Fall 2023 Feast Magazine

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Entertaining MADE EASY Inspired Local Food Culture FALL 2023 101 Wine Orange The Season’s BEST BITES The Rise of POP-UP CULTURE
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8 BEST BITES Feast’s Fall Food and Drink Recs Dine 12 TRIED & TRUE Classic Bosnian Eateries 14 FEAST FAVES
Coeur’s Top Spots 16 MEMORABLE MENTORS
Gerard Craft and Josh Galliano influenced a generation of STL chefs 20 CAN'T-MISS POP-UPS
these popular concepts are finding success in impermanence Drink 24 LET’S DISH Kenny Marks of Kenny’s Upstairs 26 RECIPES DIY Coffee Syrups 28 LET’S DISH Travis Hebrank of Be Polite Hospitality 30 STL SPOTLIGHT Mead 32 DIVE INTO ORANGE WINE ON THE COVER: Meet the latest darling of the natural wine world
Discover 34 THE WEEKENDER Fall Food Activities 36 FARMERS MARKET FIND The Tamale Man 38 CRASH COURSE Ginger 40 GO GREEN Infused Pumpkin Pie 42 DINNER PARTY DETAILS Tips from the pros on how to set up your dinner party for success 44 LOCAL CHEFS’ APPS & DRINKS Spruce up your holiday meals with these chef-sourced bites and bevs Community 48 MEET... Rae Miller of Known & Grown 49 DIFFERENCE MAKER Shana Poole-Jones of Grab N Go Table 50 PROTECTING POLLINATORS Why Missouri’s native bees are integral to our fall harvest 54 A WORLD OF CHANGE The St. Louis nonprofits making a difference in child malnutrition internationally 56 LAST CALL Juwan Rice of JR’s Gourmet & Rated Test Kitchen 16 44 40 20 IN THIS ISSUE
Photo by Jennifer Silverberg Photo by Jennifer Silverberg Photo by Christina Kling-Garrett Photo by Theo Welling Photo by Judd Demaline



Emily Adams, emily.adams@feastmagazine.com


Charlotte Renner, crenner@feastmagazine.com


Shannon Weber, sweber@feastmagazine.com


Emily Standlee, estandlee@feastmagazine.com


Mary Andino


Alecia Humphreys


Aurora Blanchard, Wil Brawley, Kate Pogue



Dawn Deane, dawn.deane@feastmagazine.com


Laura DeVlieger


Judd Demaline, Christina Kling-Garrett, Sean Locke, Jennifer Silverberg, Theo Welling


Jillian Kaye


Kevin Hart, khart@stlpostmedia.com


Erin Wood, ewood@feastmagazine.com

Contact Us

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Local Food Culture | St. Louis
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Connect with us on social media @feastmag DIGITAL CONNECTION
Fall 2023 | Volume 13 |
Visit our website to stay connected to food and drink news, explore neighborhood guides and find simple yet stunning recipes. While you’re there, make sure to look for the expanded stories from this quarterly issue. As you flip through these pages, scan the QR codes with your phone camera to read more on
5 FALL 2023 FEASTMAGAZINE.COM SincewhenisMetrointhelattebusiness? Sincealways. Becausewhileyoumaydrivetoyourfavorite placetocaffeinate,likelysomeofthe staff theredoesn’t. Themoreyoulookaround,themoreyou’llsee. WeallneedMetro,whetherwerideornot. RIDEONtomakingneighborhoods, neighborhoods RideOnMetro.org

fresh [adjective] (of food) recently made or obtained; not canned, frozen, or otherwise preserved fresh [adverb] not previously known or used; new or different

Ask any chef, and they’ll likely tell you the most important part of the culinary art form is to keep it fresh – the ingredients, the menu, the inspiration … and yes, even the magazines.

For the first-ever Feast quarterly edition, we are bringing you all the freshest, hottest takes in St. Louis’ scene this fall. First up, we’re kicking it off with our staff’s recommendations for the most noteworthy bites to try this season on p. 8. Next, we’re exploring some of our favorite local pop-ups, which might just be the most innovative ventures hitting St. Louis streets this year. On p. 20, you’ll find details on the most coveted pop-up shops around town – all of which have real staying power in our modern foodscape, as well as the real ability to create food FOMO [fear of missing out] – so read the article, bookmark the websites and add them to your calendar now.

As we all know, new talent is vital to a culinary city growing as rapidly as the Lou, and we’re lucky enough to have a multitude of award-winning, expert mentors to guide these fresh faces to new heights. On p. 16, Gerard Craft and Josh Galliano – both of whom have laid the foundation here in more ways than one – talk to Feast about what it takes to mold the next generation of dine-and-drink pros.

Speaking of laying the foundation, almost everything fresh on our plate leads back to one essential element: pollinators. On p. 50, learn how our community can help Missouri’s bees keep buzzing – and keep the produce coming – this harvest and for all seasons to come.

Looking for a fresh approach to the impending holiday season? Flip to p. 40 for an infused pumpkin pie recipe that will knock your guests’ socks off, and turn to p. 42 for dinner party tips that will change how you entertain forever. As for what to serve, local chefs share their favorite festive recipes on p. 44, and our cups are already half full of the natural wine we’ll be ordering on repeat this season showcased on p. 32.

From a picturesque culinary-inspired weekend getaway (p. 34) to DIY coffee syrups (p. 26), this edition is brimming with everything you need to know to have the autumn you’ve been dreaming of.

Can’t get enough? Throughout this edition, you’ll see links and QR codes on just about every story guiding you to seasonal recipes, tips, trends, daily news and more at feastmagazine.com and on our social platforms @feastmag.

Cheers, Emily Adams

Emily Adams, Editor-in-Chief Niche Publications Photo by Christina Kling-Garrett
Illustrations by Jillian Kay


“Justright”momentsdon’thappenbyaccident.Teal Cannabisexiststomakecannabisfitforyou.Discover howTealcanhelpyougetdialedinwith a choiceof productsallexpertlycraftedwithprecision.




The Feast staff shares their of the season

favorite morsels


St. Louis Kolache’s jalapeño popper kolache is everything you love from the original dish: Cream cheese and spicy jalapeños are wrapped up in the bakery’s signature dough and baked until golden brown. The peppers provide the perfect amount of heat to cut through the sweetness of the cream cheese.

Louie on Demun | VERDE PIZZA

Perfect for anniversary celebrations or an intimate date night, Louie’s menu is packed with well-crafted, refined dishes. After you peruse the stellar drink menu, make sure to order the Verde pizza, which is topped with pickled green tomatoes, caciocavallo (a cheese from Southern Italy), Provolone, ricotta and breadcrumbs. The saltiness of the cheese contrasts beautifully with the pickled green tomatoes’ fresh crunch.


This salad is a powerhouse of perfectly roasted beets and broccolini; chickpeas, avocado and Peruvian peppers round out the dish with a riot of satisfying textures. A drizzle of tahini yogurt and honey cumin lime vinaigrette bring it all together beautifully.

Photos by Christina Kling-Garrett

Katie’s Pizza & Pasta Osteria | PARMIGIANA DI POLLO

The Parmigiana di Pollo at Katie’s is a stunner. A full 16-ounce chicken is encrusted with a crispy, spicy Panko breading. Tucked inside is an indulgent mix of prosciutto di Parma, oozing fontina and Calabrian chile bomba sauce, all drizzled with honey and topped with a peppery arugula and tomato salad.

The Mud House DIRTY CHAI

It’s extremely difficult to dislike this spicy dirty chai from The Mud House on Cherokee Street. Hot or cold, it’s frothy, rich and swirled with one of the zeitgeist's current ingredient obsessions, cardamom, which recalls Norwegian sugar cookies – if they were cut with espresso.


Takoyaki are little Japanese ball-shaped fritters filled with diced octopus; they start as a batter that is then fried in a special pan with spherical divots. The takoyaki at Nudo House are always cooked perfectly and come topped with a savory-sweet brown sauce, Kewpie mayo, pickled ginger, nori and paper-thin bonito fish flakes.


If you’ve never tried musakhan, a traditional Palestinian dish, Sultan’s version makes for an excellent introduction. Chicken and onions are slowly cooked in olive oil, sumac, allspice and saffron until soft and tender and then loaded onto a crispy, yet chewy, flatbread.

Black Sheep Whiskey & Wine MRS. HIBISCUS

A good cocktail uses ingredients that bring out the natural flavors of the base spirit, and Black Sheep’s Mrs. Hibiscus is a prime example. The hibiscus liqueur, lemon and sparkling rosé emphasize the botanical, floral notes of the Pinckney Bend hibiscus gin.




Like chickpeas,avocados canplayacentral rolein the Mediterraneandiet. Avocados’butterytexture blends seamlessly into hummusandinfusesitwith many nutritionalbenefits. Avocados are among the very best sourcesof monounsaturated fat(the “good fat”), whichhelps lowerLDLcholesterol, as wellaspotassiumand fiber.Asqueeze oflemonor limejuice finishes avocado hummuson a light,bright note.

For a head-turning fuchsia foodthat’s also acardiovascularhero, whip together somebeet hummus.Beetscan taste quiteearthywhenthey’re raw, but roastedandblended withlemon, garlicand a generouspourofolive oil, thisappetizeris a crowd pleaser.Beets area boon to thecirculatorysystem, keepingbloodmovingand arteriesfunctioningattheir best.They’re also high innitrates,which canaid inathleticenduranceby strengtheningthelungsand musclefunction.


Although“snacking”hasanegative connotation,itcanbeanimportant bridgebetweenmealsthatalsoprovidesaquick,healthyburstofvitamins andnutrients. Naturally,somesnack choicesarebetterthanothers.Yikyung Park,ScD,aWashingtonUniversity nutritionalepidemiologistatSiteman CancerCenter,countshummusamong thebest options.

“Insteadofconsumingfattydips andspreadsfullofmayonnaise,try hummus,adelicious,protein-rich dishwithseemingly endlessvarieties offlavorsandstylestofulfillallyour snackingneeds,”shesays.“Aside fromtheenjoyable texturesand irresistibletaste,hummusmakesfora multipurposeingredientwithagood sourceofdietaryfiberandhealthyfat, alongwithvitamins andmineralssuch asvitaminB6,folate,magnesiumand iron.It’salsonaturallyfreeofgluten, nuts anddairy.”

Hummusisgenerallymadefrom chickpeas,tahini,oliveoil,garlic,


Whilechickpeasare the basisofmosttraditional hummus recipes, they don’t haveto be.Blackbeansarea greattrade.They bringlevels ofproteinandfibersimilar to chickpeas, alongwith less sugarand evenmore magnesiumandpotassium. Somestudieshave shown thatpeople who eatbeans are more likelyto have bettercholesterolandless likelyto have heartattacks. Blackbeansare popular throughoutLatinAmerica, so leaninto those flavors by addingingredients like cumin,cilantro andlime to themix.

Asthe temperature begins tofallandthoughts turn to hayridesinsteadof waterslides, it’saterrific time to introduce pumpkin intoyourdietinsmall, unexpected ways— such aswithpumpkinhummus Pumpkin gets itscolorfrom carotenoids, pigments that are vital tocellularhealth andmay guard against some cancers, plusvitamin A, whichis excellent for eyesightandtheimmune system. Foran extra boostof magnesiumandzinc and asatisfyingcrunch —top thehummuswith roasted pumpkin seeds


Beet Hummus SERVES 6

2 beets,cooked, cooled andchopped

lemonandspices.Hewingclosely to this traditionalpreparation will bringawidevarietyofhealth benefits.“Hummusmayhelpease inflammation,managehearthealth andprotectagainstcertainchronic diseases,”Parksays.“Additionally, thechickpeas’fiberandproteinoften helpsregulate blood-sugarlevelsto suppresspost-mealincreasesand reduces fastinginsulinlevels.”

Theversatilityofhummusisoneofits bestassets.Lookingforadipwitha kick?Tossinsomejalapeños.Wantto goseasonalandinventive?Addsome roastedcarrots.Notafan ofchickpeas?

Usewhite beansinstead.Itspotential accompanimentsarejustasbroad. “Hummuspairsperfectlywithveggies, wholegrainpretzelsandwholegrain pitachips,”Parksays.“Serveitwith dinnerasahealthy,creamyside,or thinitwitholiveoilforahealthier alternativetostore-boughtdressings.”

Desserthummusisaninteresting—and oftenpolarizing—variation.These


flavorsarestillchickpeabasedbut usuallyomitthetahiniandincorporate otheringredientslikechocolate, molassesorvanilla.Checkthelabel forinformationaboutcaloriesand addedsugar.Caloriescanaddupfast fortraditionalhummustoo,depending onwhatyouserveitwith:“It’ssafeto saykeepinghummusonyourweekly grocerylistisasmartidea,”Parksays, “butaswithanydish,rememberwhat you’redippinginyourhummusandthat portionsizematters.”

115-ozcan chickpeas, rinsedanddrained

2 Tbsp tahini

2 cloves garlic

1 Tbsp lemonjuice

2 Tbsp olive oil

½tsp redpepper flakes

½tsp paprika

½tsp salt


Combineallingredients intofoodprocessorand blenduntilsmooth.If dipis toothick,add a little waterandblend again.Place in serving bowl and topwith a drizzleofolive oiland pepitas, or toppingof yourchoice,suchas feta orfreshherbs.

Per serving: 90kcal,1g carbs, 6g fat

YIKYUNG PARK, ScD WashingtonUniversity nutritionalepidemiologist atSitemanCancerCenter PUMPKINHUMMUS



B oved oved

Bosnian Cuisine

Must-try classic restaurants in the metro area


St. Louis is home to the largest Bosnian population outside of Europe, but this significant statistic alone doesn’t fully illuminate the impact the Bosnian community has had on St. Louis as a whole. When the Bosnian War started in 1992, Bosnian refugees began pouring into St. Louis. Bevo Mill became the unofficial “Little Bosnia” in the city, complete with a small replica of the Sebilj – an Ottoman-style wooden fountain found in Bosnia’s capital of Sarajevo. These new residents started opening restaurants to share their traditional foods, and thus began a new era of St. Louis’ food scene. Here, the Bosnian owners behind four of St. Louis’ most beloved establishments share their stories – stories full of hope, resilience, family and seriously good food.

Sulejman and Ermina Grbic originally opened Grbic as a restaurant in 2002 as a way to help Bosnian refugees find work after they relocated to St. Louis. “Our concept was simple: to share the food we love, in the city we love and with the people and community we love,” daughter Senada Grbic says. “We always stayed true to our roots, culture and heritage, and still, to this day, we do all of our own butchering exactly how dad taught me, and I still use all of our grandmothers’ and great-grandmothers’ recipes.” Now, Grbic’s restaurant has closed, but Grbic’s private event space is flourishing. As the chef, Senada Grbic creates personalized menus for each event that range from Balkan staples to vegetarian and vegan menus. “By focusing on events only, it has given me an opportunity to create some of the most memorable dinners of my career, and this is just the start of it all.”

4071 Keokuk St., Dutchtown, St. Louis, Missouri, 314-772-3100, grbicevents.com


J’s Pitaria

J’s considers itself to be a healthy, Mediterranean-focused eatery. That said, it also considers itself the best place to find cevapi, a Bosnian staple consisting of handmade beef sausage stuffed into Somun bread – in J’s case, housemade Somun bread. Zamir and Josi Jahic opened J’s Pitaria in 2017 in the Bevo Mill neighborhood, but they have since moved the restaurant to Sunset Hills. “We really wanted to provide our community with healthy food,” Josi says. “We wanted to give them that through whole ingredients.” For example, the Jahics skewer and grill 50 pounds of premium Angus beef fresh every day to get the meat they use for their dönors and gyros. For Josi, it’s worth the effort: “It’s very time consuming, but it does pay off.”

91 Concord Plaza Shopping Center, Sunset Hills, Missouri, 314-270-8005, jspitaria.us

relocated to St. Louis at age 24. She spent more than 20 years focused on raising her children, but when the opportunity came for Ahmetspahic to open her own restaurant, she jumped at the chance. Now, her restaurant Taste of Bosnia serves up traditional Bosnian dishes like pita (a baked pastry made with phyllo dough that’s filled with beef, potatoes or cheese), sarme (pickled cabbage leaves filled with ground beef and rice) and classic stews and soups like trahana (made with sourdough noodles, meat and vegetables). In the two years it’s been open, Taste of Bosnia has already become a community staple in Mehlville, Missouri.

3970 Union Road, Mehlville, Missouri, 314-329-6223, tasteofbosniastl.com


Berix opened its doors in 2002, making it join Grbic as one of the first Bosnian restaurants to open in St. Louis. It started out operated only by owner Beriz Nukic and his wife Dzevida Nukic. It was equipped with only three tables and served a simple menu of coffee, traditional pastries, kebabs and desserts. The next year, Berix moved into its current home on Gravois Avenue with room for 100 and an expanded menu. Today, you’ll find an extensive list of Bosnian specialties like cevapi, doner, sudzukice (homemade sausages), soups and traditional desserts. True to its roots, Berix also offers an array of Turkish coffee drinks – it even sells them by the bag.

2201 Lemay Ferry Road, Mehlville, Missouri, 314-845-3711, berixcoffee.com

Discover the history of STL’s Bosnian restaurants here.

Creve Coeur Kick It in ick in


Joo Joo Restaurant & Karaoke

It’s a rare thing to find the words “karaoke” and “good food” in the same sentence, but at Joo Joo, it’s exactly what you’ll get. The restaurant-karaoke room hybrid serves a full array of Korean barbecue, hot pot, appetizers and much more. Snack on savory pancakes and jap chae, or order the bulgogi rice plate – a classic – with an order of gun mandu (Korean dumplings). Stay awhile, rent one of the restaurant’s karaoke rooms and rock the mic with your group.


Written by Shannon Weber | Photos by Christina Kling-Garrett

Anis Hyderabad House

Although it might fly under the radar, Anis Hyderabad House is a gem in Creve Coeur, with an extensive menu of standards and creative dishes that balance flavor and heat. The options when it comes to chicken, goat, lamb and seafood curries alone are nearly endless, with favorites such as achari chicken and vindaloo.

The restaurant is a fantastic place for vegetarians, too, with vegetable-based versions of nearly everything on the menu and a vegetarian appetizer list filled with enticing options like deep-fried chile baby corn in a spicy sauce or the Paneer 65, which is deep-fried and tossed in a spiced yogurt sauce. Don’t forget to take a peek at the specials list on the menu before you order, where you’ll find a rotation of dishes that don’t stick around for long.


Nudo House

The original location of Nudo House changed the game for Creve Coeur when it opened in 2017, and it’s still as popular now as it was then. The menu is just big enough, with playful takes on ramen, pho, banh mi, sides and snacks. The Pho Shizzle, a combination of steak, chicken and shrimp served with onion, fresh herbs, bean sprouts, jalapeño and citrus, is not to be missed. You could probably plan subsequent visits around the Curry Up ramen with tempura Japanese squash. And never, ever leave without ordering crab rangoon or the Vietnamese chicken salad.


Kohn’s Kosher

Arguably one of the most notable kosher delis in St. Louis, Kohn’s Kosher is a butcher shop, restaurant, bakery and grocery store all in one. Kohn’s beef, veal and lamb are all locally sourced, and if you’re planning on grabbing lunch, the Kohn’s Killer Pastrami is a must. Don’t miss the tuna or egg salad either – both are available piled high on a sandwich or served on the side. The restaurant has always offered a wide variety of catering options for nearly any occasion or event, and butchers can guide you through how best to prepare and cook whatever you take home with you.


Il Bel Lago

Il Bel Lago is a taste of The Hill in Creve Coeur, thanks to brothers Carmelo and Frank Gabriele, the family behind the famed Giovanni’s on The Hill. After nearly 20 years in business, the restaurant is an icon on Olive Boulevard with a robust lunch and dinner menu that has something for everyone. Try The Francesco, a layered salad piled high with tomatoes, eggplant, arugula and Bufula mozzarella, which is a favorite, or go big with the veal Milanese. For dinner, try the Paccheri con Guanciale, a tomato-based pasta dish with bacon, onion, Pecorino and fresh basil, which hits all the right notes any time of year. The ambience is ideal for a lunch meeting during the week or a quiet night out with friends.


Explore even more classic Creve Coeur restaurants here.




When you look at the thriving restaurant industry in the St. Louis area, it’s easy to spot the talent that lies within. The city is awash with choices; everything from fast casual to fine dining is done with equal attention to detail. This didn’t happen overnight. The talent you see peppering the landscape has been cultivated over time by chefs who have worked for decades to hone their own craft and mentor others in the process. Although their jobs and locations have evolved throughout the years, many of the chefs who built St. Louis’ dining scene are still around. Among them, two such chefs stand out.

Gerard Craft originally hails from the Washington, D.C. area and came across culinary arts almost by happenstance. After landing a job washing dishes at Fat’s Grill in Salt Lake City, he fell in love with the restaurant business and worked around the country for the next several years to gain experience cooking on the line. In 2005, he started looking into opening his own place, but he needed something affordable. He landed on a wine bar for sale in St. Louis, just steps away from Sidney Street Café in Benton Park. It was in that spot that his first restaurant, Niche, was born.

Josh Galliano’s career path was a bit less winding. A native of New Orleans, he attended Louisiana State University before heading off to Le Cordon Bleu in London and traveling all over Europe. He eventually wound up back in New Orleans

Gerard Craft and Josh Galliano have been foundational to the St. Louis dining scene as we know it today. Both have made their mark not only through their skills as chefs but also by using their innate talent as educators and mentors within the industry.
If there was anything that I tried to instill in the cooks that worked with me, it was to be curious and open-minded.
– Josh Galliano
That’s honestly the coolest part of my job. I love being able to give people a platform and see them recognized.
– Gerard Craft

in the position of chef de partie at the famed Commander’s Palace, but he ultimately moved to St. Louis to take on the chef de cuisine role at An American Place the same year Craft opened Niche’s doors.

During the next decade, the two helped establish a dining scene that has been recognized as one of the best in the country. Craft built multiple eateries with different personalities all over the metro area, while Galliano led back-of-house teams as executive chef of both Monarch and The Libertine.

The mark Craft and Galliano have left on today’s chefs is hard to miss. They both act as educators and mentors in St. Louis’ culinary scene, and they each love learning, themselves. In a recent conversation, Craft joked that he has 70 books sitting on his coffee table at home, while Galliano admits to having far too many cookbooks that he’s loaned out to cooks to encourage them in their own interests. “I wish I would have gotten some back,” he says with a laugh. Both operate with a similar goal in mind: to challenge and inspire future chefs.

“If there was anything that I tried to instill in the cooks that worked with me, it was to be curious and open-minded,” Galliano says. “Yes, there is a ‘right way’ and sometimes ‘my way’ of doing something, but they should also know there are multiple ways to get a result, and in the future, they will have to navigate which path gets them the result they want.” Ultimately, Galliano says he tells his cooks that cooking should be fun. “It’s supposed to make you smile,” he adds, noting that the feeling can come from anything – from a successful service to mastering a technique.

For Craft, learning is collaborative: In his kitchens, he makes a point to foster talent, giving it a life of its own by supporting his employees’ ambitions. “That’s honestly the coolest part of my job. I love being able to give people a platform and see them recognized,” Craft says. “I hate to put any credit in my hands because I think when people are driven, they’re going to do well – but we hope to give people the opportunities they need.” And Craft gets something out of it too, noting that nurturing talent furthers his own growth. “When you surround yourself with awesome people, it just continues to spark innovation and continues to throw up lightbulbs,” he says. “And it’s selfish: I probably get more enjoyment out of it than they do.”

Learn more about Craft and Galliano’s influence here.

The drive to educate and mentor those around them has yielded some phenomenal results. Craft’s Niche Food Group alumni include pastry chef Matthew Rice, who moved from Salt Lake City to help Craft open Pastaria and went on to establish Pink Door Cookies in Nashville; Nate Hereford, the chef-owner of St. Louis’ popular Chicken Scratch and the only person to ever hold the executive chef title at Niche aside from Craft himself; Evy Swoboda, culinary director of Niche Food Group and James Beard nominee; and Kate Woolverton, who’s been with Niche since 2011 and is now COO of the group. Not to mention Brian Moxey, executive chef of Union Loafers and Bagel Union, and MJ Stewart, pastry chef for Pastaria and chef behind the pastry pop-up DNFT.

Galliano has inspired an equally large group of talent in his wake. Among them are Rick Lewis, chef-owner of Grace Meat + Three; Ryan McDonald, chef-owner of Farm Spirit; Luke Cockson, who assists McDonald with his many projects, including live-fire farm dinners at Such & Such Farm; Bob Brazell, owner of Tamm Ave Bar and The Tenderloin Room; and Tommy “Salami” Andrew, who operates his restaurant, Nomad, out of Brazell’s Tamm Ave. Bar. Don’t forget Logan Ely, chef-owner of Press and The Lucky Accomplice; Mike Miller and Ryan Maher, both of whom are integral to Field to Fire, which sells food at Tower Grove Farmers’ Market; and Sam Nawrocki, who will be heading up Craft’s Expat when it opens at City Foundry STL.

Neither Galliano nor Craft show any signs of slowing down. Galliano stepped back from the restaurant industry in 2015 to shift into his role at Josh Allen’s esteemed Companion Baking Co. as Innovation Leader, where he is mentoring the next generation of industry leaders. Niche Food Group continues to evolve under Craft, who is now CEO of the company, as he works on new projects – most notably, the creation and curation of CITYPARK’s groundbreaking line of food offerings. What they strive to instill in others is what makes their own wheels turn: For both, it’s about a sense of curiosity and a continual urge to learn as the chefs they’ve nurtured help shape the next generation of talent all over the city and beyond.


What’s hat’s

These local pop-ups are innovating the local restaurant scene

Popping? S

t. Louis is officially a mecca for a new kind of “pop” culture. The restaurant pop-up business is booming, and these of-themoment eateries are packing calendars throughout the metro area at special events and restaurant takeovers. With a lower barrier of entry compared to traditional restaurants or food trucks, pop-ups are helping the next generation of food entrepreneurs gain experience and build a following. St. Louis’ pop-up scene reflects the wide diversity of our city’s chefs; from Laotian to modern American to street tacos, the global influences present among pop-ups are vast. Check out these four must-try pop-ups for culinary experiences you can’t get anywhere else.

by Mary Andino | Photos by Judd Demaline

The Robin Project

Some chefs use pop-ups as a training ground – a means of preparing themselves to open a brick-and-mortar concept in the future. That’s exactly what Alec Schingel intended his pop-up, The Robin Project, to be. “The pop-ups have allowed me to build my brand, test out ideas and create a repertoire of ideas and dishes that I can teach and scale up more easily when the time comes,” he says. He regularly offers prix-fixe dinners with a focus on refined Midwestern cuisine at local venue Work & Leisure. Using seasonal, local ingredients, Schingel reimagines and elevates nostalgic classics like casseroles and pork steaks into beautifully executed works of art.

The Robin Project, instagram.com/the_robinproject


Pop-ups aren’t just for savory food. MJ Stewart’s pop-up, DNFT, is all about making dessert the star of the show. Stewart, who currently works for Niche Food Group, periodically offers a prix-fixe dessert menu out of Brass Bar by Niche. The freedom of a pop-up allows Stewart to engage her sense of play as she experiments and explores the limits of pastry.

Stewart’s creative process is closely intertwined with music, and she crafts unique menus for each event that are musicthemed. “Welcome To My Island,” inspired by the eponymous Caroline Polachek song, for example, featured passionfruit mousse, mango crémeux, grapefruit gelée, white chocolate

2 Laod Eats

Christina Manisisaket and Jamie Ulanday have made it their mission to bring Laotian food to the city of St. Louis. 2 Laod Eats regularly serves up traditional Laotian food at Bootleggin’ Bob’s in Tower Grove South out of an outdoor kitchen on its back patio. Manisisaket describes the cuisine as “very Southeast Asian. Sour, sweet, spicy, savory, SPICY. It definitely covers the palate. Laotian food uses more fermented sauces.” A mainstay of the menu is papaya salad – a spicy-sweet salad made with papaya, chiles, garlic, tomatoes, lime, sugar and fish sauce. Another classic is laap. “It’s a minced meat salad with lots of fresh herbs and citrus,” Manisisaket says. “The chef’s kiss is the toasted rice powder.”

Manisisaket has been around the block when it comes to the restaurant industry, but 2 Laod is the first thing that is entirely her own. Forming it as a pop-up has given her unlimited options. “It’s total creative freedom,” she says. “We can do fusions; we can do straight-up Laotian food. We can collaborate. The possibilities are endless.”

2 Laod Eats, instagram.com/2_laodeats

Pizza Politano

A key element of any successful pop-up is collaboration, and some bars have realized that partnering with pop-ups is the perfect way to offer innovative menus to guests. The Vandy, for instance, has become a pop-up incubator by hosting concepts like Damn Fine Hand Pies and Boss Taco. Another regular guest is Pizza Politano, the artisanal Neapolitan-style pizza concept from Henry Matus, which has also popped up at HandleBar and The Angad Arts Hotel. Pizza Politano is less than 1 year old, but “word spread like absolute wildfire here in St. Louis,” Matus says.

Although the pizza dough and cooking method are traditional, the toppings are anything but. A fan favorite is the Birria Beef, in which slow-braised beef, mozzarella, confit onions, consommé glaze, Parmesan, Thai basil and fried garlic oil-brushed crust combine for a true fusion of flavors. Matus takes pride in the fact that his dough is so good, no one ever leaves it on their plate. He tested more than

Learn more about St. Louis’ pop-up revolution here.

Kenny Marks

How has all of your bar experience prepared you for your solo venture, Kenny’s Upstairs?

I’ve worked in a myriad of different bars and environments and have always prided myself on that. If you allow yourself, you truly can learn just as much about hospitality working in a dive bar as you would working in a higher-end cocktail bar. People are drawn to “their bar” for all different reasons, and I love a neighborhood dive as much as (if not more than) most cocktail bars. Remember that at the end of the day, a bar is meant to be a gathering place: a spot to come and relax and have fun with those close to you outside of your home. So with Upstairs, I’m just looking to create a space and menu that I love, inspired by everywhere that I’ve been and what I’ve picked up on from the places where I’ve worked before. Regardless if I loved or hated a job, there isn’t a single one that I haven’t learned something from.

What kind of atmosphere and community do you hope to create with the bar?

Kenny Marks has an impressive resume: They’ve worked at Indo, Small Change and Planter’s House and co-founded drinks pop-up Save Me a Place. They’re also the creative and entrepreneurial mind behind Kenny’s Upstairs on South Grand, where the sorely missed Upstairs Lounge formerly resided; the bar’s planned opening date was late summer 2023 at the time of publication. Marks, who is just as comfortable with cheap beer in a bottle as with a thoughtfully crafted (and slightly pretentious) cocktail, is thrilled to open a space that speaks to comfortability and welcomes everyone, no matter the vibe or flavor the crowd is seeking.

I’m aiming to be very intentional with everything in the space, from the lighting to the décor to the volume of the music. I’m a person that is very affected by the environment I’m in, so selfishly, I’m just working to make a space that I feel comfortable and happy in. I just happen to think that maybe others might enjoy it too. From the DIY music scene to being queer, having a strong sense of community has always been so important to me. I want everyone who comes into the bar to feel extremely comfortable being who they are, unless you happen to be someone who doesn’t respect that simple notion.

How do you see the past and future of the St. Louis bar scene? In what ways has it changed, and in what ways does it need to change?

I’ve experienced quite a few eras and changes in the bar scene here in St. Louis. I’m sad that we maybe let some bars go that were “ahead of their time” – like Taste, to be specific. But I think that we’re catching up again, and people are taking notice. We’re quite spoiled with some of the talent that we have here. I guess if I had to say one way I think it could change – and it’s on that path, for sure – is just having good options for those who don’t partake in drinking but still enjoy going out.

Kenny’s Upstairs, 3131 S. Grand Blvd., Tower Grove East, St. Louis, Missouri, kennysupstairs.com
OWNER, KENNY’S UPSTAIRS Written by Wil Brawley | Photos by Christina Kling-Garrett
Learn about Marks’ favorite cocktails here.



TRIM ’ Bobs ’ by NOW ON


Written by Charlotte Renner | Photo by Jennifer Silverberg

It's officially the time of year when we yearn for seasonal coffee flavors that don't feel right until this very moment – from white chocolate mocha to pumpkin spice. Luckily, making coffee syrups in your own kitchen is straightforward: It just takes water, sugar and a few flavor components, and you’re good to go. Just a dash of any of these fall-focused, DIY coffee syrups from local coffee shops and baristas will transform your morning cup of coffee into a satisfying autumnal drink.


Recipe by Coffeestamp

After your syrup has cooled, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 6 weeks. Each recipe yields about 4 cups of syrup.

Coffeestamp keeps this syrup stocked all year long (it’s that good), but co-owner Patrick Clapp says it’s one of his personal favorites during fall.

4 cupswater

½ cupchamomileflowers

2 cinnamonsticks

3 cupssugar

[ preparation ] Bring water, chamomile and cinnamon sticks to a boil for about 15 minutes. Strain the cinnamon and chamomile, and put the mixture back into the pot. Add the sugar and caramelize until it reaches desired thickness, then take off heat and let cool.


Recipe by Valerie Maddock, barista, Blueprint Coffee

This tea-based syrup was created by Valerie Maddock, a barista at Blueprint Coffee’s Delmar location. The lemon juice brings out a lighter note in the syrup, making it perfect for an Earl Grey shaken espresso recipe Maddock created. To get that recipe, scan the QR code below.

40 gramsEarlGreytealeaves

4 cupswater

1½ cupsrawsugar

¼ cuplemonjuice,freshlysqueezed

[ preparation ] Steep Earl Gray tea and water in a pot with the lid on to keep the heat contained; do not boil. Steep the tea between 175 to 190°F. Strain after 4 minutes. Do not steep longer, or tea will become bitter. Add raw sugar to strained tea. Bring to a boil until sugar is dissolved. Take off heat, add freshly squeezed lemon juice, and let cool.


Recipe by Goshen Coffee Roasters

The fall season isn’t complete without a pumpkin-flavored drink, and Goshen is here to deliver. With this syrup, you’ll be able to make perfect pumpkin spice lattes from your own kitchen.

4 cupswater

3¼ cupssugar

¼ cupcannedpumpkin

½ tspgroundcinnamon

4 tsppumpkinpiespice

3-4 cinnamonsticks

[ preparation ] Bring sugar and water to a boil, then turn off heat. Whisk in canned pumpkin. Add cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice, and whisk well. Add cinnamon sticks, and stir. Once cooled, strain the spices and store in an airtight container.

Sip on more syrups with additional recipes here.

Prepare café-quality coffee drinks at home with these simple syrup recipes.

Travis Hebrank


As the manager of the beverage programs at The Bellwether and Polite Society, what does your day to day look like?

I try to let my bartenders come up with most of the cocktails these days (although I tend to tinker and edit a bit, if need be) because they are capable, they want to do it, and I remember how exciting it can be to get your drink put on the menu. I come up with something every now and then … but I am very much content to watch the people whom I’ve trained do most of the creative work.

What upcoming trends do you envision for the bar and restaurant scene in St. Louis?

One of three managing partners behind restaurants Polite Society and The Bellwether near Lafayette Square, Travis Hebrank is the creative drive behind both restaurants’ beverage programs and oversees the staff that shake and stir behind their bars. Hebrank has been with the restaurant group, Be Polite Hospitality, since its early days and has a hand in everything from payroll to testing new beverage products to upholstering bar stools. Over the years, he’s established himself as a chief beverage authority in St. Louis’ diverse bar scene. Hebrank shares his thoughts on how to stand out in an industry where the competition is fierce.

This will sound rather boring, but I honestly try not to pay too much attention to trends. I think that there is something timeless in a quality recipe or product. Newness is important in any art, but I think food and beverage can suffer if newness becomes too much [of] the focus. In St. Louis, our trends in food and beverage tend to follow the coasts and bigger cities by five to 10 years, which sounds disheartening, but I truly think that St. Louis benefits a lot from this. By the time the next trend comes through, it has been often refined – the excesses have been trimmed off, the deficiencies removed. ... We like quality and affordability above all.

How do you think the bar programs at The Bellwether and Polite Society stand out in a mid-sized city with a great cocktail scene?

By engaging with new techniques and thoughts and ingredients – but always with an eye for deliciousness and “enjoyability.”

We love learning about new techniques, but the technique is always a tool toward [making] a delicious and interesting drink: The technique shouldn’t be the focus, the focus should be making a drink that is difficult to stop drinking because it is delicious. I also think that our wine programs set us apart. We have two great wine lists at both restaurants. So, we are a comfortable place to grab a great cocktail and an appetizer or sit down for a multi-course meal and a $300 bottle of Burgundy. A lot of places lean one way or the other.

Polite Society, 1923 Park Ave., Lafayette Square, St. Louis, Missouri, 314-325-2553, politesocietystl.com

The Bellwether, 1419 Carroll St., Peabody-Darst-Webbe, St. Louis, Missouri, 314-380-3086, thebellwetherstl.com

Scan to see which cocktails Hebrank recommends.

MANAGING POLITE SOCIETY AND THE BELLWETHER Written by Wil Brawley | Photos by Sean Locke
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Mead to Know

Made with honey, mead is one of the oldest known alcoholic beverages. The slightly sweet brew is lighter than beer and has persisted throughout centuries for a reason. In the St. Louis area, Four Brothers Mead, Bluewood Brewing and Burnt Barrel Meadery are all putting their own modern spins on this ancient classic.


Four Brothers Mead

Founded in Festus in 2018, Four Brothers Mead specializes in Viking-themed mead inspired by Norse mythology. Flavors vary from season to season, but the meadery offers more than 14 in its tasting room, including blackberry, passionfruit, strawberry and maple. Co-owner Chris Schulte is proud to support local farmers by sourcing raw local honey, which adds complexity and depth of flavor. “The honey always tastes good, but it’s always changing. That’s why we batch label every variant. It might taste different in the spring than the fall,” Schulte says.

124 E. Main St., Festus, Missouri, 636-638-1170, fourbrothersmead.com

Bluewood Brewing

Meadmaker Scott Kurtz has been helping Bluewood with its wine-forward mead production since 2019. He says understanding winemaking has helped him brew excellent mead. “Balance is the key to making a good mead,” Kurtz says. “If you put oak in there, it shouldn’t overpower the honey. Heavy tannins from the fruit can throw off the balance. You also need to get the right level of acidity so the mead isn’t too sour or sweet.” Bluewood’s mead offerings change seasonally. Kurtz previously teamed up with sommelier Alisha BlackwellCalvert to create the award-winning Somm Series Syrah – made with meadowfoam honey from the Pacific Northwest – which they say tastes like Lucky Charms or marshmallow cereal. It won a gold medal at the Mazer Cup International Mead Competition.

1821 Cherokee St., Benton Park, St. Louis, Missouri, 314-261-4079, bluewoodbrewing.com

Burnt Barrel Meadery

Nathan Price, owner and meadmaker at Burnt Barrel, has been experimenting with fruitforward, hand-bottled mead since 2022. Like wine, certain meads complement and enhance certain foods. He says that the Cherry Blues (made with cherries and blueberries) pairs well with blueberry cobbler, and the Juice Box (cranberry, apple, raspberry and vanilla) pairs well with barbecue. Burnt Barrel ages some of its mead in vanilla- or whiskey-infused barrels, and its flavors and options on tap are constantly changing. “We offer tasting flights that are not a set menu,” Price says. “You can pick any six that are on tap. It’s rare you see the same six when you come back.”

730 Lakeside Plaza, Lake St. Louis, Missouri, 636-294-2886, burntbarrelmead.com

Want to make your own mead? Use honey from one of these local farmers.


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A Toast to to

Orange Wine Orange Wine

Local experts dish on this funky current darling of the wine scene

St. Louis is developing a bit of an orange crush.

To an increasing extent, wine enthusiasts with curious paletes are seeking out products that are small-batch, minimally processed and a bit unusual. Enter orange wine – a natural wine that’s made by fermenting white wine grapes and their skins together. Based on market research via factmr.com, the orange wine market is predicted to grow nearly $27 million to reach $67 million in the next 10 years.

“Orange wine is visually striking, provides complexity and is still relatively uncommon, leading to its appeal,” Brogan Drissell, co-owner of natural wine bar ‘ssippi, says. “Orange wines have a huge variance – the length of skin contact (from days to months), grape varietals and aging all impact what ends up in the bottle.”

Like Drissell, Eric Voss – general manager at Pastaria Deli & Wine in Clayton – recognizes the modern appeal of orange wine, especially when considering its relationship to food. “It has an impressive ability to be part of a traditional pairing, as well as for foods that might have been historically tough to pair,” he says. “One thing I like to pair orange wine with is sushi – either at home or out at a restaurant. There are a number of bold flavors and textures associated with sushi, and I think the aromatics and structure offered by orange wine make it a fun choice.”

Photo by Jennifer
Orange wine is visually striking, provides complexity and is still relatively uncommon, leading to its appeal.
– Brogan Drissell

Conventional, large-scale winemaking often involves pesticides, machines and the removal of the sediment found at the bottom of a bottle of wine. In contrast, natural winemaking typically does not include the use of machines or pesticides, which allows for distinctive flavor development and a potentially lower carbon footprint.

Chris Kuse, a bartender and the assistant general manager at Grand Spirits Bottle Co., suggests that the overall natural wine movement caught on after consumers in the 1980s began questioning what was in their food. “As these food-related movements were making waves, people and vignerons began asking the same questions about wine, which I believe led to a revitalization of ancient practices that may have fallen out of popularity,” he explains.

“From there, many young vignerons saw an opportunity to change tradition and the pretentious, stuffy way wine has been treated for so long – they wanted to show that wine is supposed to be fun.” Kuse adds that orange wine is just one part of the move toward greater diversity and flavor in wine as a category.

In the metro area, ‘ssippi, Pastaria Deli & Wine and Grand Spirits are all well-known for their orange wine selections and dedication to wine expertise, and each can share recommendations for orange wines based on a customer’s red or white preferences. Where wine culture was once thought of as socially exclusive, the agrarian, bohemian vibe of orange wine is now a vehicle for wine enlightenment.

The Method to the Madness

The method of creating orange wine is called “skin contact,” meaning the grape skins remain with the grape juice during production. This is also how the similarly popular rosé is made, with a few distinct differences. Rosé is made with red wine grapes, whereas orange wine is created from crushed white wine grapes and juices that sit with their skins longer, giving the wine a glowing, coppery color. The skin contact method utilizes yeasts already on the grape skins and leaves little room for manipulation once a bottle has been sealed and left to ferment.

Cantina Giardino ‘Na’

Irpinia-Campania, Italy Irpinia-Campania,

“A great option for someone looking for a starting point in orange and amber wines, the ‘Na’ is a delightful blend of Falanghina and Greco del Tufo grapes. It brings gentle mineral notes and stone fruits bolstered by tannins with a clean, almost salty finish.”

– Eric Voss, Pastaria Delia & Wine general manager

7734-2 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, Missouri, 314-773-7755, pastariadeliandwine.com


‘Brisat’ Catalonia, Spain Spain

“A great entry into orange wine, this blend includes the grapes Parellada (typically found in Cava) and Moscatel. Only seeing five days of skin contact, it’s on the lighter end with great acidity and notes of stone fruit.”

2926 Cherokee St., Gravois Park, St. Louis, Missouri, ssippi.xyz

Mendocino, California

“For those that love the funk. Utilizing nine different varieties, this wine is aromatic and tropical and reminds me of macerated and stewing tropical fruits like mangoes, lychees and starfruit. It’s all I want year-round.”

– Chris Kuse, Grand Spirits assistant general manager

3194 S. Grand Blvd., Tower Grove East, St. Louis, Missouri, grandspiritsco.com

What’s next in the world of wine? Read what our experts say here.

Ruth Lewandowski ‘Tatto’

Missouri Fall in Love with

Missouri Fall in Love with


Fall is arguably when Missouri is at its best. The weather is temperate, with just a slight nip in the air. The bugs and humidity of summer are long gone, and brightly colored leaves start appearing on the scene. It’s the last chance to get outside with friends and family before the harshness of winter. Schedule a fall weekend to get out of the city, pick some apples, fish, do some bird-watching and relax in stunning settings with gorgeous vistas.


What to do

We can’t let fall pass without going apple-picking.

Thierbach Orchards offers

U-pick apples in September and October. In addition to classics like Jonathan and Honeycrisp, the orchard offers more unusual varieties. Try the Mutsu: a greenishyellow apple that is reminiscent of a pear with a sweet-tart flavor. Thierbach is fun for the whole family: Take a tractor ride to go pick the apples of your choice, and once you’re done, let the kids run wild in the orchard’s bounce houses and mazes. Be sure to pick up some freshly made apple cider to take home with you.

Meramec State Park

offers fantastic views of its namesake river, plus miles of hiking trails. Follow the 1.3-mile Meramec Bluff View Trail as it winds through the forest for ample opportunity to take in the fall foliage. Visitors can fish black bass, catfish and panfish, and the spot is also popular among birdwatchers.

Whe to eat and drink

If you’re more of a fan of the great indoors, head to Pinckney Bend Distillery in nearby New Haven, Missouri. This distillery crafts whiskey and botanical gins, and it’s won the Feast 50 Award for best distillery multiple times. It offers several tasting experiences; its knowledgeable staff will guide you through your choice of flight while explaining the history of the distillery and the nuances of its spirits.

Patio season doesn’t end with summer: With a standing heater and a blanket, spending a fall afternoon on a patio can be a delight. In Marthasville, Missouri, Lake Creek Winery brims with country charm. Located in a remodeled 1860s farmhouse on top of river bluffs, you can relax on its covered deck with a glass of vignoles: an easy drinking, semi-sweet white with notes of grapefruit. The winery also has a food menu that features charcuterie, apps and sandwiches.

Lang-a-Tang Deli in New Haven prides itself on doing one thing and doing it well: making a great sandwich. Build your own, or try the smoked chicken salad or the hot ham and cheese for a filling lunch. Nearby, you’ll find Paddle Stop Brewery, a casual, canoe-themed brewery that offers a variety of beers. The Broken Paddle – an imperial stout with chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, coconut and graham crackers – is a cozy brew ideal for a chilly fall day.

Cori’s Twin-Gables Bar & Grill in Marthasville is a neighborhood joint popular with locals and visitors alike. The rib-eye sandwich – tender beef topped with grilled onions and Swiss cheese – is a standout, especially if you add green peppers and mushrooms. Enjoy local music on Friday and Saturday evenings.

And if you need a hearty breakfast to fuel up for a day of hiking and apple-picking, Dahlia Café in Union, Missouri, is the place to go. Don’t miss the breakfast chimichanga: eggs and your choice of meat rolled in a flour tortilla, fried, topped with sauce and served with hash browns or home fries.

Wh e to stay

For a rustic weekend away, book one of the cabins at Meramec State Park. They come in a range of sizes, from one to five bedrooms, and are also dog-friendly.

If a bed-and-breakfast is more your style, The Pinckney Bend Bed & Breakfast in New Haven is home to two cottages, both located 200 feet above the water for a stellar view of the Missouri River.

Looking for more weekend travel inspo? Head to feastmagazine.com/travel.

P h oto courtesyofThePinckney Bend Bed&Breakfast
Photo courtesy of Lake Creek Winery Photo courtesy of Paddle Stop Brewery

The Team Behind The Tamale Man


The Tamale Man, a food stand that sets up shop in farmers markets all over the metro area, is truly a family business. Founded by and named after their father Doug Marshall, the stand is often run by his children:

Rachael Rogers, Rudy Marshall and John Alexis Marshall. Together, they sell tamales to eager customers each Saturday morning during market season at the Tower Grove, Kirkwood and Lake St. Louis farmers markets.

The tamales themselves are a nostalgic homage to the generations of Cuban and Mexican women in the family who made tamales for Doug Marshall when he was young. The Tamale Man also offers weekly home deliveries year-round; customers can opt to receive chicken, spicy pork, organic vegetable or sweet potato and black bean tamales by the dozen or half-dozen – along with Margaritas and salsas in flavors like mango tomatillo and spicy habanero.

Below, we talk to Rachael Rogers, Rudy Marshall and John Alexis Marshall about the business’ history and future plans.

What’s The Tamale Man’s origin story?

R.R. – Tamale Man began because our mother was looking to start an organic farm and wanted to get her foot in the door at the farmers markets. Growing up, tamales were one of Dad’s favorite foods that his grandmas would make for the family; he’d been working on a recipe for years. No doors really opened for us until Brian DeSmet –manager at the former Schlafly Farmers Market [in Maplewood] … told us we were approved to sell.

Which aspects of the business are most difficult?

Which are the most rewarding?

R.M. – The process of making tamales is definitely a labor of love, and we take pride in the extra steps we take for quality. The most rewarding part about doing this is the feedback we get from customers – there’s nothing better than hearing someone say that [our tamales] are the best they’ve ever eaten or that they remind them of their grandma or take them back to childhood.

What are your plans for the future?

J.A.M. – We’ve added a food trailer for weddings and other celebrations and [already did] some food truck events with it this summer.

What has the community response been like?

R.R. – It’s been awesome. We have incredible regulars at the farmers markets, some of whom have become close friends. Fellow vendors at all of our markets are also amazing and supportive; the sense of community and fellowship is unlike anything we’ve experienced.

The Tamale Man, thetamalemanstl.com

Make the most out of STL’s farmers markets with our market guides here.

Ingredient Powerhouse The

of the Season of the Season

Make the most of ginger with these tips and tricks

Whether it’s fresh, crystallized, candied, pickled, dried or powdered, ginger packs a punch. It’s a heavy-hitter in the culinary world that adds freshness, flavor and heat to savory and sweet dishes alike. Ginger plays well with a broad range of proteins, fruits, vegetables and herbs, so it’s no wonder it’s a favorite in professional and home kitchens. Here, we’ll show you how to use it to its fullest potential.


What’s My Type?


This is the most versatile form for ginger. After you peel it, you can chop, grate or juice the flesh to use in nearly any application. The fibrous root can be abrasive when raw, but cooking it mellows the flavor and heat. Use it in marinades, sauces, soups, stirfries and curries, or use it in baked goods, fruit compotes and fruit pies.


Pickled ginger – the soft, pink slices you see lurking near your sushi – changes color thanks to a chemical reaction during the pickling process. Use this in savory applications like stir-fries, sauces and dressings, or use the pickling liquid to add a hit of flavor and complexity to cocktails.

Buying & Storing

Have you ever bought a big chunk of ginger only to have to have it go moldy in a few days? Despite its tough exterior, ginger needs TLC just like the rest of your produce; knowing what to look for and how to store your ginger means you can extend its life for weeks.

Buy it

Ginger from conventional grocery stores is often older than at international markets, which frequently buy fresher varieties and move product rapidly. Stay away from ginger that’s wrinkly, soft or feels lighter than it should; all point to signs of old product. Ginger should be smooth, firm and heavy for its size, show no signs of mold or decay and be fragrant when sniffed. If you can’t smell it, it’s not for you.

Store it

Once you get it home, dry it completely with towels if needed, then wrap it or bag it so it’s protected from moisture, which is what causes ginger to mold. Ginger should stay good for two to three weeks.

If you need to extend its life even further, ginger freezes well in all forms – whole, in chunks or grated. If storing whole, peel before

Crystallized (Candied)

Eat the firm, sugared slices right from the bag as a sweet-hot bite or to calm a not-so-hot stomach. The chewy treat works best chopped and folded into quick breads, muffins and cookies; added to granola or trail mix; or scattered into chocolate bark.

Ground (Powdered)

Ground ginger is commonly sold in spice sections and often used in recipes. It’s good for teas or infusing concentrated flavor into heavily spiced baked goods – think pumpkin bread, pie or gingerbread. It’s much stronger than fresh ginger, so use moderation in recipes: If you’re substituting ground for fresh, use one part ground ginger for six parts freshly grated.

freezing and store in a freezer-safe bag or container to grab and grate, no thawing required. Go a step further and prep it, either by slicing into 1-inch chunks or thin slices to add to savory dishes, or grate and divide into teaspoon- or tablespoon-sized portions in an ice cube tray.

Freeze, bag and store.

Ready to get cooking?

Find our favorite ginger recipes here.


Pumpkin PieInfused

From maple pumpkin pie to pumpkin pie with chocolate, Feast has published recipes for almost every variation of this classic fall dessert. And now, a cannabis-infused recipe has finally been added to that catalogue. This recipe from the experts at infused pop-up Yonder Eats makes a classic pie, plus cannabis. It’s an easy way to experiment with infused cooking, all while enjoying a delicious staple.



4grams cannabisflower

214-oz canssweetenedcondensedmilk

1 egg,plus1eggyolk

1 tspkoshersalt

¼cup heavycream

115-oz canunsweetenedpumpkinpurée

2tsp pumpkinpiespice

1 piecrust,store-bought(orsee recipebelow)



1¼cups all-purposeflour

¼tsp koshersalt

½cup unsaltedbutter,dicedand thenchilled

¼cup icecoldwater,ormoreasneeded


Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Use a pastry blender to cut in chilled, diced butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 1 tablespoon cold water at a time, mixing with a spatula or your hands until the dough comes together; you may need less than ¼ cup water. Shape dough into a disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.


To prepare the cannabis, preheat oven to 200˚F. Grind your flower up finely. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in oven for 70 minutes. Remove, and let cool completely.

Add decarboxylated cannabis into the top of a double boiler with 1 can of sweetened condensed milk. Bring to 220˚F, and keep at that temperature. Cook for 45 minutes to infuse, stirring every 5 minutes. Add about ½ cup of sweetened condensed milk, or more as needed, to replace what has evaporated. Strain through cheesecloth into a separate container.

To strain, secure the cheesecloth around a heat-safe cup with a rubber band or tape, so you can properly push and strain liquid. Thoroughly squeeze through. Be sure to wear disposable gloves, as it gets sticky. Let cool.


Preheat oven to 375˚F. Whisk infused milk, pumpkin purée, egg, 1 egg yolk, heavy cream, kosher salt and pumpkin pie spice in a medium bowl.

Place chilled dough on a generously floured surface, and roll out to an 11-inch circle, adding more flour to your rolling pin as needed. Carefully roll dough onto the rolling pin, then unroll over a 9-inch pie dish. Press dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the dish. Trim any excess dough and form around edges.

Fill pie crust, and distribute the pie filling evenly. Lightly tap the pan to settle the filling.

Bake for 20 minutes or until crust is brown and filling is set. Let cool, and top with whipped cream. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Cut pie into 10 equal slices. Each slice will contain approximately 40 mg of THC.

Yonder Eats is changing the infused dining game. Find out more here.

| Photo by Jennifer Silverberg Recipe courtesy of Shellby Schutz and Leah Osborne, Yonder Eats DISCOVER GO GREEN
Cannabis meets a favorite holiday dessert.

PARTY Like aPro

Local experts’ tips for excellent entertaining

Most of us love the idea of hosting a dinner party during the holiday season more than we love the execution. It’s easy to overthink all of the moving parts that go into a successful gathering, which can turn the most relaxed plan into something that feels heavy and overdone.

The key to the perfect event? Keep things upbeat and relaxed with décor and table settings - the atmosphere you create will set the mood for the party. Whether it’s for a formal dinner party or a casual outdoor affair, make a plan. “A perfect dinner party is more than just about great food,” agree Tammy Gera and Nina Seitz, co-owners of Set with Grace, a high-end table and event rental business. “It’s also about the right atmosphere and mood. Decide your color scheme, menu, music and lighting, and match your table accordingly.” Once you have a plan in place, the duo recommends looking throughout your home to see what décor you have first and then filling in with new or vintage items as needed. For the table, Gera and Seitz suggest starting with a tablecloth and layering with natural elements like rattan placemats, which soften the overall look. “Use simple or patterned napkins and pretty glassware, then accent with candles and flowers,” they say.

To keep things visually interesting, vary the height of your elements, and be mindful of scale. “The mind gets bored with equivalent elements,” Gera and Seitz say. They mix it up by using a variety of short and tall candlesticks, votives and flowers to keep the eye moving. The same goes for your décor: For an outdoor event, hang simple string lights or lanterns, and accent with planters to ground the setting.


When it comes to the food, plan your menu so you’re able to enjoy the party and interact with guests rather than being stuck in the kitchen. Whether you choose a coursed-out, family-style or appetizer-heavy menu, make it manageable by prepping what you can ahead to assemble later. Get out serving platters and utensils well before the party so you’re not digging in your cabinets at the last minute, and make a list of what you’re serving so you can check things off as you complete them.

No party is complete without a good cocktail. STL Barkeep and The Vandy beverage director Pat Gioia says to head straight for the classics, noting that his go-to cocktail is a gimlet. “Three ingredients and straightforward: gin, simple syrup and lime juice,” he says. “Switch it with vodka for a vodka gimlet or rum for a classic daiquiri with a dash of salt.” The classics are easy to build on if you’re customizing flavors for the season. “For something like an Old Fashioned, add a little allspice and cinnamon to the simple syrup,” he says. If you have a juicer, Gioia says to think about infusing flavors like carrot or even pumpkin into your cocktails to make them stand out.

Additionally, keeping the essentials stocked in your home bar takes the guesswork out. “Think of the basics: tequila, bourbon, rye, scotch, gin, vodka and rum,” Gioia says. Add in some simple yet flavorful specialty spirits like maraschino liqueur to keep things interesting. Don’t forget to cater to your guests who don’t drink; Gioia suggests a zero-proof spirit like BARE Reposado, along with sparkling waters. “As a non-drinker myself, it’s also nice to have at least one NA beer option around,” he says. “The WellBeing line is always good.”

When in doubt, all experts share the same piece of advice: Plan ahead to cover your bases, keep it simple, then relax and enjoy the festivities along with your guests.


Old Fashionedcocktail
expert tips for another party staple –charcuterie boards – here. Photo courtesy of Set with Grace
A perfect dinner party is more than just about great food ... Decide your color scheme, menu, music and lighting, and match your table accordingly.
TAMMY GERA & NINA SEITZ, co-owners of Set with Grace


Plan your holiday party season around these all-star app and drink recipes from local pros

Fall is a season full of large gatherings and get-togethers, and these parties are an opportunity to amp up your appetizer and drink game. We asked local chefs and bartenders to share their recipes for standout bites and cocktails that go beyond your standard cheese plate and glass of wine. Wow your guests with these deceptively easy appetizers and creative cocktails.

Spritz with Whipped Goat Cheese & Pistachio Pesto

Written by Mary Andino | Photos by Christina Kling-Garrett


Courtesy of Mike Risk, chef, Clover and the Bee and O+O Pizza



½ cup40percentheavy whippingcream koshersalt,totaste

5 ozgoatcheese,softened, atroomtemperature


¾ cuppistachios,shelled

1¼ cuparugula

¼ cupchives

¼ cupbasil

1½ Tbsplemonjuice,freshlysqueezed

¾ cupoliveoil

1½ tspkoshersalt

1 tspwhitepepper crackersorcrostini,forserving

[ preparation - goat cheese ] Whip cream until semi-soft peaks form. Whip goat cheese in a separate bowl until light and fluffy. Add goat cheese to cream and whip gently until well mixed. Add salt to taste.

[ preparation - pesto ] Combine all ingredients except oil into a food processor. Pulse to combine. Slowly add in oil while food processor runs and pulse to ensure everything is combined.

[ to serve ] Pour whipped goat cheese into a bowl, and make a well in the middle. Dollop pistachio pesto in the middle. Serve with crackers or crostini.


Courtesy of Chris Kuse, bartender at O+O Pizza and Grand Spirits Bottle Co.


1½ ozCandelaCalleagavewine

½ ozLilletBlanc

½ ozGiffardgrapefruitliqueur

½ ozlimejuice,freshlysqueezed pét-natordrysparklingwine totop

[ preparation ] Fill a wine glass with everything except for pét-nat, and stir to combine. Add ice, and top with pét-nat or dry sparkling wine. Garnish with a slice of lime or a slice of jalapeño for a kick.


Courtesy of Veronica Vela, bar manager, Bowood by Niche


2 ozDelMagueymezcal  ½ ozFinoorManzanillasherry  ¾ ozlimejuice  ½ ozhoney

[ preparation ] Combine all ingredients over ice, and shake or stir to combine. Serve with a lime wedge over ice and enjoy.


Courtesy of Zane Dearien, executive chef, Bowood by Niche



1 cupall-purposeflour

1 cupcornmeal

1 tspbakingpowder

1 tspkoshersalt,plusmoreforseasoning

1 tspblackpepper,freshlyground

½ cupsourcream

2 largeeggs,beaten

2 Tbspunsaltedbutter,melted

2 earsfreshsweetcorn,kernelscutoff, andthe“milk”scrapedfromthecobswiththebackofaknife

1 jalapeño,finelychopped

4 cupsgreenonions,chopped honey,forserving

[ preparation ] In a large deep pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 inches of oil to 325°F.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and pepper. Add the sour cream, eggs, butter, corn kernels and corn milk, jalapeño and chopped green onions, and mix thoroughly.

In batches, using two spoons, make mixture into round balls and drop heaping spoonfuls into the oil. Fry until crisp and golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain the fritters on paper towels, and season immediately with salt. Serve with a drizzle of honey.


Courtesy of Michael and Megan Pastor, owners, Pie Hard Pizzeria


15-20 earsofcorn,grilledorsteamed untilfullycooked


32 ozmayonnaise

1 Tbsplimejuice,freshlysqueezed

10 tspsweetchilepaste

4 Tbspredmisopaste


3 cansunsweetenedcoconutmilk

3 Tbspcoconutsugar

1½ tspkoshersalt

1½ Tbspturmeric

[ preparation - aïoli ] Add all ingredients to a bowl, and whisk until thoroughly combined.

[ preparation - glaze ] In a small saucepan, whisk ingredients together. Simmer on low for 5 minutes and then let cool.

[ to serve ] Coat cooked ears of corn with aïoli. Drizzle generously with glaze.


Courtesy of Michael and Megan Pastor, owners, Pie Hard Pizzeria


2 ozStumpy’sUnbrokenvodka

3 ozgingerbeer

½ ozlemongrasssimplesyrup

½ ozlimejuice

1½ ozstrawberrypurée


1 cupwater

1 cupgranulatedsugar

2 lemongrassstalks,washed andsliced,withrootsremoved

[ preparation - lemongrass simple syrup ] Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Let cool, strain out lemongrass stalks, and pour into a glass jar.

[ preparation - mule ] Combine all ingredients in a copper mule mug. Stir to combine.


Courtesy of Logan Ely, chef

co-owner, The Lucky Accomplice and Press


½ jalapeño

2 Englishcucumbers

1 greentomato



strawberries,topsremoved,sliced,forgarnish limejuice,totaste

3 Tbspoliveoil

[ preparation ] Split the jalapeño, and deseed. Quarter the tomato and cucumber. Rub everything with oil and a generous amount of salt. Grill over high heat to char quickly, while still keeping raw. Remove from heat, and let cool.

Once cool, place in a plastic zip-top bag, and crush or pound with a mallet or back of a pan, until the vegetables are well smashed and bite-sized. Place vegetables and juices into a serving bowl.

Chiffonade a few leaves of sorrel and mint, and mix into the salad. Season heavily with lime juice, and toss with olive oil. Garnish with fresh strawberries.


Courtesy of Corey Moszer, bar program manager, The Lucky Accomplice and Press


¾ ozshochu

¾ ozwhiterum

1 ozlimejuice


¾ cupwater

¾ cupsugar

10 ozsnappeas

[ preparation - snap pea syrup ]

Melt water and sugar together in a small saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Let cool. Blanch and chill snap peas. Blend ingredients together and strain.

[ preparation - drink ] Shake all ingredients but soda water with ice; pour into glass. Top with soda water.

Hungry for more?

Find more chef recipes online.



Rae Miller


As a farmer-led program that’s part of the nonprofit Missouri Coalition for the Environment, Known & Grown STL helps local, sustainable farmers overcome economic hurdles while also educating the community about the benefits of investing in where their food comes from.

Program manager Rae Miller has been with Known & Grown since it launched in 2019. The program connects an evergrowing group of farmers who are rooted in eco-friendly practices with local retailers who prioritize purchasing from these farms. Below, Miller explains the nonprofit’s mission and how you can help.

Describe the concept and goals of Known & Grown STL.

Known & Grown is a network of farmers … livestock, veggie, flowers, mushrooms – a good variety. They’re all within 150 miles of St. Louis and follow sustainable practices. We’re trying to get the word out about who your local farmers are. How can you find them and get to know them? Where are their products sold? Why does it matter to support them? And then, helping local farmers overcome barriers to success outside of just the difficult job of being a farmer.

How do you help local farmers?

We have bulk ordering where we buy products in larger quantities to reduce the price for them [and] help reduce shipping costs. We’ve launched a micro-grant program for the first time, which we’re really excited about, and we organized volunteer days this summer to give farmers an extra hand. We’re purchasing a refrigerated trailer truck to offer delivery assistance. We have a buyers group of mostly small retailers who prioritize buying local, so we try to support them as well; they said they would buy from more beginning farmers of color if they could get their product more efficiently, so we

How do you prioritize equity in farming?

We have about 65 farmers in our program, and most of them are beginning farmers and also women-owned. We’re striving to [reach] more farmers of color. It’s so crucial to support farmers who have been disadvantaged for generations. So, Black farmers, farmers of color, women farmers, LGBTQIA+ farmers. Our focus is on uplifting farmers who have been and are still facing those barriers.

How can people get involved?

We have a local food locator and farmers market guide on our website. Sign up for our monthly newsletter. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram. We also have some volunteer days listed on our website for people to help farms here in the area. Get to know one of the farmers in our program.

Known & Grown STL, knownandgrownstl.org

Written by Kate Pogue | Photos by Christina Kling-Garrett
Score more tips about sourcing your produce sustainably here.

Shana Poole-Jones

When Grab N Go Table founder and CEO Shana

Poole-Jones started an open-air food pantry in her front yard, she didn’t expect the operation to outgrow the space so quickly. What started in April 2020 as one 4-foot-long table in Maplewood soon became 20 tables and then an office space. The program spread to neighborhoods throughout St. Louis, and Poole-Jones now hears from people all over the world wanting to start their own Grab N Go Table.

Sharing Kindne Kindne

Nonprofit Grab N Go Table provides sustainable basics for at-need communities in St. Louis.

Describe the concept of the

Grab N Go Table.

Just share kindness. The Grab N Go Table was birthed [during] COVID. After experiencing so much grief and fighting depression, I was praying, and God told me to ‘set a table.’ I figured, what would happen if I set a table in my yard for people to grab and go? Saying, ‘Take as much as you need,’ nobody patrolling it. Just neighbors being neighbors. You’d be surprised what happens when you set up a table because you never know what your neighbors are going through.

The people we serve are not just in low-income areas; they’re coming from all over St. Louis City and county (Brentwood, Sunset Hills, Maplewood, Clayton, Chesterfield, St. Charles, Tower Grove) and Illinois. People don’t want people to see they need help. When they come, they can get what they want. They don’t even have to talk. We don’t tell you, “If you come today, you can’t come tomorrow.” You know how you get home from shopping and realize you forgot something? You burn the gas. You gotta run back to the store. That’s why [we’re] here. God said, “I’ll supply all your needs.” When we restrict, are we really helping in times of crisis?

How does food insecurity affect the community?

The cost of the food is at its heights. So, with food stamps, you could get $300, and you’re still not getting groceries.

The cost of food goes up, but the benefits stay the same. For people who don’t get food stamps, the cost is going up, but their income stays the same.

What challenges have you faced?

Making sure we can take the load. We don’t have a warehouse anymore. We had to build a pantry in my living room. Separating the pantry from home. You don’t want to turn away a donation because you never know when that donation will be the big one you really need. Keeping monthly donors because we all feel the struggle of prices increasing.

What is the best way for people to help?

We have a volunteer link on keeppushinginc.org where you can sign up. We use TextNow so people will know when we have events. Sometimes we get a big donation, and we gotta go pop up. Someone could call me at 5 p.m. with a bunch of food, and we have to get the word out. You can always stop by at 7422 Manchester Road in Maplewood; we’re open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. We do pop up Grab N Go tables every Saturday out in the community.

Grab N Go Table, facebook.com/grabngotable

Want to learn more about food insecurity in STL? Scan here.

“ “
Written by Kate Pogue | Photos by Christina Kling-Garrett
Written by Mary Andino | Illustrations by Jillian Kaye COMMUNITY

The fall season brings many favorite fruits and vegetables –apples, pumpkins, cranberries, squash – and this autumnal harvest wouldn’t be possible without the help of bees. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, one out of every three bites of our food is produced with the help of pollinators. Although honeybees are the most well-known pollinator, Missouri is home to many other types of bees that are native to the state and specialize in pollinating specific plants.

St. Louis is home to a highly diverse amount of pollinators, especially for a city. According to Gerardo Camilo, professor of biology at Saint Louis University, cities are usually considered to be biodiversity deserts. However, after a study of local community gardens, Camilo discovered St. Louis is an exception to that general rule.

“St. Louis hosts one of the greatest native bee communities in the continent,” Camilo says.

“We’re seeing 214 different species of bees, and that is essentially 50 percent of the native bee diversity in the state.” Camilo adds that native bees are important because they are more skilled and efficient at pollinating than honeybees – each plant is different, and native bees specialize in some of the plants that honeybees can’t pollinate.

These specialty bees have to be protected to put certain fruits and vegetables on our plates. According to a publication titled "Conserving Missouri's wild and managed pollinators" by Zach Miller, Candace Galen and James Quinn from the University of MissouriColumbia, “Certain plants have only one kind of pollinator and vice versa. These relationships are the most at risk because the decline of either the pollinator or the plant will cause the decline of the other.”

These delicate symbiotic relationships face many threats, with pesticides being one of them.

“Large-scale industrialized agriculture’s use of pesticides … in the last 25 years has coincided with the significant losses of pollinators,” Camilo explains. In addition, he says, habitat loss is the most serious problem facing native pollinators. Northern Missouri used to be home to diverse tallgrass prairies, but less than 1 percent of this pollinator-friendly land remains, as Miller and other scholars explain: “Most of that land is planted in corn and soybean for animal feed purposes. … For species that do not have expansive ranges or that have specialist relationships with other species, this pressure creates a very difficult situation.” Although habitat loss, pesticides and diseases are threatening our state’s pollinators, there are many ways we can support our ecosystem’s smallest but mightiest heroes.

Local nonprofits such as Brightside St. Louis have recognized this impending danger and organized programs to support local pollinators. Mary Lou Green, executive director of Brightside, says placing native plants

in green spaces is one of the easiest and most direct ways to help pollinators. Camilo agrees:

“You want to have [native] flowers. You want to keep the bees around all the time. So when the tomatoes and your peppers and everything start blooming, they’re already around there,” he says.

Brightside St. Louis supports this endeavor through its Neighbors Naturescaping project, a program which provides plants for public spaces.

“Through this program, community groups can apply for up to $1,500 worth of native plant material to improve green spaces in their own community,” Green says. The nonprofit also focuses on education and offers a recommended plant list that includes perennials, milkweed and more. “We’re trying to help people think through, ‘What are the growing conditions that I already have in my yard or

neighborhood green space?’ … and then let’s help figure out how to select the right plant for the right place,” Green says.

The organization’s website features an interactive resource that helps users discern which native plants work best for the soil, sun and environment of their land. If you’re new to gardening or lack a green thumb, don’t worry. “The best part about native plants is you don’t have to be an expert to plant them because they’ve been growing in our area long before people lived here. They’ve been able to adapt to our conditions for years,” Green adds.

If you’re a landowner, the Missouri Department of Conservation offers a Landowner Assistance Program that provides up to $5,000 per year for recipients to plant native species and enact other conservation measures. Additionally, the

The best part about native plants is you don’t have to be an expert to plant them because they’ve been growing in our area long before people lived here.
�� Mary Lou Green executive director of Brightside

Missouri Botanical Garden and Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House operate Project Pollinator, a community gardening initiative with the mission to spread awareness and create pollinator gardens around the city. It offers an annual native pollinator plant sale for the public, and proceeds benefit the project.

Although a lush, green, manicured lawn might be the most photogenic option, a yard of native plants is by far the most pollinator-friendly landscaping choice. “[Keeping a grass lawn] means that you’re gonna keep pollinators out, and if you have the entire neighborhood like that, their combined effect is greater than the single homeowner,” Camilo says.

You can start the transition away from a manicured lawn slowly, according to Ed Spevak, Ph.D., Curator of Invertebrates at the Saint Louis Zoo and director of the zoo’s WildCare Institute Center for Native Pollinator Conservation. “You can reduce your mowing cycle to once every three weeks and raise your lawnmower height,” he says. “Everybody can be a pollinator conservationist.”

Conversations of sustainability, hunger and climate change are vital on the large,

global scale, but focusing on pollinators in our own backyards can help individuals scale down the problem to actionable steps. “People get overwhelmed. They get like, ‘There’s nothing I can do,’” Camilo says. “[Planting native plants] is something that you can do immediately and instantly; it will have an effect on biodiversity loss. You start fighting hunger from the root.”

Whether you take action by planting native plants, scaling back pesticide use or supporting community gardens or nonprofits, the bees and the butterflies will thank you, and you’ll be rewarded with a rainbow of produce on your plate. Want to get involved in local community gardens? Scan here.

World Hunger Warriors

Meet the St. Louis nonprofits treating child malnutrition internationally

Dr. Mark Manary of Washington University in St. Louis founded Project Peanut Butter in 2004 after a revolutionary breakthrough in treating children suffering from severe malnutrition. Recovery rates soared after introducing an energy-dense, peanut butter-like, ready-to-use therapeutic food as a key part of at-home treatment. His work has now helped spark other initiatives aimed at solving the issues of malnutrition worldwide, and this is just the beginning.

Why did you start Project Peanut Butter?

My wife is a nurse, and I’m a doctor. … Upon completing training in the U.S., we went to Sub-Saharan Africa to work in a hospital. It was pretty arduous because I was the only doctor, and there were 450 beds, but we loved it. You go there for a few years and spend all your money, and we had just been in training, so we didn’t have much to begin with. So I called WashU and said I needed a job and they said, ‘Oh, you seem to be versatile. You can work in the ER.’

After about five years, we left WashU to live in Africa again. And I said, ‘Well, geez, the biggest reason kids are sick here is because they don’t

get enough to eat.’ We’re talking about a 33 percent death rate, a 25 percent recovery rate, and the others just stayed malnourished. We made the death rate go down but couldn’t break through on that recovery rate. These women caring for their starving children work physical labor sunup to sundown. Telling them to cook a special food seven times a day is like telling you to jump onto the roof. I knew the food that would be the solution had to have a lot of fat and protein and wouldn’t spoil in tropical conditions … that’s peanut butter. So we added vitamins and minerals, milk powder, sugar and vegetable oil. Most recently, we added fish oil and changed the types of fats we use so that it’s better for the brain.

Written by Kate Pogue | Photos by Judd Demaline
Dr. Mark Manary founded Project Peanut Butter and created a peanutbased product to treat severe acute malnutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond.

We saw 95 percent get better on a complete diet and 75 percent get better on a supplement. Anecdotally, the [St. Louis] Post-Dispatch wrote about what we were doing, and people sent money. I said, ‘Well, we can’t just put this in our checking account.’ So we started Project Peanut Butter.

What role has WashU played in PPB?

They realize that if people are working within their passion, there’s likely to be something better coming out of it. So the initial arrangement at WashU was for me to work in the ER and then have a couple of months overseas every year to do something useful. It was that vague. We started this not for profit, not necessarily by WashU, but with its full blessing.

How can people in St. Louis support PPB?

Supporting with money is the most straightforward. We accept donations through projectpeanutbutter.org. We occasionally have volunteers, but it must be for a substantial period of time, and our goal for you is to empower you to make the world a better place.

Using its own solar-powered factory in Haiti, Meds & Food for Kids produces ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) that meets the nutritional needs of severely malnourished children and pregnant and nursing women. Founded by pediatrician Dr. Patricia B. Wolff – a professor at Washington University in St. Louis – in 2003, the organization has since expanded its focus to not only sustain the community in Haiti, but also to make it self-sufficient. Today, Meds & Food for Kids sources ingredients from local farmers and employs Haitians from the community in order to foster sustainable change and grow their economy. Maggie Probert and Chris Greene help lead the organization as chief advancement and communications officer and CEO, respectively.

“We now manufacture more than 1600 metric tons [of RUTF] a year that is sold to UNICEF and World Food Programme and other humanitarian agencies,” Probert says. “UNICEF then distributes these foods in Haiti and to – wait for it –17 other countries around the world. This all started with one pediatrician.”

Here, Probert explains how St. Louis played a pivotal role in this nonprofit’s genesis and success.

How did Meds & Food for Kids begin?

It started with Dr. Patricia B. Wolff, a pediatrician, on a mission trip to Haiti. She went back and discovered that the children she had treated were still very sick or had died. It occurred to her that they couldn’t get better because they were terribly malnourished. About that time, Dr. Mark Manary had been experimenting with a peanut-based product to treat severe malnutrition. He gave her the recipe, she went back to Haiti and bought some peanuts and other ingredients. She had a street vendor grind them up. She tried it with the children and started to see improvements in days. She found someone to make a portable hand grinder, started playing with the recipe and saw miraculous outcomes. In 2003, the organization had grown to such a level that it was incorporated as a nonprofit here and an NGO in Haiti. Twenty years later, Meds & Food for Kids has an industrial-scale factory in Haiti that is totally managed and run by 90 Haitians. In Haiti, full-time employment for 90 people is a big deal. We hire public health nurses to work with clinics, and we have a complete agronomy staff that works with farmers so they can grow high-enough quality peanuts for us to purchase and use.

What role has WashU played in this nonprofit?

WashU has a huge impact worldwide, between our work and Dr. Manary’s. Mark Manary was one of the first to do fieldwork in Africa with this idea of peanut-based RUTF. And it was Pat’s relationship with the pediatric faculty and her relationship with Mark and their communications that jump-started her project in Haiti. It’s an in-depth partnership on a number of levels.

What obstacles has the organization faced?

Due to chaos and insecurity in Haiti, access to diesel – which is what the factory used to run on – was not always possible, so some months we couldn’t manufacture RUTF. The Meds & Food for Kids’ board decided we had to find an alternative, so we raised $1.6 million for the factory to run completely on solar energy.

How has the St. Louis community supported Meds & Food for Kids?

A very strong donor base here in St. Louis has helped this organization grow, from Pat packing everything in her suitcase and taking it to Haiti – to having this big presence worldwide. You know that $1.6 million we raised for the solar installation? A good 75 percent of it came from St. Louis philanthropy. The growth and impact of MFK is rooted in St. Louis.

Meds & Food for Kids, mfkhaiti.org

Learn more about local food nonprofits at feastmagazine.com/community/non-profits.

Meds & Food for Kids strives to break the cycle of malnutrition and poverty from its Haiti hub.

Juwan Rice

Juwan Rice is a jack of all trades. He’s been in the food world since he was 14, which is when he launched JR’s Gourmet, a catering business that’s still going strong. In addition to a popular spice blend line – JRice Spice – he’s also the owner and founder of Rated Test Kitchen, where he aims to create dishes that are nostalgic with a fresh twist.


What’s a cooking rule that people should ignore?

To cook with low heat. I don’t really think there’s a need for cooking with low heat. I like to cook with high heat all the time.

If you’re going to order or make a cocktail, what base spirit do you go for?

Definitely gin. The person that introduced me to liquor and spirits and alcohol is a gin drinker.

What’s your most controversial food take?

I think that truffles are disgusting – I feel like they’re hard to use. I just don’t like the flavor of truffles … and I don’t see why they’re so expensive.

What’s your favorite hack to save time in the kitchen? Use a sous vide machine for pretty much everything you can because you can just leave it and forget it, and it will never mess up.

What’s your favorite spot to grab a coffee or tea in St. Louis?

Coma Coffee is probably up there on the list

What’s your favorite food memory?

Me and my grandma cooking Thanksgiving dinner, listening to Anita Baker in the kitchen.

Who in the St. Louis food and drink scene do you think people should pay more attention to?

The team that I curated for Rated Test Kitchen: Bri Delights, Jay Sweets, Jorge Vazquez and Alex O’Toole. I wanted to help use my platform to lift them and their talents up to get the props they deserve!

What’s your go-to easy dessert to make?

I’m a sucker for anything cake. My grandma’s pound cake would probably be the go-to.

LAST CALL Get the recipe for Grandma Marchia's Orange and Rum Pound Cake here.
Photo by Jennifer Silverberg | Illustrations by Jillian Kaye
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