiment of

Served on a cold day when pomegranate season is at its height, this rich, flavorful dish will transport you to another part of the world.

Pomegranate soup, or ash-e anar, is a hearty, warming soup that celebrates the sweet, tart flavor of pomegranate, both fresh and concentrated. The dish is balanced by the earthy goodness of split peas, and subtly spiced lamb meatballs add another layer of savory.

chef’S tiPS Pomegranate ParticuLarS. When breaking down a pomegranate, cut off the crown and score the skin from end to end about five times. In a bowl of cold water, gently break the pomegranate apart. Carefully pull the pomegranate’s arils away from the pith. Once the pith rises to the top of the water, discard and place cleaned arils in a bowl. In the recipe for pomegranate and lamb meatball soup, the arils can be spread over top of the finished soup as garnish.

For garniSh. To add the sautéed mint and garlic garnish mentioned at the end of the recipe, heat 1 Tbsp oil in a small sauté pan over mediumlow heat. Add 4 thinly sliced cloves of garlic and sauté until lightly golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Return same pan to high heat, add 1 Tbsp oil, and allow oil to heat, and then turn heat off. Add 1 Tbsp dried mint. Stir mint for a minute and then remove to the bowl with garlic, and add desired amount to pomegranate soup.

Make the MeaL • Persian Pomegranate and Lamb meatball Soup • Shirazi Salad • Jeweled Rice • Saffron Ice Cream with Pistachios

Learn more. In this month’s class you’ll learn how to make your own

pomegranate syrup, easily break down a pomegranate, prepare perfect rice every time you cook it and discover the flavors of Persian cuisine.

get hands-on: Join Feast and schnucks Cooks Cooking school on Wed., dec. 17, at 6pm at the des Peres, Missouri, location to make the dishes in this month’s menu. tickets are just $40 for a night of cooking, dining and wine. RsVP at schnuckscooks.com or call 314.909.1704.

Pomegranate-Lamb Soup Serves | 6 to 8 | Pomegranate SouP

2 1 4 1 ½ 1½ 8 1 1 4

Tbsp grapeseed oil medium onion, minced cloves garlic, minced tsp ground turmeric tsp ground cumin cups split peas, green or yellow cups chicken stock cup parsley, destemmed, roughly chopped cup cilantro, destemmed, roughly chopped cups packed baby spinach, roughly chopped

Pomegranate SyruP

2

cups pomegranate juice

Lamb meatbaLLS

1 3 1½ ¼ ¼ 3 1½ ½ 4

small yellow onion, peeled, grated cloves garlic, minced pound ground lamb cup fresh Italian parsley, minced cup fresh cilantro, minced Tbsp fresh mint, minced tsp kosher salt tsp freshly ground black pepper Tbsp grapeseed oil

aSSembLy

½

1

cup pomegranate syrup kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper pomegranate juice, to taste cup full-fat Greek yogurt pomegranate arils (for garnish)

| Preparation – Pomegranate Soup | In a medium Dutch oven, heat grapeseed oil over medium-low heat. When hot, add onion and cook until translucent. Increase heat and caramelize onions slightly, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add turmeric and cumin and toast for 1 minute. Add split peas and chicken stock. Increase heat, cover and bring to a boil, then simmer until split peas are softened, about 1 hour. Add herbs and spinach and simmer for 10 minutes. | Preparation – Pomegranate Syrup | In a small saucepan, heat pomegranate juice over medium heat and reduce to a syrupy consistency, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

| Preparation – Lamb Meatballs | Add all ingredients except oil to a medium bowl and mix by hand until combined. Roll into about 24 golfball-sized meatballs. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil over medium heat. Add half of the meatballs and sear until browned. Remove from heat and continue with remaining oil and meatballs. Set aside. | Assembly | Add seared meatballs and pomegranate syrup to soup and simmer 15 minutes or until meatballs are just cooked through. Season to taste with salt, pepper and extra pomegranate juice, if desired. Plate and garnish with Greek yogurt, pomegranate arils and sautéed mint and garlic as desired.


TV

WATCH IT ON THESE NETWORKS

In St. Louis, tune into the Nine Network (Channel 9) to see Feast TV on Sat., Dec. 6 at 2pm; Mon., Dec. 8 at 1pm; and Sun., Dec. 21 at 2:30pm. Feast TV will also air throughout the month on nineCREATE.

In Kansas City, watch Feast TV on KCPT (Channel 19) on Sat., Dec. 20 at 2:30pm.

You can watch Feast TV throughout mid-Missouri on KMOS (Channel 6) at 6:30pm on Sun., Dec. 14 and Sun., Dec. 28.

Feast TV will air in the southern Illinois region on WSIU (Channel 8) at 10am on Sat., Dec. 13.

In December, Feast TV celebrates the richness of a Midwest winter. Take a tour of bean-to-bar chocolate company Askinosie Chocolate’s factory in Springfield, Missouri, and meet founder Shawn Askinosie; go behind the scenes at Kansas City’s hugely popular Fervere bakery with owner Fred Spompinato; dig into classic American eats and drinks in St. Louis at restaurateur Ben Poremba’s Old Standard Fried Chicken; and travel to Arrow Rock, Missouri, to visit chef Liz Huff’s Catalpa restaurant, which is flourishing in the tiny historic town.

Festive Flowers!

‘Ti th ‘Tis the season tto d deckk your h halls ll with ith h ffestive tii ffresh h centerpieces, t i arrangements, wreaths and more from your neighborhood Schnucks. And, of course, poinsettias galore! Or, have one of our talented designers, many whom are FTD® certified, create an extra special design – just for you! Happy holidays! For our complete selection of holiday gifts, collectibles and décor, shop schnucksfloral.com

Feast TV is presented by Missouri Wines with additional support from Whole Foods Market.

To order, stop by your neighborhood store, call (314) 997-2444 or visit schnucksfloral.com

©2014 Schnucks

Inspired Local Food Culture

DECEMBER 2014

51


sweet ideas

CanDieD GinGerbreaD bunDt with Dark anD Stormy Glaze story and recipe by Christy Augustin photography by Cheryl Waller

Lebkuchen in Germany, pain d’épices in France, pepparkakor in Sweden – there are almost as many gingerbread recipes as there are nations across the world. In Europe, gingerbread is often made into cookies and biscotti, with traditions dating back to the 10th century.

crumb cake that never seems to dry out, and this is truly the easiest cake to freeze. Baked into tiny muffin tins or as tea cakes to serve at a party, inside a 9-by-9-inch pan to cut into squares for breakfast or as a striking bundt for the dinner table, you can’t go wrong.

Candied Gingerbread Bundt with Dark and Stormy Glaze

At my bakery, decorated gingerbread cookies hang from our Christmas tree and are always a seasonal best seller. We begin the intricate process of piping icing onto each cookie by hand just after Thanksgiving each year. However, the snack I truly yearn for on cold winter nights is black sticky gingerbread cake, adapted from a recipe in the best all-around baking book ever, In the Sweet Kitchen by Regan Daley. I can’t find enough uses for her gingerbread recipe each holiday season: warm spices with just the right kick of heat, moist

Here, we ice the cake with a glaze inspired by my favorite cocktail, the Dark and Stormy. Alternate cake toppings could include a simple dust of powdered sugar or warmed orange marmalade.

To make the Dark and Stormy Glaze, I recommend using Gosling’s Black Seal rum, which is my favorite rum to sip in Dark and Stormy cocktails. Yields | 1 10-inch bundt |

chef’s TIP: A trick for unmolding a bundt without losing its pretty

shape is to do so while it’s still warm. Simply place the platter upside down on top of the bundt pan, hold both the platter and pan tightly together and flip them in one swift motion.

Christy Augustin has had a lifelong love affair with all things sweet. After working as a pastry chef in New Orleans and St. Louis, she opened Pint Size Bakery & Coffee in St. Louis’ Lindenwood Park in 2012. She calls herself the baker of all things good and evil. Learn more at pintsizebakery.com.

candIed GInGerbread bundT

1¼ ½ 1¼ ¾ 1 ¾ ½ 2 3 1½ ½ ½ ½ ¼ 2 3 ½

cup unsalted butter cup water cup molasses (not blackstrap) cup local honey cup light brown sugar, tightly packed tsp kosher salt orange, zested Tbsp candied ginger, minced cups all-purpose, unbleached flour tsp baking soda tsp ground cardamom tsp ground allspice tsp ground nutmeg tsp ground clove tsp ground cinnamon whole eggs cup milk, whole or 2 percent

dark & sTormy Glaze

1 ½ 2 2

lb powdered sugar lime, juiced Tbsp dark rum Tbsp ginger beer or ginger ale fresh whipped cream, for serving

| Preparation – Bundt | Preheat oven to 375ºF and grease bundt pan. In a large bowl set over a pot of simmering water, warm butter, water, molasses, honey, brown sugar, salt, orange zest and candied ginger just until the butter and brown sugar have dissolved into the mix. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Sift dry ingredients together in a separate bowl or over parchment paper. Whisk eggs and milk into the liquid mixture, then sift the dry a second time on top of the batter in 3 batches, whisking well in between. Pour into prepared bundt pan and bake for 1½ hours until the top of the cake springs back when pressed gently. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, but not completely before overturning onto a platter to cool for 1 hour or overnight before glazing.

| Preparation – Glaze | If powdered sugar is lumpy, sift it first. Otherwise, whisk all ingredients together right before use. | Assembly | Once bundt cake has cooled, pour glaze over top and then leave to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to firm. Serve with fresh whipped cream.


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Inspired Local Food Culture

DECEMBER 2014

53


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feastmagazine.com

DECEMBER 2014

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| 56 |

deep roots

| 66 |

bread winner

| 73 |

tHe Modern aGe

| 78 |

raisinG tHe bar

| 88 |

a baker’s dozen

Chef Liz Huff’s Catalpa flourishes in Arrow Rock, Missouri. Kansas City is lining up for Fervere’s artisan approach. Upgrade your home bar by barrel-aging cocktails. Go behind the scenes at Askinosie Chocolate in Springfield, Missouri . Thirteen snapshots of St. Louis chef Simone Faure. piCtUred: Turn to p. 88 to meet

chef Simone Faure.


56

feastmagazine.com

DECEMBER 2014


Liz Huff’s doctor stopped his exam to ask her a question: Had anyone ever told her they had a hard time finding her uterus? “I looked at him without even taking a breath,” Huff recalls now, “and said, ‘Oh my God! It happened at the grocery store yesterday!’” Joking aside, Huff knew something was wrong – really wrong. That she’d gone to the doctor in the first place was proof enough. The owner and chef of Catalpa restaurant in Arrow Rock, Missouri, claims a high threshold for pain, the legacy of a serious car accident in college. Slice a finger open in the kitchen? Grab the superglue, keep going. Yet in the fall of 2012, her body was breaking down, and not simply because she was a chef in her early 40s who worked 18 hours straight, who stayed at her restaurant after her small staff had gone home for the night to do the tasks that they’d neglected. Clean the espresso machine. Stock the beer cooler. Change the toilet-paper roll. The intense effort, not to mention the risk of opening a big-city-style restaurant – reservation-only, a chef’s table in the kitchen, a focus on


locally sourced, seasonal ingredients – in a town with 56 residents, was paying off. Earlier that year, the readers of Rural Missouri magazine had voted Catalpa the state’s best restaurant. (As Huff remembers it, the magazine’s staff admitted to her that they hadn’t even heard of Catalpa until their readers voted it the winner.) But then, one day, making the routine 45-minute drive from Arrow Rock to Columbia, Missouri, to gather ingredients for the restaurant, Huff had to pull over to take a nap. “I didn’t want there to be something wrong because I didn’t have health insurance, and I didn’t want to lose my restaurant,” Huff says. “So I’m just not going [to the doctor] unless I feel like I’m dying.

wanted Huff to schedule an immediate surgery. Huff asked the doctor whether she could wait instead until the new year, two months away. She told him, “I have Christmas parties already booked, and these people are counting on me, and that’s my money for the winter because I’m closed January and February. “He said, ‘Are you serious?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I’m serious.’ “So I went basically from November to January not knowing if I was going to die.”

“And then I felt like I was dying, so I went.”

It was a gamble, but maybe not as audacious as it seems. This wasn’t Huff’s first close brush with death, and here she was, still cooking.

The doctor found a large tumor – 7 pounds, it would weigh – and several smaller ones. Whether they were uterine or ovarian was unclear. He

The house that Catalpa occupies was built in the 1960s, which makes it brand-new in Arrow

PICTURED BOTTOM LEFT: The dining room at Catalpa. PICTURED BOTTOM RIGHT: Bone-in

filet mignon made with grass-fed, humanely raised, antibiotic-free beef, served with bruleéd potatoes and Vermont maple syrup-glazed carrots.

58

feastmagazine.com

DECEMBER 2014


Rock. Nineteenth-century buildings line the tree-shaded streets of this tiny town, which is a National Historic Landmark. You can eat lunch at the J. Huston Tavern (1834), see the house where the great painter George Caleb Bingham lived (1837) and catch the Lyceum Theatre’s latest production inside a former Baptist church (1872). Catalpa doesn’t stand out, though. The house is a scaled replica of Bingham’s, and unless you’re a period expert – or unless Huff herself leads you on a tour, pointing out such incongruities as its two chimneys but only one fireplace – you might assume it, too, was a couple of decades shy of its bicentennial. The dining room is cozy; a mere nine tables fit into a space decorated with vintage photos, family furniture and Arrow Rock memorabilia (and featuring that one working fireplace).

You’d call the kitchen spacious only if you were apartment-shopping in New York City, and Huff forced her builders to cram the stove, the fridge and all of the other equipment into essentially one-half of the room so that there would also be space for a chef’s table. “I want people to eat with me in the kitchen,” Huff explains. “The whole idea of this place is having people come over to your house for dinner. I have a dinner party every night. I genuinely feel like the people who come here are my friends.” Huff will sometimes leave the kitchen and walk into the dining room to describe a special or show off a tray off desserts. The restaurant’s size limits the length of its menu, but not its scope. Dishes might include spanakopita, pheasant-Cognac sausage or garlic

shrimp with red chiles that Huff herself brought back from the small New Mexico town of Chimayó. Huff’s passion for cooking and curiosity about food began in her childhood. She and her older sister grew up in nearby Marshall. Their father was (and is) a lawyer. Their mother was an artist; she painted, sculpted and worked with ceramics and fiber. She’d studied art at Mills College in Oakland, California, where she’d made a diverse group of friends – and learned their recipes. “We didn’t even have a Chinese restaurant in town,” Huff says, “and my mom was making Mongolian barbecue.” Her mother’s cooking was so globally influenced – Cambodian food on the stove, seaweed in the pantry – that Huff and her sister’s friends would refuse to spend the night or would come over only after dinner. Huff was 10 years old when her mother died of breast cancer. “She was sick for a lot of the time I remember,” she says. “[But] one of my favorite and most vivid memories is the cooking. We would watch Julia Child as a family on PBS.” Huff’s father never remarried or even dated after her mother’s death, and he remains a central figure in her life. “His whole life was work and us,” she says. “Every good thing in my life, he’s been a part of.” Inspired Local Food Culture

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Huff’s father made a mean meatloaf, but she still found herself yearning for her late mother’s exploration and experimentation in the kitchen. “So I started cooking.” She continued to watch Julia Child. She drew from her mother’s recipes and a book called Cooking for Kids. She experimented. Even then her philosophy of cooking was beginning to coalesce. When she was sixteen, she worked at The Old Arrow Rock Tavern, now J. Huston Tavern. During the summer, the chef let her make the cobblers for dessert. “That was fun,” she says, “but you had to use canned fruit. Even when I was sixteen, I knew that’s not the way to do that. There are apple trees all over town, and apples are falling and rotting on the ground. Let’s go get some!” Huff wanted to keep cooking after high school, but this was just before the explosion of all things food-related in America, when culinary school didn’t carry the Food Network-approved cachet that it does now. “My sister was at Colgate [University studying] philosophy and religion and doing all these really smart things,” Huff says. “I thought I’d better do the liberal arts thing, too.” Huff went to the College of Santa Fe, now known as Sante Fe University of Art and Design, to study pre-elementary education. It was there, a couple

PICTURED TOP LEFT: Spinach salad with sheep’s milk Feta, marinated yellow beets, pomegranate seeds and pecans candied with

cumin, cinnamon and Mexican vanilla, dressed with a lemon-Dijon-tarragon vinaigrette. The salad is served with black sesamegarlic-Parmesan crackers. PICTURED BOTTOM RIGHT: Chef Liz Huff at work in the kitchen at Catalpa.


of years later, that she got into a terrible car wreck. She punctured her lungs, broke both of her knees, her arms and 12 of her ribs. The damage to her face alone would require several surgeries to repair. She still thought becoming a teacher was a noble pursuit, but when she came to in the hospital room, she’d made up her mind. “It would be a shame to die without doing what you want,” she says now. She was going to cooking school.

Catalpa isn’t the first restaurant that Huff has opened in Arrow Rock. It isn’t even the first restaurant that she’s opened in the house on High Street. Once she’d recovered from her accident, Huff followed a very specific plan to learn as many facets of the restaurant business as she could before opening her own place. She enrolled at the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont. She thrived there, though not without enduring the additional stress of being one of the very few women in the program. “It was rough,” she says of the razzing. She recalls one instructor sending her into a walk-in freezer to repair a small piece that had broken off an ice sculpture by gluing it back on with her own spit. When she emerged, shivering, after running out of spit 20 minutes later, he informed her he’d just been “shitting” her. (Not coincidentally, the kitchen staff at Catalpa is entirely female. “There’s some sort of base understanding about my work ethic and my insistence on extreme customer service that seems to work better with women than with men,” Huff says. “I don’t know why.”) After graduating, she worked as a food-service manager at Harvard Law School, an experience that taught her she wasn’t cut out for paperwork. She learned butchery at a shop in Boston, a place that she’d sought out because she’d read in a newspaper blurb that Julia Child herself shopped there. (She did; Huff took her order by telephone.) She gained front-of-house experience managing a tapas restaurant. Huff returned to Arrow Rock in 2001 to open the first iteration of Catalpa. “It was gangbusters,” she says. “It went really, really, really well.” Successful as it was, the restaurant lasted only two years. “The major problem there was substance abuse,” Huff admits. “I got out of control with it. I worked so hard, and after work every night you just sit around and drink because there’s this mentality, like, ‘I work so hard I deserve to get really drunk,’ or ‘I deserve to go out and score some coke,’ or whatever it is.” Huff checked herself into a 28-day treatment center in Boonville and then, after tying up loose ends in Arrow Rock, moved to the Virgin Islands to work. She wanted to stay clean, but the challenges were many – in the Virgin Islands, of course, where it seemed like everyone was a vacationer looking to party, but also when she returned to Arrow Rock a Inspired Local Food Culture

DECEMBER 2014

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PICTURED LEFT PAGE: Free-form pear-almond tart with housemade maple-black walnut ice cream. PICTURED RIGHT PAGE: Grilled prawns served with green and white asparagus over risotto and finished with a broth made of sweet onion, basil and white wine.


few months later. Yet because she never lost a job or became homeless due to her substance abuse, part of Huff believed she could get by. “Until I realized that I had to quit everything [including alcohol], it didn’t work,” she says. “I really wanted to stay clean – and I just kept screwing up. “I took a bunch of my dad’s blood pressure pills, [lay] down and said, ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ You really feel like that’s the best way because you’re hurting your family, and everybody’s worried about you, and you just can’t seem to get it right.” She was rushed to the hospital in Marshall, had her stomach pumped and was then taken to the ICU in Columbia and remained there for several days. Then she checked herself back into treatment.

“That’s the whole turning point,” Huff says. “I didn’t [get sober] because I felt it was unfair to my father; I didn’t do it because I felt like my sister wanted me to. I didn’t do it because of society. I didn’t do it for anything other than me. “Because I wanted to live, and the only way to live was to be clean and sober.” Huff has been ever since, eight years now, even through the anxiety two years ago of not knowing whether her tumors were cancerous. “At that time I was 41,” Huff says. “My mother died when she was 44. I felt like, I’m going to die before I get to live. If there [were ever a] time I would go have a drink, that would’ve been it.” The tumors were benign, and as 2014 draws to a close, Huff finds herself in a very good place. In her personal life, she’s found happiness with her boyfriend of one year, Bret. “He actually makes me like myself, which is pretty great,” she says and then pauses before continuing. “It’s incredible. I went through some pretty dark times.” Catalpa also continues to gain acclaim. Again in 2013 and 2014 the readers of Rural Missouri saluted it as the state’s best restaurant. Meanwhile, Huff is preparing to start bottling her own line of salad dressings, something she did successfully when she opened her first Arrow Rock restaurant. But you don’t need to know any of Huff’s story to understand that Catalpa is something special. You’ll notice it as you soak up every last drop of the chile-laced oil from those garlic shrimp with your made-from-scratch yeast roll. You’ll notice it as Huff steps out of the kitchen and into the dining room to talk up that day’s special or to parade around a tray of apple strudels. She’d gathered the apples that morning – or, rather, she’ll tell you with a wicked smile, she saw them going to waste and absconded with them, to give them new purpose in her kitchen. Catalpa, 503 High St., Arrow Rock, Missouri, 660.837.3324, catalparestaurant.com

Ian Froeb is the restaurant critic and beer writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He has twice been a finalist for the Association of Food Journalists’ Best Restaurant Criticism award, and his work has appeared in the Best Food Writing anthology. He lives with his wife and daughter in St. Louis’ Shaw neighborhood.

Travel to Arrow Rock, Missouri, to visit Catalpa and learn what inspires chef Liz Huff’s made-from-scratch cooking in the December episode of Feast TV.

Inspired Local Food Culture

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Bread Winners Written by Jonathan Bender

|

photography by Landon Vonderschmidt


people are lining up for fervere’s artisan approach There are no velvet ropes or bouncers outside the swinging screen door at Fervere [fer-vary], but for a dozen or so Saturday nights the past three summers, it’s been the hottest carb club in Kansas City.

“We kept trying to drag Cheese Slipper Saturday out,” says baker Dan Wehner. “But the more we made, the faster we sold out.”

In Kansas Citians’ defense, Fervere, the 14-yearold bakery founded by Fred Spompinato in the Westside neighborhood, is topping its ciabatta – which roughly translates to “slipper” in Italian – with unexpected ingredient combinations, such as bread topped with a runny egg, Green Dirt Farm sheep’s cheese, Wisconsin cheese curds, garlic and chile sauce. Like bugs around a zapper, the city never stood a chance.

Between roughly May and October, the line stretches nearly a city block with those queued up for cheese slippers sold by the clap of the screen door admitting another customer. Fervere has dished up as many as 132 loaves in an hour, the number only limited by the diminishing heat of its brick oven and the time it takes to fork over $9 or so for a cheese slipper topped with potatoes, green onion, sour cream, Taleggio and fried shallots.

“We’ve always known as bakers what a treat it was to have [the cheese slippers] fresh out of the oven,” Spompinato says. Bread-lovers in Kansas City know Spompinato’s breads – the olive-rosemary (jammed with rosemary and kalamata olives), the orchard (a wheat bread studded with apricots, apples, golden raisins and walnuts) or the box bread

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PICTURED CENTER: Raw loaves of Fervere’s Orchard bread, made with organic wheat flour, apricots, apples, golden raisins, walnuts, organic wheat starter, sea salt and water, about to enter the oven.

“i became a baker because bread was probably the number one thing in my life.”

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(a dense pre-sliced wheat and rye bread stuffed with oats, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, millet, quinoa and more) – even if they don’t know the man in the short-sleeve plaid shirt with a grip forged by thousands of loaves and an easy smile as wide as the open oven in the back of his shop. “I became a baker because bread was probably the number one thing in my life,” Spompinato says. Only a day after he graduated from the American Institute of Baking, Spompinato took a job at the Monterey Baking Co., which had just opened the Pacific Baking Co. in Kansas City. It was 1987, and Pacific was attempting to take San Francisco-style sourdough around the country. During long hours of proofing and kneading (Pacific would make as much as 50,000 pounds of dough per day), he befriended fellow baker Mark Friend. And the two began to talk about what it would be like to make their own bread in a boutique bakery. In 1992, they launched the Farm to Market Bread Co. with an oven, a mixer and $4,800. They made their first loaves in the kitchen of The Classic Cup restaurant in Westport. Their San Francisco Sourdough and Grains Galore breads (made with nine grains, five seeds and a touch of honey) became the company’s hallmark.

Farm to Market Bread Co. expanded rapidly, moving to a space in the Waldo neighborhood in 1996. The demand and desire for new products only grew. Friend pushed for expansion. Spompinato didn’t want to get bigger. So he pulled back, sold his share of the company to Friend in 1999 and used the proceeds to open Fervere. And then Spompinato did a rare thing for someone who has found success. He built a business with intentional constraints on his working hours and production. He reasoned that he could bake three days a week, which would entail about 50 hours of work. After a decade-and-a-half of baking, 50 hours sounded like a vacation. The name, Fervere, comes from the same Latin word (which means “to boil” and is the root of fermentation). The term fervere was used figuratively to suggest passion. The dual meanings appealed to Spompinato. He found a small space on Kansas City’s Westside, tucked in next to the Blue Bird Bistro, where he could distill that passion. The bakery has exposed brick walls and concrete floors – a shop and workspace – where everything is out in the open. “We wanted you to have a connection with the bakery,” Spompinato says. Customers order from a wooden counter

where breads like the Cranberry Almond (an oval-shaped loaf with crisp almond slivers, cranberries and orange zest that’s only available between November and February) are placed on metal shelves – custom-made by a rod-iron artist – that are anchored to the brick wall. While they wait and munch on samples, they’re drawn to the custom brick oven with limestone trimmings. “Everything we do is determined by our oven,” Spompinato says. “It makes us focus.” The oven is a retained-heat oven (it’s heated via an electric heat source), and the loaves are cooked directly on the hearth. At capacity, Spompinato, Wehner and fellow baker Chad Russell can produce 475 loaves in an evening. Between standing orders and phone orders, a lot of what’s being made for Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays has already been purchased. “We’re pretty maxed out as it is; we don’t really have the opportunity to wholesale,” Spompinato says without regret. The bread is only sold inside the shop walls, although loaves are set aside for Novel – a year-old New American restaurant around the corner – and for The American Restaurant to serve tableside. Blue Bird Bistro next door uses the bakery’s ciabatta for its French toast, as well.


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Inspired Local Food Culture

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PICTURED LEFT: Fervere founder Fred Spompinato stands in the bakery’s front window. PICTURED RIGHT: Loaves of Fervere’s Orchard bread sit on racks inside the bakery ready to be purchased and devoured by eager customers.

“it is a unique product, and the love that goes into every loaf is evident.”

“It is a great honor to be one of two restaurants in the city that serves Fervere bread,” says Novel chef-owner Ryan Brazeal. “It is a unique product, and the love that goes into every loaf is evident.”

American’s Michael Corvino, The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange’s Howard Hanna, The Farmhouse’s Michael Foust and Novel’s Brazeal – for a series of collaboration cheese slippers.

Fervere springs to life each week on Wednesday afternoon. The bakery uses organic flour from Heartland Mill in Marienthal, Kansas, and mixes it with a series of mixers. As afternoon gives way to evening and light softly spills out onto Summit Street, dough is slowly and methodically shaped into loaves by hand.

“Collaborating with someone as passionate about quality was a meaningful experience,” Brazeal says. “It gave me a chance to showcase some delicious seasonal product from local farmers in a different setting from our restaurant. Working without animal protein was a fun restriction that really helped me to think outside the box.”

“I think people are more interested in whole grains,” Wehner says. “People try and look behind the scenes now. And they understand the work that goes into and are willing to pay the price for it.” A chef for the past decade in Kansas City with stints at restaurants such as The Westside Local and Justus Drugstore in Smithville, Missouri, one of Wehner’s first introductions to Fervere was a warm cheese slipper passed among friends during an afterwork late-night gettogether. That spirit of sharing is what eventually led him to reach out to a select few chefs in the Kansas City area – The

Go behind the scenes at Fervere in Kansas City with owner Fred Spompinato in the December episode of Feast TV. 70

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DECEMBER 2014

Another new addition are cookies on Saturday mornings. The rye, chocolate chunk (from Kansas City’s Christopher Elbow Artisanal Chocolate) and orange zest cookies are made in a convection oven, as the main oven is more suited to bread. “I wanted a nice big cookie with lots of textures and layers,” Wehner says. “We do a lot of testing, and then eventually something works out.” Ideas are always fermenting in the bakery. Russell is the experimenter on staff, constantly looking into new possibilities and where to source grains. He’s experimented with a seaweed bread at home (“too seaweed-y,” he admits), but has been cautious to change the offerings from

the pain de Campagne and sprouted whole wheat that are often gone in the first few hours after the door opens. “It has to be its own thing, and it has to be as strong as the other breads,” Russell says. “It has to have its own place in the lineup, and then ideally people want to buy it.” As Spompinato closes in on 30 years as a baker, he’s started to turn the reigns over to Russell and Wehner. “I’ve been trying to figure out how to retire,” Spompinato says. “I haven’t figured it out yet, but these two have really helped me. The bakery is in good hands.” He’s considering offering baking classes as a way to integrate fresh grains into the bakery. They’ve talked of starting their own mill, something that would allow them to purchase more grains locally. “I just hope it goes on and on; I think it’s a beautiful little concept,” Spompinato says. “I know that times change, but I love the idea.” Fervere is open Thursday and Friday from 11am to 7pm and Saturday from 9:30am to 2pm, although the shop regularly sells out before the end of its official hours. 1702 Summit St., Kansas City, Missouri, 816.842.7272, fervere.com


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The M dern Age WrITTen By Pete Dulin

|

pHoTogrApHy By Jonathan Gayman

whether shaken or stirred, mixed or muddled, even the most complex cocktails don’t require much of a time investment. Ingredients are combined inside a cocktail shaker or mixing glass, prepared, poured and served. But just as spirits, wine and beer benefit from aging in oak barrels, so do pre-mixed cocktails. Barrel-aged cocktails are made and served at bars and restaurants across the country, but unlike wine or spirits, they are just as easy to make at home. Allowing classics like the Sazerac or Manhattan to age in oak for a month allows flavors to mellow and soften, while also adding new dimension. There’s no real trick or technique involved in barrel-aging, and the process yields complex flavors – and, it’s also a lot of fun. The preparation is simple – combine ingredients in a barrel just as you would in a cocktail glass – and allow them to age anywhere from four to six weeks. The only piece of equipment needed is a mini wooden barrel with a spigot and bung (or plug), which can be purchased online or directly from regional barrel producers or distilleries. In Lenexa, Kansas, the whiskey and vodka distillers at Dark Horse Distillery have made barrel-aging cocktails at home even easier. The small-batch distillery was established by the

boulevArdier

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Garcia family four years ago, and early on the owners were approached by local bartenders interested in buying oak barrels for barrel-aging cocktails in their bars.

cocktail ingredients. Each barrel is branded with the distillery’s logo, and Dark Horse also provides a variety of cocktail recipes tailored to each of the barrel sizes.

“Our clients have had fun playing with the barrels,” says Damian Garcia, director of sales and marketing at Dark Horse. “Customers saw them at restaurants and called us to request one.”

“Barrel-aging is a unique way to add characteristics from the barrel to a cocktail,” Garcia says. “Aging can impart smoke, vanilla and butterscotch flavors. It’s a way to show your creative side when creating cocktails at home. People send us emails with photos of their aged cocktail coming out of the barrel. They tell us how much fun it is to age Manhattans.”

As demand grew, Dark Horse decided to sell a barrel-aging cocktail kit for home use. The kit includes an oak barrel (available in 2-liter, 5-liter or 10-liter sizes), spigot, bung, a cradle to hold the barrel, cleaning pellets and directions for curing and use – everything needed except the

At the beginning of the process, Garcia suggests first pouring cocktail batches through

a funnel into the barrel, leaving room at the top. Unwanted pressure can build as the wood expands if the barrel is too full. After aging, Garcia also recommends filtering the barrel contents through cheesecloth to catch unwanted particles from the char before bottling. “Test the batch as you go along,” he says. “Don’t store the barrel and forget about it. Testing maturation is part of the fun. When you’re happy with the taste, transfer the cocktail to bottles, store them or serve.”

to let the barrel sit dry and empty for too long. “If it sits empty, the wood will slowly shrink, and the rings will loosen,” he says. Garcia says that for many customers, the real fun in barrel-aging cocktails at home is playing with ingredients, flavors and aging times, just as distillers and bartenders do. “A distiller will check on the color, flavor and proof,” Garcia says. “At home, you get to be the bartender and judge to determine if it is ready. Barrel-aging puts the process in your hands.”

With proper care, oak barrels can be used to barrel-age cocktails for years, especially if properly cleaned. Most of all, Garcia advises not

barrel sources Dark Horse Distillery. Small new American oak barrels (2, 5 and 10 liters) range from $58 to $130, while used whiskey barrels (7 to 30 gallons) run from $131 to $285. 913.492.3275, dhdistillery.com

lemon ginger drop

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Black swan cooperage. This company sells white oak barrels in three different styles, with sizes ranging from 5 to 53 gallons that run from $163 to $495. They also sell a cocktail-aging kit for $28. 218.237.2020, blackswanbarrels.com tutHilltown Distillery. This East Coast distillery sells 1-, 2-, 3- and 5-liter custom-made barrels online, ranging in price from $60 to $96. 845.255.1527, tuthilltown.com


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barrelaged cocktail recipes by Dark Horse Distillery

Preparation for each barrel-aged cocktail is the same. For each drink, follow the steps below, and then refer to the serving instructions.

| Preparation | Combine all ingredients in a large container that can be easily poured from. Stir ingredients together, funnel into the top of the barrel and seal with bung or oak plug. The cocktail may be tasted at any time, but most cocktails find their sweet spot between four and eight weeks. It won’t hurt to leave liquid in for shorter or longer time periods. When the cocktail is finished aging, empty the entire barrel into a large pourable container and strain through cheesecloth to remove any wood or char pieces. Funnel into individual bottles to store, or serve.

White Manhattan 2-LITER BARREL

Boulevardier 2-LITER BARREL

| Preparation |

| Preparation |

1 bottle, plus 19 oz Long Shot White Whiskey 23 oz sweet vermouth ¾ oz Angostura bitters cherry (for garnish)

| To Serve | Pour 3 ounces barrel-aged White Manhattan into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry and serve.

Lemon Ginger Drop 2-LITER BARREL | Preparation | 2 bottles, plus 3½ oz Dark Horse Distillery Rider Vodka 6¾ oz limoncello 6¾ oz ginger liqueur lemon twist (for garnish)

| To Serve | Pour 3 ounces barrel-aged Lemon Ginger Drop into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and serve.

1

bottle, plus 8½ oz Dark Horse Distillery Reserve Bourbon Whiskey 17 oz sweet vermouth 17 oz Campari ice orange peel (for garnish)

| To Serve | Add 3 ounces barrel-aged Boulevardier into a chilled coupe or Old Fashioned glass and fill with ice. Zest an orange peel into the drink, use it for garnish and serve.

Sazerac 2-LITER BARREL | Preparation | 2 bottles, plus 14¼ oz Dark Horse Distillery Reunion Rye Whiskey 1¼ oz Peychaud’s bitters 1¼ oz absinthe 1 sugar cube soda water absinthe (to coat glass) lemon twist (for garnish)

| To Serve | Combine sugar cube and a splash of soda water in a mixing glass and muddle to form a crude syrup. Add 3 ounces barrel-aged Sazerac, fill with ice and stir until cold. Add a small amount of absinthe into an Old Fashioned glass. Swirl to coat the glass and discard. Strain Sazerac into absinthe-washed glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and serve.

sazerac oNliNe eXclUsiVe! Barrel-Aging Behind the Bar Visit feastmagazine.com to learn how bartender Van Zarr of Bluestem in Kansas City, Missouri, and Rye in Leawood, Kansas, serves barrel-aged Boulevardier and The Old Square cocktails.

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Barrel-aging gin in St. louiS Earlier this year Natasha Bahrami started a barrel-aged gin program at The Gin Room, a St. Louis cocktail bar located in the front room of Café Natasha, Bahrami’s family’s Persian restaurant. Bahrami learned the finer points of gin while working in bars in Washington, D.C. before returning to her hometown of St. Louis in May 2014. While in D.C., Bahrami thoroughly researched gin, but she also paid attention to the particular tastes of the gin-lovers who visited from Europe to California. The gin palate of her clientele differed depending on demographics, culture and personal taste. “I learned how to read each and every patron, to craft cocktails to their varying preferences and make them comfortable enough to stray outside their safe zones,” Bahrami says. “Barrelaged gin just happened to be one of the ways I could convince die-hard whiskey and bourbon drinkers that gin just might be their next love.” Barrel-aging gin might seem counterintuitive for a botanical spirit, but the process does impart noticeable nuances to an already assertive flavor profile. “The aging process mellows gin’s juniper and botanical notes while subtly adding prominent malt to the profile, which is not usually found in gin,” says Bahrami, who has accumulated a collection of nine barrel-aged gins distributed in St. Louis, and nine in her private collection. “I found a much wider spectrum of flavor profiles that have driven me to experiment with the method and fill voids in the current barrel-aged portfolio.” Bahrami notes that house barrel-aged gin is not new in the industry, but the gin tends to be blended with other spirits in the barrel or mixed afterward into barrel-aged cocktails. It isn’t served as a stand-alone like an aged Scotch or bourbon. “I haven’t seen anyone touting barrel-aged gin solo,” Bahrami says. “I crave to taste a naked product that is worthy to be consumed as is. That is the real art of house barrel-aging – to allow bartenders to enhance their favorite

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spirit through barrels with the same creativity as they would their cocktails.” At the beginning of the barrel-aging process, Bahrami takes new oak barrels and fills them with warm water to cure. Moisture expands the wood and keeps the oak staves tight to prevent leakage. New wood barrels use no adhesive. The staves, or slats, are only bound by metal hoops with gaps between them. She empties the water and repeats the step to allow the wood to swell and the joints to tighten. The process takes three to five days, depending on the wood and the barrel size. After curing, gin is added for aging. Blending is where craft comes into play. “I sampled from the barrel bimonthly to gauge its maturity,” Bahrami says. “Then I aged a new batch of gin with an additional blend of botanicals including cardamom and vanilla. The last portion of the process is to delicately merge separately aged barrels into one single barrel, without overpowering with any one botanical.” Bahrami aged Bombay Original Dry Gin to provide a warmer base for her experimentation without overwhelming the botanicals she added. “It’s a classic juniperforward London Dry with a peppery citrus nose and warm spice from the angelica, almonds and coriander,” she says. The gin is barrel-aged for seven months, and Bahrami began serving it in November at the eight-month mark. Aside from her own tastings to evaluate progress, Bahrami has invited guests to taste throughout the aging process. “The final product should be worthy to be enjoyed as a sipping gin or, if requested, incorporated into a cocktail without overpowering the spirit,” she says. “I am leaning toward a Twisted Martinez to showcase its full potential.” The Gin Room, 3200 S. Grand Blvd., South Grand, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.771.3411, facebook.com/NatashasGinRoom

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raising the e how a former attorney is making askinosie chocolate a national player WrITTEN BY Ettie Berneking

|

pHOTOGrApHY BY Travis Duncan

It might sound unexpected, but Shawn Askinosie’s path from successful defense attorney to awardwinning chocolatier in Springfield, Missouri, began with one made-from-scratch apple pie. One simple, homemade apple pie led to a life-changing career move, a year crafting the perfect cupcake and then eventually to making artisanal chocolate. Shawn is a self-described obsessive-compulsive who, once interested in something, can’t let it go. It’s a personality trait that served him well during his successful run in the courtroom, and since making the move into the ever-changing world of chocolate, it has helped put him on the map.

But to fully understand Shawn and his passion for small-batch chocolate, you have to go back to the courtroom in Springfield and back to that homemade apple pie. At the time, Shawn was at the end of defending a murder case and was with his client’s mother. “We were waiting for the jury to come back from deliberations, and you run out of things to talk about,” he says. “We were talking about apple pie. [She] was telling me about this recipe where you put the pie inside a paper grocery bag and bake it in the oven.” So Shawn went home and made the pie. The difficulty of carefully assembling the

perfect flaky and buttery pie crust sparked an interest in him, and like so many other things, he couldn’t let it go. He was hooked. After his first brush with baking, he bought a Big Green Egg and started experimenting with grilling. He tried out all sorts of recipes for hamburgers, chickens and steaks. He started cooking turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner, and then he moved on to using a lodge kettle to whip up ham and beans. Then he went back to desserts – but this time, it wasn’t pie that kept his interest; it was cupcakes. For a guy who was still busy practicing law, evenings spent piping buttercream

icing onto cupcakes and making a trip to Magnolia Bakery in New York City were not the norm. “My other colleagues probably thought I was nuts,” he says. “I was on an upwards trajectory in my career and was making a lot of money. By all outward appearances, I was doing pretty good. But I was just ready for something else.” It took close to two-and-a-half years for Shawn to fully leave his law practice behind and dive into what is now Askinosie Chocolate. Before he made the switch, he came close to buying a bakery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, when fate intervened in


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“there is a lot of good chocolate out there, so it’s meaningful to us that other people recognize our product.” the form of another dessert: chocolate budino. A chef Shawn knew in Santa Fe gave him the recipe for this Italian chocolate pudding that’s served in demitasse cups. One spoonful in, and Shawn knew he had found his next obsession. A few months later, he was on his way to the Amazon to see a cocoa pod up close. “That’s where I learned how cocoa beans can really make the flavor of chocolate depending on how farmers treat the beans post-harvest,” he says. “I came back from that trip planning to quit law, learn more about chocolate and start this factory.” After rehabbing an abandoned storefront on Commercial Street in his hometown of Springfield, Askinosie Chocolate hummed to life in 2007. At the time, Shawn was learning the chocolate business through trial and error. There were no books on how to source cocoa beans, and no one in the business was readily sharing their know-how. The fact that his team of four – made

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up of his wife, daughter and son-in-law – were able to make a chocolate bar at all is impressive, and Shawn readily admits there was a fair amount of luck involved. But then luck turned into skill. Seven-and-a-half years after opening its doors, Askinosie Chocolate has earned national recognition for its lineup of small-batch chocolate bars. It won a Good Food Award two years in a row, with a nomination this year, along with seven Specialty Food Association awards. It teamed up with James Beard Award-winning restaurant Cafe Pasqual’s to create a chile and pistachio bar with dark chocolate. The company was awarded five medals in the Americas round, plus one World award, by the prestigious International Chocolate Awards. And in October, Askinosie Chocolate announced that its long-running partnership with Intelligentsia Coffee was expanding, and Intelligentsia cafés would now be using Askinosie Chocolate to make mochas and hot chocolates, in addition to continuing to sell its bars at every location. With just 15 full-time employees and one not-solarge factory, there has been a lot of recognition

for a small business based in the middle of Springfield. But Shawn isn’t surprised. “We should be doing this well, or we’re doing something wrong,” he says. “There is a lot of good chocolate out there, so it’s meaningful to us that other people recognize our product.” Part of what makes Askinosie Chocolate so delicious and award-worthy is the way it’s made, in small batches with everything done in-house. Another element of the company’s success belongs to Shawn’s business model, which hinges on being a good neighbor and citizen. That means that when Shawn sources his beans from small farmers in any of his four growing regions – Mababu, Tanzania; San Jose Del Tambo, Ecuador; Davao, Philippines; and Cortés, Honduras – he goes himself every year. He meets with the farmers. He brings the company’s financial statements translated into whatever language is needed. He employs profit sharing with them and, most importantly, he shows them how to make growing the best beans possible. Shawn isn’t looking for the rarest cocoa beans he can find. He’s simply looking for quality. “For

us, the emphasis is on finding the right people and developing relationships with the farmers,” he says. “The relationships that we have with the farmers allow us to make better chocolate.” Much like coffee beans, the flavor of chocolate beans varies depending on where they’re grown. For example, the beans the company sources from Davao, Philippines, are a subvariety of the Trinitario bean, which Shawn says makes up less than 10 percent of the world’s cocoa bean supply. Askinosie Chocolate works with a small cooperative of farmers in Davao who produce beans, which the company describes as “…when roasted, elicit the warm, earthy flavors of brown sugar and vanilla with a clean, caramel finish.” Back in Springfield, Shawn and his team do everything in-house. “We import it ourselves, we store it, we roast it, we package it and we ship it,” he says. Out on the factory floor, the whirl of machinery hums, and the sweet scent of melted chocolate hangs


in the air. The process of turning raw fermented cocoa beans into bars takes eight to 10 days. First, the factory’s Colombian roaster – a modified coffee roaster – is set to a specific temperature depending on the origin of the bean, and beans are then dumped into the hopper. Shawn says that it’s crucial to pay close attention to the roasting process, as this step, along with fermentation and drying, most affects the flavor of the finished bars. Once beans are finished roasting, they are transferred to the cooling tray and then placed in buckets before entering the winnowing process. Winnowing is another crucial part of the company’s bean-to-bar process. The factory’s winnowing machine sends a current of air through the roasted beans to remove the chaffs, or outer hulls, leaving nibs, the slightly nutty, bitter morsels inside. The winnowing process is repeated several times, and nibs are also visually inspected, all to ensure that no hull or shell remains in the batch. Shawn says he also tastes the nibs to guarantee quality and consistency with the company’s standards.

From here, nibs are ground into a paste called chocolate liquor in the factory’s universal refiner and hand-carried into a holding tank. Before liquor is removed from the refiner, the particle size is examined based on whether the liquor will be used to make cocoa butter. If being made into cocoa butter, the chocolate liquor is placed in an agitation tank and then pumped into company’s custom-made cocoa butter press. Once inside the press, intensive pressure is applied to the liquor to separate its natural fat, or cocoa butter, which is removed and later used to add to the chocolate. Rarely do small-production chocolate companies make their own cocoa butter, but as with every step of the chocolate-making process, Shawn believes it’s necessary to enhance the smooth texture and quality of the final products. A by-product of pressing the cocoa butter is cocoa powder, which the company also packages and sells. Chocolate liquor not destined for the cocoa butter press is given a dose of organic cane sugar in the universal refiner, along with the single-

origin cocoa butter. Shawn says that the particle size of the chocolate is carefully monitored at this stage with a measuring tool and through several tastings before it’s removed from the refiner. Finished chocolate is then hand-carried from the refiner to a 100-year-old conche, a surface-scraping mixer and agitator that evenly distributes the cocoa butter into the chocolate. Shawn says he continues tasting the chocolate to monitor its flavor and texture, and when the time is right, the chocolate is hand-carried 20 feet into a holding tank in the molding room. In the holding tank, the temperature of the chocolate is raised, and it’s then poured into a pre-tempering tank, where it’s monitored until it reaches the desired viscosity. The temperature is then lowered, and the chocolate is tempered in a continuous tempering machine and molded by hand – once chocolate is inside the molds, it passes over a vibrating table to remove air bubbles, and is then weighed for consistency before entering a cooling tunnel. Chocolate bars are then removed from molds and placed on a table, where they are inserted, by hand, in 100

percent-compostable and biodegradable inner wrappings and finally slipped into unbleached outer wax paper packaging. The outside of each package proudly displays the face of one of the farmers who produces the chocolate beans used to make the bar. All in all, Shawn counts 70 steps that are involved in getting the beans from farmers and into bar form. It’s an involved process that requires some serious quality control, especially when you consider how few ingredients Shawn adds to his chocolate. “One distinguishing feature is we don’t do anything to hide the flavor of what the farmers have grown,” he says. When you look at the ingredient list on the back of the single-origin bars, you’ll find just two ingredients: cocoa beans and sugar. Limiting the

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PICTURED BOTTOM LEFT: Askinosie Chocolate was the first craft chocolate maker in the

U.S. to make white chocolate from scratch – and remains one of few in the country and across the globe. The company’s cocoa butter is the main ingredient in its singleorigin white chocolate, along with goat’s milk powder and organic cane sugar.

take a bite

ingredient list means Shawn has to start with the best beans possible, which is why he spends so much time traveling to visit farmers and check on their beans. “To test flavor, we literally put the beans over fire and roast them with the farmers,” he says. To fully unlock the tantalizing perfume inside the roasted beans, Shawn crushes them in his hands and takes a deep whiff. “That will give you an idea of what they’ll taste like,” he says. “It’s not perfect, but it’s the best way we know of without being able to make chocolate right there.”

Outside of the singleorigin bars, Askinosie Chocolate has CollaBARation bars with several national names in food and drink: Intelligentsia Coffee, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Zingerman’s Delicatessen, Cafe Pasqual’s, a small Swedish licorice factory, Lakritsfabriken, and, as of this November, that list now includes a toasted coconut and dark chocolate bar made in collaboration with the nationally popular food, craft and lifestyle blog A Beautiful Mess. “We haven’t made it any secret that we’re big fans of Askinosie Chocolate,” says Emma Chapman, who runs A Beautiful Mess with her sister, Elsie Larson. “We use his chocolate on the blog, and we like to recommend awesome stuff to our readers. But [Askinosie] usually does collaboration bars with tastemakers in the culinary scene, and this was a whole different process for them. I commend them for thinking outside the box.”

Travel to Springfield, Missouri, to tour the Askinosie Chocolate factory and meet founder Shawn Askinosie in the December episode of Feast TV.

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Chapman and Larson met with the Askinosie team and taste-tested several bars and tossed out new flavor ideas such as lavender, something with honey, something tea-related and finally coconut. It was as simple as that. And four months later, the gals at A Beautiful Mess officially have their hands in Askinosie’s lineup of chocolate bars. Whether it’s coming up with new CollaBARation bars, traveling to source new cocoa beans or working to share his methods and business strategy with newcomers in the chocolate world, Shawn is still constantly on the move. And that’s a good thing. Even with a slew of awards that can attest to the quality of Askinosie chocolates, Shawn readily admits he’s still learning about the product he works with. From discovering how to best work with farmers to how to rehab a piece of equipment used on the factory floor, Shawn never stops. He’s always learning something new, and that’s what he loves most. “This is one of the most professionally challenging things I’ve ever done,” he says. “It doesn’t stop. In law, cases end. A jury comes back, and it’s over, and you move to the next challenging case. But in manufacturing, something that requires a raw material that’s hard to source, it never stops.” Askinosie Chocolate, 514 E. Commercial St., Springfield, Missouri, 417.862.9900, askinosie.com

Shawn Askinosie shares tasting notes for six of the company’s most popular products.

|1|

70 percent + Cortés, Honduras + Dark Chocolate Bar. “Intriguing bursts of citrus, molasses, sharp stone fruit and woodiness. Slightly tannic with vibrant pops of flavor and a drying finish.”

|2|

70 percent + San Jose Del Tambo, Ecuador + Dark Chocolate Nibble Bar. “Red fruit, bergamot orange, honey, jasmine and hints of tobacco. Bright but creamy, tannic, dry finish.”

|3|

72 percent + Mababu, Tanzania + Dark Chocolate Bar. “Notes of strawberry, blueberry and graham met with a creamy, velvety-smooth texture.”

|4|

77 percent + Davao, Philippines + Dark Chocolate Bar. “Earthy with notes of brown sugar, vanilla and a clean, caramel finish. Silky and full-bodied.”

|5|

62 percent Dark Milk Chocolate + Fleur de Sel Sea Salt. “Caramel sweetness, vanilla and a subtle salt character, with a soft thrill from the goat’s milk.”

|6|

White Chocolate Bar. “Rich, buttery sweetness, simple tangy-ness with a soft, delicate mouthfeel.”


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askinosie sweet treats Askinosie Cocoa Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting Recipe by Linda Zipf of Raven bakeRy in SpRingfieLd, MiSSouRi

Yield | 24 cupcakes | CoCoa CupCakes

2 2 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 2½ 1¼

cups sugar eggs, room temperature cup milk, room temperature cup Askinosie Single Origin Natural Cocoa Powder cup butter, room temperature tsp salt tsp baking powder tsp baking soda tsp vanilla extract tsp almond extract cups flour cups hot strong coffee

ButterCream Frosting

¾ 2 5 1/3 ¼ ⅓ 1/3

cup butter, room temperature tsp vanilla extract cups powdered sugar cup Askinosie Single Origin Natural Cocoa Powder tsp salt cup room temperature strong coffee

| Preparation – Cocoa Cupcakes | preheat oven to 325°f. Line 2 cupcake pans with cupcake liners. in the large bowl of a mixer, combine all ingredients except coffee. Mix on low until well blended; slowly add coffee while mixing and blend well. fill each cupcake liner with 1/3 cup batter. bake 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. cool and set aside.

| Preparation – Buttercream Frosting | in the medium bowl of a mixer, cream butter and vanilla on medium speed

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until fluffy. Sift powdered sugar, cocoa powder and salt together on a piece of parchment and mix into butter mixture. beat on high, while slowly streaming in coffee. Stop mixer, scrape sides of bowl, then beat until smooth, adding coffee or milk, 1 Tbsp at a time, as necessary, until frosting reaches spreading consistency. generously frost cocoa cupcakes with buttercream frosting and serve.

Askinosie Chocolate Stout Brownies Recipe by anne Croy of paSTaRia in cLayTon, MiSSouRi

Yield | 25 small brownies | 1 16 1 1½ 3 1 ¾ 1½

cup Public House Brewing Revelation Stout beer oz Askinosie San Jose Del Tambo 70 percent dark chocolate cup, plus 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened cups sugar large eggs tsp vanilla cup unbleached flour tsp salt, divided

| Preparation |

preheat oven to 350°f. Line a 9-by-9-by-2-inch square pan with aluminum foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang that will allow you to lift brownies out of pan. Spray lined pan with nonstick cooking spray. in a medium saucepan, bring stout beer to a boil and let simmer until reduced to ½ cup. When finished simmering, remove from heat and divide into 2 measurements of ¼ cup each. you will use half in the brownies and half in the glaze. chop 12 ounces chocolate and 1 cup butter into pieces and place in a bowl set over a medium saucepan with simmering water.

When melted and smooth, remove from heat and let cool. in a large bowl, whisk sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth. gradually whisk in cooled chocolate mixture and ¼ cup reduced stout beer. gently fold in flour and 1¼ tsp salt. pour into prepared pan. bake brownies in oven until surface begins to crack or toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out with a few moist crumbs, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. in a blender, combine ice cream, malted milk and chocolate milk mixture. blend until smooth. pour into a glass, and garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Askinosie Chocolate Cake Recipe by askinosie ChoColate foR The food channeL

Yield | 1 9-by-13-inch cake | 2

cups sugar

2

cups flour

1

stick butter

add remaining 4 ounces chocolate into a medium bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, and stir until smooth and melted. Remove from heat and add remaining ¼ cup reduced stout beer, 2 Tbsp butter and ¼ tsp salt. Whisk until

½

well blended.

½

4

Askinosie Chocolate Malt Milkshake Recipe by emma Chapman of a beauTifuL MeSS bLog

Yield | 2 shakes | 3 1 6 5

oz Askinosie Cortès 70 percent dark chocolate cup milk scoops vanilla ice cream Tbsp chocolate malted milk whipped cream and chocolate shavings (for garnish)

| Preparation |

in a small saucepot, melt dark chocolate and milk until just melted.

Tbsp Askinosie Chocolate Single Origin Natural Cocoa Powder

1 1

pour warm glaze over brownies. Let stand at room temperature for 40 minutes. using foil overhang, lift brownies out of pan and cut into small squares with bench knife to serve.

cup vegetable oil

½

cup water cup buttermilk tsp vanilla tsp salt

1

tsp baking soda

2

eggs

| Preparation |

preheat oven to 350°f. grease and flour a 9-by-13-inch pan. in a large mixing bowl, mix together sugar and flour and set aside. in a small saucepan, melt butter, then add vegetable oil, cocoa powder and water, and bring to a boil. pour cocoa mixture into the sugar and flour mixture. Mix with a hand mixer for 5 minutes. add buttermilk, vanilla, salt, baking soda and eggs, and mix again until thoroughly combined. pour into the prepared baking pan, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. allow cake to cool completely before serving.


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WrITTeN By Seán Collins WrITT (WITH A BAker’S dozeN SHouT-ouT To poeT WALLACe STeveNS) (W pHoTogrApHy By Emily Suzanne McDonald p

1

There is a storm coming. The streets of St. Louis are glistening under the streetlights, and the National Weather Service says there is more weather coming before dawn. But here in the middle of the night, in a converted garage on McCree Avenue in the city’s Botanical Heights neighborhood, the concern is the humidity. Chef Simone Faure is making macarons, and she instinctively adds cream of tartar to the batter to counter the moisture in the air. If she has any hope of getting the jewel-toned almond cakes into the oven before her colleagues arrive for work, she needs to get the macarons to dry out before they’re baked. “That’s how I usually start my day. If not, it’s a constant struggle to get to the ovens.” So under the glare of overhead fluorescents, a box fan blows onto racks of perfect discs that will become the quintessentially French pastry. It is not yet 4 o’clock in the morning.


2

La Patisserie Chouquette par Simone Faure opened its doors in February of 2013. On paper it is a partnership between Simone Faure and chef Ben Poremba. At heart, the enterprise is all Simone Faure. “I can only continue to do this as long as I feel I’m truly doing it on my own terms. When it comes to a wedding, I always tell [the bride]: ‘I get that you are in charge at home. But at Chouquette, I’m in charge. And this cake can be a true collaboration or it can be mine. But it cannot be yours. Because you don’t make cakes. And I do.’” Faure works with Patrick Devine, an affable pastry chef with a mischievous streak, who came to Chouquette with Faure from The Ritz-Carlton in Clayton. Together they’re baking not only for the shop in Botanical Heights, but also for Poremba’s Old Standard Fried Chicken, Olio and Elaia, each located on the same street, as well as fulfilling online orders from around the country and supplying pastries for a growing number of wholesale accounts throughout the region. “Every person that we sell wholesale macarons to – every restaurant or hotel – they each have some special touch, like ‘Can you use this particular coffee bean?’ or ‘We’re releasing a new shade in the hotel, and we need the macarons to match.’”

3 Simone Faure gets out of bed with all the bravado of a Hollywood blockbuster. This morning, it began with the sound of her 3-year-old son’s footsteps. “Ten after 1am we heard him run down the hall. I was so shocked that [my husband] Damien heard it, because men hear nothing when it comes to children.” “Maxime?” she remembers her French-born husband calling out. “Maxime, are you there?”

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Her son appeared at the door to their room with a pacifier in his mouth, one in his fist and another tied to his pajama top. “Three pacifiers! And he still couldn’t sleep through the night.” An hour later, having brought Maxime into bed with them and coaxing him back to sleep in both French and English, it’s time for her to leave for work, though that required some engineering to keep the 3-year-old asleep.

“It’s such a crazy Mission: Impossible operation. I have to take all the sheets from my side of the bed and stuff them under his back, along with a body pillow to make him think I’m still there. And then I get down on the floor and slink out of the bedroom, crawling on my hands and knees – and then close the door behind me, and I wait.” This, ladies and gentlemen, is what commitment to a small business looks like at 2 in the morning.


dessert first

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Celebrate the Holidays & Our 100 Year Anniversary Serving German and American Entrees Celebrate in our beautifully restored and decorated historic landmark. Join us for dinner or call us to set up a private party in our Historic Banquet Hall. Any size groups and bus tours are welcome for lunch or dinner with reservations. We can prepare our renowned German Cuisine for your office or home party by using our convenient easy pickup. Daily Dinner Specials Holiday Gift Certificates - The Perfect Gift for Everyone Can be ordered by phone Join us for Sunday Brunch 10:30am-2pm Only $9.95 Park in our large, well lit parking lot in the back with a convenient rear entry. Call today for reservations and event planning!

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Monogram It! Embroider It! Vinyl It! Screen Print It! Welcome to the most UNIQUE ideas for gifts you will ever encounter. Offering customized services on many items including school wear, custom T-Shirts & apparel. Personalize your gift giving! UniQue Ideas offers an array of personlized gifts, home & holiday decor, car & wall monograms, monogrammed jewelry and great entertainment pieces. We truly have gifts for every occasion! Remember us for: Weddings • Baby Showers • Birthdays • Graduations • Anniversaries • Baptisms • Bachelorette Parties... or just because! M-Th 10-7 Fri. 10-5 Sat. 9-4

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4

Simone Faure’s work is stunning. It is beautiful and tasty and respectful of a French tradition that values the small perfect bite over the huge portions Americans have come to expect. She seems eminently practical. She seems grounded. When you spend a few hours talking to her, you hear nothing but good sense. So, if you make an offhand comment, say, something along the lines of “Nothing about you shouts ‘pretty pretty princess,’ yet your work is so storybook gorgeous, so beautifully fanciful,” her response might be to tell you that beneath her chef’s coat there’s a T-shirt that reads: Vervain-Free, Compel Me. She’s referring to the herbal repellent used to ward off the thirsty heartthrobs in The Vampire Diaries. “I live in a huge fantasy world. Last time I checked, vampires don’t actually exist. But there’s one [in] particular that I’m after.” She is a child of New Orleans, after all. She comes by her goth honestly.

5

Simon Faure once made cupcakes for Brad Pitt’s birthday. (By the way, they were vanilla cake with a vanilla buttercream swirl on the top and a stash of dark chocolate hidden inside.)

6

The traditions of both Christmas and Hanukkah are evident at Chouquette this month. In time for giftgiving, the shop is offering subscriptions to a Macaron of the Month Club so folks on your list can receive those colorful pucks of happiness all year-round. In addition, they have two types of bûche de Noël. These are not your grandma’s jellyrolls. One is a sponge-type cake covered in fondant, and the other is an entremet-type -type with its dark chocolate and hazelnut mousse flecked with gold. And it has little gnomes, made of chocolate and fondant. “Because I’m obsessed with gnomes. I have gnomes in my yard, and Damien doesn’t even know they exist, they are so well hidden. “We’re going to bring in something we haven’t done before – the Mont Blanc, a white cake with whipped cream and sweet puréed chestnuts that are piped

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in a vermicelli-type design with candied chestnuts and gold leaf, dusted with powdered sugar, of course. “For Hanukkah we’re definitely doing rugalach. We’ve got the chocolate and raspberry, but I also want to do a gingerbread rugalach this year. And challah, of course.” And fruitcake. Chocolate fruitcake. It sold surprisingly well last year. At one point she asked a colleague, “What do you mean we’re out of fruitcake?” It was a holiday miracle.

7

A decade ago, Simone Faure weighed 170 pounds more than she does today. “I was so far gone,” she says, touching the last photograph taken before her gastric bypass surgery. “There was no way I was going to lose that on my own. It wasn’t that I physically couldn’t. I had no motivation. I was unhappy in life and throwing myself into work and pizza.” The surgery, she says, was her “out.” “It was my option to live.”

8

“The school that I went to that had the most effect on me was St. Raymond Elementary [in New Orleans]. “I had a nun there, Sister Carmel Rose, and she changed my life completely. “I was the black sheep in the class. I was Baptist – have mercy! – in a Catholic school. And I was dark. I had nappy hair. And I was skinny. “And she said to me, ‘You have potential that God gave you…’ – and she looked around the class – ‘that he did not give some of your classmates. But unfortunately for you, he also gave you challenging circumstances. It’s up to you to overcome those circumstances. “‘So you can make a choice to be what is expected of you’ – which was not much; there were no real expectations, except that I would get pregnant and live in the projects as the rest of my family had. ‘Or, you could make your own path and do whatever you want to do and really be something.’ “And I said, ‘How do I become something?’ “I was in fourth grade at the time. And from that day on, she said ‘I’m going to help you.’”

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Best fried chicken in the midwest Join us for Sunday family style chicken dinners We accept reservations for parties of 5 or more.

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618-281-9977

Magnolia Tableware Textiles & Gifts 208 N. Main St. • 618-281-8083

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Our Coffee House & Café 125 N. Rapp St. • 618-281-4554

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119 South Main Street, Columbia, IL 618.281.8117

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Authentic Italian Brick Oven!

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618-281-4538

www.memorylanefloralandgifts.com

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DECEMBER 2014

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11 9

When you walk into La Patisserie Chouquette, you walk into another little world. It is Simone Faure’s world. With its black wedding cakes and its divorce cakes and its stiletto heels and handbag cakes, there is a worldview and a style evident here that is all hers. As much as it is about fine pastry, it is also about fashion. “You’re a designer. You are trying to get people to see your vision through what’s on their plate or in your [display] case. And for us, we try to have a cohesive collection.” Successfully having people see your vision of the world seems like a cause for celebration. It may be one of the sweetest parts of this story.

You can tell a lot about a chef by where she eats lunch. On July Fourth of this year, I ran into Simone Faure and Patrick Devine at Cleveland-Heath in Edwardsville, Illinois. The two had just delivered a wedding cake in Central Illinois and were returning to St. Louis. Still decked out in chef coats, they stopped in the restaurant for a late lunch. They sat at the table next to me and we chatted about the menu a bit – I told them about a special I had tried and liked very much. And before I left, Josh Galliano and his family walked in and said hello. The place was crawling with chefs.

10

Simone Faure knows food.

On a typical morning, the playlist in the kitchen of Chouquette might include Gossip, Justin Timberlake, Boyce Avenue, The Axis of Awesome, Jay-Z or George Gershwin. It doesn’t matter. The chef needs to move and sing.

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12 In the middle of the night, when she’s making macarons, Simone Faure wistfully imagines her business with a larger payroll. “If I could afford to, I would hire someone who just separated eggs. All day.” Until that day comes, she cracks them herself – she holds her fingers slightly apart and catches each yolk. The whites slip into a bowl beneath her hand. The only sound: the crack of the egg. Then silence. Then another crack six seconds later. There’s a nearly monastic calm here, even with the threat of a storm outside. And later, when the kitchen is full of cooks, it’s still quiet.

majors, eventually graduating with an Associate of Applied Science in the Culinary Arts Department. They didn’t offer a specialty in pastry, so students learn savory cooking, too.

13

But there is a difference between savory and pastry chefs. You see a camaraderie among savory cooks on the line – a boisterous, door-die mentality fueled with adrenaline and (more often than not) testosterone. “I never vibed with that aspect,” she says. “When I was working the line in New Orleans, I always felt out of sorts – like this wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing.” Pastry chefs are different.

“Sometimes, we’ll be working in here, and it is silent except the sound of sheet trays or water running. Nobody is saying a word. It’s like a dance.”

“We’re the planners. We have to work at least a week in advance because there are intricate things that need to be done, and you have to respect this process before you can move on.

Faure studied education at the University of New Orleans. She then attended Delgado Community College, where she initially pursued a nursing degree before switching

“I like that I’m under a different type of pressure. But it’s a more organized pressure. And I desperately need and crave organization.”

It is difficult not to think of family in December. And it is sweet to think that the chefs at La Patisserie Chouquette will take the end of the month off to be with theirs. It has been a busy year, and they deserve a rest. Imagine the couples who were married this year with a Chouquette cake as a centerpiece. Imagine the children whose imaginations are fueled by bûches de Noël or rugalach, with all its sweet berries and deep, dark chocolate. Imagine the warmth, in spite of the cold. Simone Faure makes things sweet. La Patisserie Chouquette par Simone Faure, 1626 Tower Grove Ave., Botanical Heights, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.932.7935, simonefaure.com

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PHOTOGrAPHy COurTeSy OF Instagram users

#feastgram SIP INTO THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT. December is a time to toast with holiday spirits, whether they’re shaken or stirred, mixed or muddled. This month, we invited our Instagram followers to share photos of fresh, festive cocktails – ones sipped at home, at holiday parties and at favorite bars and restaurants this season – by tagging photos with the hashtag #feastgram. For other tastes of the season, turn to the Drink section on p. 27. This month, we visit Ça Va, Kansas City’s first Champagne bar, on p. 28, and sip barrel-aged cocktails at Dressel’s Public House in St. Louis on p. 30. For cocktail enthusiasts who like to experiment with making drinks at home, turn to p. 73 to learn how to barrel-age your own.

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|2|

| 1 | RobeRt James tRavis JR. @therealrobbyt Some lovely cocktails for #Negroni week! #TheLibertine

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| 2 | Caitlin CoRCoRan @caitcork If you missed my championship cocktail @PopFestKC, come into @PortFondaKC tonight! Corn, chile-infused @OlmecaAltos, mezcal, cream, cilantro. | 3 | Plated @platedstl Cranberry and winter spiced gin cocktail at Mission Taco Joint in Soulard! #STL

|4|

| 4 | matthew Piva @pivasan Golden Pig – Bols Genever, lapsang souchong-infused Bénédictine, Dolin dry vermouth, orange bitters @TasteBarSTL | 5 | eRnesto PaCheCo @virtualgfx Staycation #PlantersHouse #STL #Margarita | 6 | samm mCCulloCh @samtron2400 #Bourbon flight at Bin 51! |5|

| 7 | Robust wine baR

@robustwinebar Milan on my mind $9 Lazzaroni Amaretto, housemade

| 8 | we eat stuff @weeatstuffstl How I Killed Zach Murphy @Layla_STL #Cocktails #Drinks #CocktailPorn #DrinkyPoos #Bourbon #Smoky #Mezcal #SorryLiver | 9 | amanda Gonzalez @doatepicurean A much needed reward after a long day. Bonus getting carded! Mojito at Bluestem. #KansasCity | 10 | wendy vonG @wendymvong @JulepKC

|6| |9| |7|

Want to see your photos in the January issue of Feast? Next month we’ve got donuts on the brain, and we want to see the baked and fried creations you’re devouring – whether it’s a classic glazed served with a piping hot cup of coffee for breakfast or one piled high with savory ingredients for a late-night treat. To submit your photos for consideration, simply include the hashtag #feastgram and tag @feastmag on your Instagram photos beginning Mon., Dec. 1.

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ENTERTAINwithCHEESE Our selection of specialty cheeses rivals any cheese shop. Stop by our Deli and you' ll find everything from European classics to American artisan cheeses. From mild to strong, create your own holiday cheeseboard for tasteful holiday entertaining!

Tasty Tip – Watch our Holiday Cheeseboard video at schnuckscooks.com!

©2014 Schnucks

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December 2014 Feast Magazine  

The December issue of Feast is a celebration of the richness of winter, with profiles of Askinosie Chocolate, a Missouri bean-to-bar chocola...

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