Page 1

master this classic

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PORK STEAK PRIMER INTO THE WILD ROUTE 66 ROAD TRIP

Inspired Food Culture | Saint Louis

feastSTL.com | june 2013 | FREE

pile it on!


Schnucks Meat Masters! We’re proud of our Meat Department from service to selection. We’re especially proud of our butchers or Meat Masters! They will cut your fresh meat or poultry to order and wrap it for you. Just let them know how thick or thin you want your steak or pork chop! Our Meat Masters make our loaded burgers, chicken and beef kabobs and signature storemade sausages fresh in-store. Visit your neighborhood butcher today!

schnucks.com hnucks.com ©2013 Schnucks


Inspired Food Culture

JUNE 2013

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LLee CCordon orddo Bleu programs offer: • CCulinary ulinary AArts and Patisserie and Baking Programs overseen by a CCertified ert by Master Chef in commercial kitchens • LLearn earn hhands-on an Work experienced chefs •W ork alongside alon • DDevelop eveloop yyour o creativity • Hone your skills in an externship

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60

Inspired Food Culture | Saint Louis

JUNE 2013

from the staff

| 10 |

from the PUBLISHER

Lazy days.

a pork steak primer double feature

| 12 | feaststl.com What’s online this month.

| 14 | FEAST FAVES

Our staff and contributors share inspired ideas for tasteful living in St. Louis.

COLUMNS

| 26 | One on One

Steven Caravelli talks gringos

in the kitchen and grasshoppers

on the plate.

| 28 |

the mix

The mysterious Mojito.

| 30 | ON THE SHELF

New and notable in beer, spirits and wine.

| 32 |

mystery shopper

Buy it and try it: Dukkah.

| 34 |

how to

Smokin’ with Pappy’s.

| 36 | TECH SCHOOL

A chef’s secret to crispy skin.

| 38 |

gadget a-go-go

We put five pizza grill stones to the test.

| 40 | Menu Options

A Benny that transcends the brunch menu.

| 78 |

the last bite

Grill master Scott Thomas shares a favorite date night dessert.

COVER PHOTOGRAPHY of pork steaks (P. 60) BY Jennifer Silverberg Table of contents photography of Chevrolet bel air (p. 44) BY J. Pollack

Photography

6

feastSTL.com

JUNE 2013

44

ROUTE 66 roadtrip

HUNTED66


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Distribution To distribute Feast Magazine at your place of business, please contact Tom Livingston at tlivingston@stldist.com. Feast Magazine does not accept unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Submissions will not be returned. All contents are copyright © 2010-2013 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


Inspired Food Culture

JUNE 2013

9


Jonathan Gayman

publisher’s letter

PHOTOGRAPHy by

TV FEAST EVENTS Feast In The Park June to September, 5 to 8pm; rotating St. Louis County Parks

Love food trucks? This weekly festival gathers great mobile eats and popular local bands in one spot. Get the full schedule in the Events section at feastSTL.com.

Magnificent Missouri Dinner Series Sun., June 2, 5pm; Deer Creek Club $125, magnificentmissouri.org

Celebrate Missouri’s food history and support the state’s conservation. Cleveland-Heath chefs Jenny Cleveland and Eric Heath will present a themed Mid-Century Melting Pot menu at the historic private club.

South Grand’s 5th Annual International Dine Around Thu., June 13, 5 to 10pm southgrand.org

Sample a vast array of international cuisine from South Grand restaurants and bars.

Schnucks Cooks Cooking Class Wed., June 26, 6 to 9pm; Schnucks Cooks Cooking School $40, schnuckscooks.com or 314.909.1704

Join Cat in the kitchen for a sophisticated spin on eggs Benedict that transcends brunch.

Tower Grove Farmers’ Market Urban Homesteading Fair Sat., June 29, 8am to 1pm; Tower Grove Park tgmarket.org

Look for this icon. It tells you which articles are part of Feast TV!

For a taste of the Mother Road that’s close to home, prop yourself up at the counter at Eat-Rite, a cash-only diner on Chouteau Avenue just south of Downtown.

Do you dabble in cheesemaking, food fermentation or pickling? Bake great pies? Whip up stellar salsas? Have your most-ravedabout dish judged by a panel of professionals in this county fair with an urban twist.

St. Louis Food Media Forum

June offers a welcome invitation to slow down a bit and take advantage of long, lazy days. So in this issue, our contributors take you across the region in three summer-perfect features. Andrew Mark Veety guides you on a long and winding road trip, navigating Route 66 from St. Louis to Chicago, stopping for the best eats along the way (p. 44). Brandon Chuang goes into the woods with Ryan Maher to hunt for garlic mustard, a delicious wild edible that happens to also be an invasive species (p. 66). And what would summer in St. Louis be without firing up the grill? Turn to p. 60 for A Pork Steak Primer to learn Scott Thomas’ secrets to pork steak perfection. The pages of our June issue come to life in this month’s Feast TV. To watch the show, scan this QR code, visit the Multimedia section of feastSTL.com or tune to ABC30 at 9:30am on Sun., June 9.

ch Feast Wat TV

And I want to say a very sincere thank you to Brandi Wills, who has been Feast’s print managing editor since we launched. This is her last issue as an editor, but she remains part of the Feast family and her byline will continue to appear on these pages. As Brandi turns to the next page in her career, we welcome Liz Miller to our team. All the best to you, Brandi. Enjoy the journey! C30 at 9:30am on Sun., June 9. Until next time,

Catherine Neville

10

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JUNE 2013

AB on

Aug. 9 to 11; The Culinary Institute of St. Louis foodmediaforum.com

The second annual three-day conference will cover food writing, blogging, photography and more through a series of hands-on workshops and speakers, including a presentation by Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot from the Ideas In Food blog, book and culinary consulting business.

Baltic Odyssey Cruise Sept. 3 to 13 314.968.9600, altairtravel.com

Join Cat Neville, in partnership with Altair Travel, for our second Oceania culinary cruise. This year’s trip takes you to Scandinavia, the world’s newest center of culinary innovation. Travel from Copenhagen to Stockholm with a three-day stop in St. Petersburg.

feedback?

catherine@feaststl.com


Tapas & Wine in the Heart of Kirkwood Stop by One 19 North Tapas Wine Bar, in the heart Of Downtown Kirkwood to enjoy GREAT tapas and an extensive, yet affordable, Wine selection. Chef Christopher Delgado prepares the most flavorful and delicious Tapas in town. The atmosphere at One 19 North is comfortable, invariably crowded and a great place to relax with friends. Owners, Patrick and Ellen Carr are often working the room, talking to guest and making sure that everyone is completely satisfied with their experience at One 19 North

Bring in This Ad for 10% off your bill. Sunday-Thursday: limit one per table. 119 North Kirkwood Road • Kirkwood • 314.821.4119 • one19north.com • Like Us On

How about a culinary trip to Munich German cuisine is much more than "Brats and Sauerkraut". Come and taste our authentic "Swabian and Bavarian" dishes; perfectly paired with famous Riesling wines, award-winning German bier, and Gemutlichkeit. Bring Oma and Opa, explore your heritage, celebrate a special occasion, or just sit back and relax in our unique Bavarian atmosphere. Every second and fourth Saturday- Sing along and Schunkel with Larry or Pat playing your favorite songs on the accordion. Visit our website at www.roemertopfllc.com for pictures, music schedule and special events. Reservations recommended on weekends/Groups welcome.

1415 McKinley St. • Mascoutah • 618.566.4884 • roemer topfllc.com Inspired Food Culture

JUNE 2013

11


ONLINE CONTENT

feastSTL.com

Inspired Food Culture | Saint Louis

The Feed

Dine Out

Dine In

Drink

Feast Events

Multimedia

The Magazine

Promotions

ENTER TO WIN: Just in time for prime grilling season, Stubb’s BBQ is

giving away nearly $200 worth of signature sauces, marinades, rubs, T-shirts, hats and a drink tub. Details at feastSTL.com/promotions.

MULTIMEDIA

FEAST TV: Our June episode is all about summer in St. Louis, with segments inspired by Route 66 Road Trip (p. 44), A Pork Steak Primer (p. 60) and Hunted (p. 66 and pictured above). A Mojito demo by The Mix columnist Matt Seiter and a chat with mobile ReTrailer owner Lisa Govro round out the show. Scan the tag to watch or go to the Multimedia section at feastSTL.com.

GET COOKING: Scott Thomas from Grillin’ Fools shows you how to properly prepare pork steaks (p. 60) then reveals his go-to gadgets and recipes for some fine fixings, like grilled sweet potato fries, at feastSTL.com. ©istockphoto.com/TheCrimsonMonkey

CONNECT WITH US facebook.com/feastSTL Scan this tag to like us

twitter.com/feastmag Scan this tag to follow us

DINE OUT

ROAD TRIP! Out To Lunch columnist Andrew Mark Veety continues his quest for great Route 66 eats (see p. 44) with weekly picks along the Manchester Road alignment (like Carl’s Drive In). Plus, in an online exclusive, two St. Louis restaurant owners – Highway 61 Roadhouse’s Bill Kunz and Iron Barley’s Tom Coghill – share stories and photos from off-thebeaten-path barbecue joints they discovered on a recent trek to New Orleans. PHOTOGRAPHy by J. Pollack Photography

pinterest.com/feastmag Scan this tag to follow us Get the free app at gettag.mobi

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Vietnamese & Chinese Restaurant A 2012 "FEAST" Favorite!

Thank You all Local Area Chefs for Making Us #1 Located in the Meridian Shopping Center at Hanley & Eager Roads behind the Best Buy.

Hand Crafted Coffees Importing Fine Coffees from 20 Countries

FREE PARKING IN THE METRO LINK GARAGE Tu-Th: 11am-9pm • Fr-Su 11am-10pm 8396 Musick Memorial Dr. • 314.645.2835 www.MaiLeeRestaurant.com

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Homemade Greek Food Carry out • Catering Private Parties Gyros • Kebobs • Baklava Patio Now open! oLYmPIa keBoB HoUSe aNd TaVerNa 7 days a week from 11am 1543 McCausland • 314-781-1299

enhanced by a delicious Mushroom Burgundy sauce, creamy garlic mashed potatoes and Rose Bud Salad. Conveniently located in Kirkwood Dinner Hours: Tues.-Sun. 5 p.m.

Full Service Coffeehouse & Restaurant Supplier Fourth Generation Family Owned Coffee Roasters Since 1930

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133 West Clinton Place St. Louis, MO 63122 314-965-9005

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Field of Schemes Comedy Mystery Dinner Theatre

Join Ty Clodd, Stan “The Man” Musical., Ruth the Babe, Sammy SoSo and other baseball greats when they team up with Sam Spud, Iowa’s greatest and only detective to solve this Baseball-themed murder mystery. The participatory comedy mystery is served with a 4-course meal to DIE for! Call for Reservations 314-533-9830.

Bring in this ad for $10.00 off per person Valid thru June 2013. Not Valid for groups

4426 Randall Place • St. Louis • 314.533.9830 • bissellmansion.com

Rondy’s Elite Catering & Corporate Dining 1 pint Strawberries, 1 cup Grapes, 1 sectioned Grapefruit 1 sliced Mango 1 sliced Pears 2 sliced Apricots

1 cup Honeydew melon ¼ cup Water ¼ cup Sugar 1 tsp Vanilla Diced Mint

Mix together all fruit. Pour over a simple syrup of sugar and water flavored with vanilla. Scatter minced fresh mint over top. Dessert is served! For the month of June 10% off any BBQ Buffet for 25 or more guests. (plus delivery) Let us amaze you at your next corporate function or family reunion with our on-site pit master preparing your favorite smoked meats & side dishes. With our great food & dedicated staff all you need to bring is the fun!

To view this recipe in its’ entirety please visit our website.

7501 Page Avenue • 314.290.4696 • rondyselitecatering.com Inspired Food Culture

JUNE 2013

13


FEAST FAVES

| where we’re dining

23 S. Euclid Ave., Central West End 314.932.5595, centraltablestl.com

14

feastSTL.com

JUNE 2013

PHOTOGRAPHy by

It’s said that you can’t be all things to all people, but Central Table Food Hall might just disprove that adage. Open throughout the day, bleary-eyed customers can snag a cup of coffee in the morning and then return midday, stepping up to any of the culinary stations – deli, hearth, grill, raw bar or sushi bar – to order a quick-service lunch. Come dinner, the stylish eatery transforms into a full-service restaurant, one that offers sophisticated cuisine at a comfortable price point. Executive chef Nick Martinkovic presides over a menu that ranges from housemade rabbit tortellini with watercress and carrot to Spanish octopus with caramelized fennel and tomato gelée. From diver scallops with smoked carrot broth to hearth-baked pizzas, Central Table is quickly becoming a big player in the local culinary scene. And do not miss Elliot Harris’ pristine sushi. His subtle approach brings out the nuanced flavors and textures in his delicate ingredients. – C.N.

Jonathan Gayman

central table food hall


FEAST FAVES

| where we’re drinking

PROUDLY LOCATED IN

200 N. 13 STREET TH

perennial hommel bier @ hendricks bbq

WWW.

ALUMNISTL .COM

DOWNTOWN SAINT LOUIS

LOCATED AT 13TH AND PINE 2 BLOCKS FROM PEABODY OPERA HOUSE

written by Jennifer Johnson

Our region’s progressive culinary scene occasionally prompts us to mention the obvious: Barbecue season is officially here! Hendricks BBQ in St. Charles celebrates the many styles of barbecue from around the U.S. and that which pairs best with barbecue: beer and brown spirits. Aside from a hearty list of whiskeys, bourbons and their respective cocktails, Hendricks’ lineup of local brews is impressive. Perennial Hommel Bier from Perennial Artisan Ales is a diverse barbecue pairing beer, particularly for a Belgian-style pale ale. Belgian pales are less bitter than many pale ales and frequently use aged hops for enhanced aromatics. The Hommel Bier trends toward a more distinctive hoppiness in this regard, with a medium-bodied weight that stands up to the seasoning and heartiness of smoked meat. It contributes fresh citrus overtones and a finish that suggests earth and subtle florals. This beer passed the test for the Whole Shebang BBQ Platter: Its balanced weight withstood the succulence of St. Louis-style and baby back ribs; its generous hoppiness enlivened the sausage’s fresh garlic sweetness; its depth of flavor underscored the tenderness of the turkey and pulled pork; and its earthy aromatics accented the beef brisket’s black peppercorn rub. Hendricks’ local beer flights are a fine starting point for your own tasting experience, and you’ll also find brews from Urban Chestnut, 4 Hands, Cathedral Square, The Civil Life and Charleville on the list.

CELEBRATE THE PEOPLE, PLACES AND FOOD THAT MAKE SAINT LOUIS GREAT!

1200 S. Main St., St. Charles 636.724.8600, hendricksbbq.com

PHOTOGRAPHy by

Corey Woodruff

Recently featured by OpenTable.com as one of the Top 10 Restaurants in St. Louis

St. Louis-based wine enthusiast Jennifer Johnson is a sommelier, wine educator, journalist, and hospitality and marketing consultant who loves to celebrate life, family, food and wine.

1101 Lucas Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63101 314-621-9993 mangoperu.com Inspired Food Culture

JUNE 2013

15


FEAST FAVES

| where we’re dining

bombay food junkies Street food is one of the defining characteristics − and unifying principles − of life in Bombay (Mumbai). Street vendors sell inexpensive, mostly vegetarian comfort food considered to be better than what is found in the city’s restaurants, bringing together people of all economic and social classes. Krupa and Sid Panchal feel so passionately about their native food culture that they’ve introduced Bombay Food Junkies to the streets of West County, serving up incredible fare in Bombay street-food fashion. The Bombay burger (vada pav) is made from spiced potato filling dipped in chickpea flour and deep fried. It’s served on bread with garlic-peanut and cilantro chutneys. The palak paneer pizza is a must-try with spicy Indian pizza sauce, spinach and cottage cheese topping, and a generous layer of melted cheese on top. Our personal fave is the samosa chole, where crispy potato-and-pea-filled samosas are topped with chickpea curry, sweet and spicy chutney and marinated onions. For a sweet ending, nothing satisfies like a mango lassi (smoothie) and a smile from Krupa as she waves goodbye through the window. – B.W.

PHOTOGRAPHy by

Corey Woodruff

bombayfoodjunkies.com

16

feastSTL.com

JUNE 2013


FEAST FAVES

| food stuff

spicy local sauces There’s nothing like turning up the heat on your barbecue with a spicy sauce. These locally made versions bring out the true flavor of St. Louis barbecue and give a kick to backyard grilling. – B.W.

JOIN US FOR DAILY SPECIALS 4 P.M. - 6 P.M.

USE IT: To baste pork steaks and burgers

3419 Olive Street ∙ Saint Louis, MO ∙ 314.446.1801

Visit Us....

USE IT: As a marinade for chicken or tilapia

USE IT: As a sauce for ribs or pulled meats

| 1 | Millie’s Sweet & Spicy Barbecue Sauce, $4.49; Local Harvest Grocery, multiple locations, localharvestgrocery.com | 2 | Mi Hungry Hot & Spicy Jerk Sauce, $5.99; Olive Farmer’s Market, 8041 Olive Blvd., University City, stlouissupermarket.com | 3 | Cole’s Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce, $5.99; St. Louis Home Fires, 15053 Manchester Road, Ballwin, stlouishomefires.com PHOTOGRAPHy by Jonathan Gayman

See...... ST. LOUIS’s MOST UNIQUE BBQ STORE! We have everything you need to make that perfect meal!!

We also carry gourmet cookware, e, gift items, BBQ accessories and much, much more! 11769 Manchester Road ~ Des Peres, MO 63131

314-966-0800 ~ www.terrastl.com

Hours: Sunday 11 - 5 • Saturday 9 - 5 • Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 10 - 6 • Wednesday & Friday 10 - 7 Inspired Food Culture

JUNE 2013

17


FEAST FAVES

| the big idea

the retrailer written by Brandon Chuang

Photography by

J. Pollack Photography

When people first taste the products Lisa Govro makes, a common reaction is, “Hey, this is actually good.” For most people in the business, you’d think that would be fairly insulting. Why wouldn’t it be good? For Lisa Govro, it’s a small victory. Govro is the owner and operator of The ReTrailer, a business on wheels – it’s literally housed in a remodeled retro trailer – that offers healthy and organic goods, with a strong focus on tea. Setting up shop at various markets and events around town, Govro slings goodies to a devoted base of fans who often bring thermoses with them for their weekly tea replenishing (popular products such as the turmeric tea must be brewed fresh each morning, in this case because of the recipe’s requirement of fresh turmeric). Govro uses ingredients like fennel (for digestion), lavender (stress) and hibiscus (blood pressure) for teas and treats that are crafted to be both good and good for you. “The general perception is that healthy food doesn’t taste good,” Govro says about the reasoning behind her tea trailer. “People say things like, ‘It tastes healthy,’ and mean it in a negative way. I’m trying to change that.” theretrailer.com

JUST A TASTE ...of what’s in store!

PRICES GOOD JUNE 1-30

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T AILGATE T UESDAYS

Every Tuesday in June June, bring your friends and family to Bixby’s for hall of fame worthy food and tour the Gridiron Glory exhibit.

now open!

$20*PER PERSON PREMIUM CASH BAR AVAILABLE

TUESDAYS IN JUNE 5:30PM - 7:30PM VISIT BIXBYS-MOHISTORY.COM TO PURCHASE TICKETS CALL

314.454.3151 FOR MORE INFORMATION

5700 LINDELL BLVD. ST. LOUIS, MO 63112 *TAX AND SERVICE CHARGE NOT INCLUDED.

Central Table is a first-of-its-kind dining and retail destination, offering an approachable array of culinary experiences.

THE BEST OF THE PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME 23 south euclid avenue st. louis, missouri 63108 p: 314 932 5595 w: centraltablestl.com

Gridiron Glory includes more than 200 artifacts from the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s collection.

Chi Mangia Bene Vive Bene! "To Eat Well is To Live Well" Proudly Serving Authentic Italian Food in a Family Atmosphere. Call Now To Book Your Father's Day Reservations Try Our Villa Puccini Tosana Wine Paired with Beef Marsala Let Us Cater Your Special Occasion Featuring Daily Lunch & Dinner Specials Reservations Recommended, Hours of Operation: Tuesday - Saturday 11am-10pm • Sunday Noon-9pm Closed Monday

5442 Hwy 21• Imperial • 636.942.2405 • trattoria-giuseppe.com

Cigar Box Guitar Festival Saturday, June 8 Noon - 6 PM • Guitar Builders, Swap Meet & Performances • Justin Johnson Starting at Noon Hailed by Guitar Magazine as a must see • The Thin Dimes 1 - 5 Fathers’ Day, Sunday June 16 Bring in dad’s ugliest tie and dad eats Free $14.99 max. discount Brunch 9:30 to last seating 1 Adults $14.99 Kids 12 - 3 $7.99 Dinner menu 2 - 8

34 S. Old Orchard, • Webster Groves 63119 • 314.968.0061 • hwy61roadhouse.com Inspired Food Culture

JUNE 2013

19


FEAST FAVES

| shop-o-matic

piccione pastry Let’s start with the pronunciation: pa-cho-nee. Now let’s move on to the pastries: de-lish! Piccione Pastry, which opened its doors in April in The Loop, is a mecca for fans of Italian pastries. Chef Martin Lopez and his energetic team can be seen behind the counter making small-batch, from-scratch goodies from open to close. “We make our desserts in an open kitchen − all’aperto,” says Lopez. “People like to see how we roll the cannoli shells. We make them fresh all day long, right in front of our guests. They are quickly becoming our signature pastry.” There are so many tantalizing treats on display in Piccione’s pastry cases that it’s hard to know where to start. The cannoli are as good a place as any. These cream-filled fried pastry shells come in an array of flavors from traditional to seasonal, including chocolate chip, strawberry, pistachio, citrus cream, espresso and hazelnut and Key lime. More Italian classics abound, from cream puffs and cassata cake to bomboloni and individual cups of tiramisu to go. In true Italian-market fashion, cookies are sold by the pound. You can get your butter spritz with apricot or raspberry filling or dipped in chocolate. Biscotti come in almond or chocolate walnut. Lacy almond florentines are flavored with orange zest and glazed with chocolate. And throw in some sable pinwheels, tricolor cookies and coconut maccarones for good measure. Now, you’ll need something to wash down all this deliciousness. A menu of hot and cold drinks are made with Italian Lavazza coffee, or order a housemade Italian soda. When you leave Piccione, you’ll have in one hand a handsome box of pastries tied up with string, in the other a strong cup of joe, and on your face a sugar-induced smile that will last all day.

– B.W.

6197 Delmar Blvd., The Loop 314.932.1355, piccionepastry.com

Three Great Pastry and Coffee Combos | 1 | Pasticiotti, a custard-filled shortbread

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tart, is offered in a variety of flavors, but we like the chocolate best. It’s delicious accompanied by a shot of rich espresso.

| 2 | The rum baba is a rum-soaked yeast cake served with or without a piping of Piccione cream on top (we say WITH!). This sweet, spongy cake is full of flavor and is best paired with a great cup of drip coffee.

| 3 | Sfogliatella riccia is a crispy, flaky candied fruit, and dusted with powdered sugar. It pairs great with Cappuccino Crema, a cold coffee drink with a meringue-like foam topping.

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PHOTOGRAPHy by Corey Woodruff

pastry filled with ricotta cheese and


SHUBERT FURNITURE & SHUBERT DESIGN FURNITURE

• We offer both residential and commercial design services. • We provide design assistance anywhere in the United States, including vacation homes. • We have our own shipping network, so we are able to deliver your furniture efficiently and competitively. • We offer a large, high-quality, sophisticated selection of furniture & accessories - at prices lower than our competition. • We have been serving the St. Louis community for more than 30 years.We are a family-owned & run, no-debt organization with an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

SHUBERT FURNITURE 14250 Manchester Rd., Manchester MO 63021 (636) 207-5824

SHUBERT DESIGN FURNITURE 161 Gaywood Dr., Manchester, MO 63021 (636) 394-2220

Mon-Sat 10am - 6pm • Sun 12pm - 5pm • www.shubertdesign.com Bedrooms • dining room • Upholstery • home office • home theatre • yoUth fUrnitUre leather accessories • Bedding • and mUch more! names like... Artistica Metal Designs Bernhardt Brown Jordan Councill Craftsman Crescent Furniture Designmaster

Drexel Heritage Ferguson Copeland Habersham Hancock & Moore Hekman Henkel Harris Henkel Moore

Henredon Hickory Chair Hooker Howard Miller Jessica Charles Labarge Lane Furniture

Lane Venture Lexington Furniture Maitland-Smith Massoud Michael Thomas Miles Talbott MotionCraft

Natuzzi Old Hickory Palecek Paul Roberts Pulaski Riverside Sealy Bedding

Stearns & Foster Sherrill Sligh Stanley Young America Stanley Furniture Taylor King

Theodore & Alexander Wesley Allen Whittemore Sherrill Ltd. Woodbridge Woodmark

Inspired Food Culture

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|5| FEAST FAVES

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| whAT we’re buying

road trip survival kit

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Road trips are a summer tradition, and nothing makes 12 hours in the car go by quickly like a well-stocked survival kit. We packed ours with plenty of sips, snacks, local trivia and foodie fun. We even included a wine cooler for a relaxing midday picnic that’s a big step up from the fast food drive-thru window. – B.W.

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| 1 | Water bottles in olive and red, $25 each; Winslow’s Home, 7213 Delmar Blvd., University City, winslowshome.com | 2 | Picnic Time Insulated Shoulder Pack Picnic Basket, $89.99; Chef’s Shoppe, 2320 Troy Road, Edwardsville, chefsshoppe.com | 3 | Locally made sodas, $2 to $3 each; Bailey’s Range, 920 Olive St., Downtown, baileysrange.com | 4 | Picnic 22

Time Insulated Triangular Wine and Cheese Tote, $65.99; Chef’s Shoppe | 5 | Westphalia Vineyards Norton Reserve, $14.49; Schnucks Markets, multiple locations, schnucks.com | 6 | Stone Hill Winery Rosé Montaigne, $6.99; Schnucks Markets | 7 | Billy Goat Chips, $9.99; Schnucks Markets | 8 | Dark Chocolate Covered Mini Pretzels, $4.95; Chocolate

Chocolate Chocolate Co., multiple locations, chocolatechocolate.com | 9 | The Caramel House bacon caramels, $8.49; Schnucks Markets | 10 | Black and Tan Dottie Cooler Tote, $31.99; Chef’s Shoppe | 11 | Foodie Flashcards, $11; World Chess Hall of Fame, 4652 Maryland Ave., Central West End, worldchesshof.org | 12 | What Do You Know About Wine? trivia cards, $9.95; Missouri

History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd., Forest Park, mohistory.org | 13 | Traveling Route 66 by Nick Freeth, $19.95; Missouri History Museum | 14 | Route 66 playing cards, $3.95; Missouri History Museum | 15 | Winslow’s Home pistachios, $4; Winslow’s Home | 16 | Striped travel mug, $18.99; The London Tea Room, 1520 Washington Ave., Downtown, thelondontearoom.com

PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHy by

feastSTL.com

JUNE 2013

Jonathan Gayman

CHEVY PHOTO BY ©istockphoto.com/schlol


Daddy's FREE Entree Offer Delicious Cheesecake - and so much more! • • • •

Open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner FREE parking in back garage FREE WiFi Relax on our outdoor patio

Bring in this coupon and buy an entree + 2 beverages and get the 2nd entree of equal or lesser value FREE Offer expires 6/29/2013.

6451 Clayton Road • Clayton • 314.725.9555 • mydaddyscheesecake.com

At Skypark, your first day is free. SkyPark is already the best parking value at Lambert. We offer the newest fleet of shuttles and the most courteous staff. If you like our basic service, you’ll love our valet service – with available car wash and oil change – so you’re ready to roll as soon as you touch down.

Use this coupon to get your first day free and pay just $6 a day for the rest of your stay.* Name

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*Coupon valid for Self-Park only. Requires minimum two-day stay (one day free; one day at $6). Expires August 31, 2013. Not valid with any other SkyPark offer. Name and email information required in order to use coupon.

4500 Crestshire Lane • St. Ann • 314.423.3800 • s k yp a r k s tl . c om

Inspired Food Culture

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LOU FUSZ 3 1 0 2

L A G E R k c i Bu

CHECK YOUR EXPECTATIONS AT THE DOOR

Lease For

$159 per/mo.* *See dealer for details

10950 Page Ave A @ Lindbergh www.loufuszgmc.com .loufuszgmc.com

1-314-595-4919 2 Minutes From om 270. Right at Corner Cor of Page & Lindbergh

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Yes, it’s true!

FREE FOOD!

We’re giving away

With the purchase of a set of hearing aids, we will give you a $25 gift card to a local restaurant! For most people with hearing loss, the loud background noise in restaurants is troublesome. With today’s latest hearing aids, the surrounding noise is diminished so you can enjoy the conversation in your immediate area.

$25 GIFT CARD to a local restaurant

Taste All Competitors BBQ • 100% Proceeds to Charity - 50% Lift for Life - 50% Select Charities

Get your $25 Tasting Pit Pass at each Location

July BBQ 4th ASAP

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of hearing aid with the purchase of a set

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Call today to set an appointment for a FREE hearing screening and explore your options to help improve your hearing.

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Tenacious Eats Presents Movies for Foodies By integrating film and food, we create an original experience, a feast for the senses, an event that brings food and film, chefs and diners together. TUES, JUNE 4 The Godfather TUES, JUNE 25 Classic 50’s TV Comedy Shorts AT MEYER’S GROVE IN THE GROVE

THURS, JUNE 13 Pretty in Pink SUSAN G. KOMEN FOR THE CURE BENEFIT AT L’ECOLE CULINAIRE

Join us for multiple courses and drink pairings while enjoying our feature films. Meals are prepared with locally sourced and hard-to-find ingredients. Each new film inspires a new menu so each dining experience is unique. Reservations required. Tenacious Eats at www.brownpapertickets.com We are also available for private parties and corporate events!

4510 Manchester Avenue (at Meyer’s Grove) • The Grove • 314.605.3684 • facebook.com/TenaciousEats

Fun Food, Happy People, Great Drinks! FEAST FAVE • Pork Porterhouse. Rensing’s Porterhouse pork chop, cheddar jalapeno bread pudding, green beans, sunny side up egg PATIO NOW OPEN! Mon-Fri 11:00-close, Sat 10:00-close Offering Saturday brunch First Come - First Serve (No reservations) Open Mon - Fri starting at 11 am and Sat starting at 10 am

106 N. Main St. • Edwardsville • 618.307.4830 Inspired Food Culture

JUNE 2013

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one on one

Steven Caravelli

Corporate chef Euclid Hospitality Group (Pi Pizzeria and Gringo) written by Jeremy Nulik | Photography by Jonathan Gayman

The diners at Gringo’s opening weekend were promised fresh tortillas. Steven Caravelli would be damned if those diners did not get fresh tortillas – even if that meant he would make 1,000 of them by hand. “Cooking without compromise” is a mantra for Caravelli, the corporate chef at Euclid Hospitality Group (the ownership behind Pi Pizzeria). And never was that mantra put to the test more than when Gringo opened in early May. “We ended up hand-making 1,000 tortillas and cooking 100 pounds of protein per day,” says Caravelli. Fresh from the battle, with weary red eyes and flour-covered hands, he talked of authenticity, Mexican grasshoppers and what it means to be a chef in St. Louis. How did you become passionate about food? I grew up in a culture of food. My dad’s side of the family is Italian and Sicilian, and I spent a lot of Sundays at my nonna’s house eating pasta, meatballs, salsiccia and stuffed artichokes. Most of our vacations were centered on food, eating oysters on the coast and Creole in the South. How has that influenced menus for Pi and Gringo? I think it has given me a natural reverence for food and for cooking. But at the same time, I like to have fun with food. That fun spirit is probably why we are making Popsicles for adults at Gringo. I am not Mexican, and I hardly speak any Spanish. But I think my Italian roots have given me a reverence for the cuisine that is similar to the way that I have seen Mexicans approach food. What has been the hardest part about opening a new place? I have put in 100-hour weeks since I cannot remember when. Every day is crazy. One of the things that makes Gringo unique is our handmade tortillas. We purchased a flat-top griddle to press them more efficiently. It arrived the other day, but it cannot connect to our electric outlets. But we cook with no compromise. If we promise a certain experience, then it has to be consistent – even if that means I am personally making a bunch of tortillas in the kitchen. How do you describe Gringo? We are a Baja-’70s-inspired place. We have a surfboard-inspired bar and lots of black-andwhite photos of white people in sombreros. It’s upscale dining but not sophisticated service. It’s a fun place to have a taco. We even have a grasshopper taco. They are shipped in from Oaxaca, Mexico, and arrive already sautéed with lime juice. It’s an authentic Mexican thing. I regret to say that I have not tried grasshoppers. What are they like? They taste smoky and crunchy. I would

Gringo 398 N. Euclid Ave. Central West End 314.449.1212 gringo-stl.com

describe it as good but weird. I like that we are taking a different approach. What we like to do is create cool experiences for people.

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Visit feastSTL.com to read the full interview with Steven Caravelli.


Marina & Riviera

The ultimate expression of the Oceania Cruises Experience. The ideal consorts to Regatta, Insignia and Nautica.

Marina & Riviera

Join publisher Cat Neville, in partnership with Altair Travel, for our second annual Oceania culinary cruise. This year's trip takes you to Scandinavia, the world's newest center of culinary innovation. You'll travel from Copenhagen to Stockholm with a threeday stop in St. Petersburg.

HOSTED BY CATHERINE NEVILLE PUBLISHER AND EDITOR, FEAST

BALTIC ODYSSEY CRUISE September 3 to 13, 2013 10 Day Baltic Odyssey sailing on the Marina on September 3, departing from Copenhagen, Denmark, and includes the ports of Warnemunde (Berlin, Germany), Gdansk, Poland: Tallin, Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia where the ship will overnight for two nights; Helsinki, Finland; and ends in Stockholm, Sweden where it will overnight one night.

CALL THE OCEANIA CRUISES SPECIALISTS AT ALTAIR TRAVEL & CRUISES TODAY (314) 968-9600 or TOLL FREE (800) 264-1116 *“Free Airfare” promotion does not include ground transfers and applies to economy, round-trip flights only from the following Oceania Cruises Primary Air Gateways:ATL, BOS, ORD, DEN, DFW, EWR, IAH, LAX, MIA, IAD, JFK, MCO, PHL, PHX, SAN, SEA, SFO, TPA, YUL, YYC, YYZ, YVR. Airfare is available from all other U.S. & Canadiangateways at an additional charge. Any advertised fares that include the “Free Airfare” promotion include airline fees, surcharges and government taxes. Some airlineimposed personal charges, including but not limited to baggage, priority boarding, and special seating, may apply. Oceania Cruises reserves the right to correct errorsor omissions and to change any and all fares, fees, and surcharges at any time. Additional terms and conditions may apply. Complete terms and conditions may befound in the Guest Ticket Contract. Ships’ Registry: Marshall Islands. PRO27773

contemporary styling fOR ThE wAy you live now

Introducing the METROPOLITAN® Collection, our newest contemporary, durable and stylish looks for today’s homes, home offices or business environments. Known for our Artistry, Innovation and Craftsmanship, Karastan continues to take floor coverings in bold new directions.

w w w. k a r a s t a n . c o m

4091 North St. Peters Pkwy St. Charles, MO 63304 Phone: (636) 939-3666 fax: (636) 939-9545

www.basyeflooring.com

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the mix

Mojito

Story and recipe by Matt Seiter Photography by Jonathan Gayman

For a drink that’s so common on bar menus, the Mojito is a cocktail no one can seem to agree on. Do you muddle the mint alone or with fresh citrus? Use juice instead of fruit pieces? Lemons or limes? A search through old bar books doesn’t provide any clear answers to these modern questions, but it does provide some interesting history on the drink. The Stork Club Bar Book (1946) calls for no mint at all in the recipe. Just rum, lemon juice, sugar and club soda. The Bartender’s Guide by Trader Vic (1947) calls the drink a Movito. It has the same recipe, with mint making an appearance only as a garnish. And The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks (1948) follows Trader Vic’s lead but calls the drink a Rum Collins. So when did the drink start to incorporate muddled mint? And how did the lemon juice change to lime juice? It’s difficult to pinpoint, but according to my research, the drink experienced a metamorphosis in the late 1960s and early ’70s when it was popularized in party guides. These publications are where you find recipes that include ingredients we associate with the drink today: rum, muddled mint, lime juice, sugar and club soda. How those ingredients are combined and prepared is usually based on the bartender’s preference. Accordingly, my recipe is made to my liking. I prefer lemon to lime juice. I like mine a little sweeter, so I use a bit more syrup. And I don’t like shreds of mint in my teeth, so I lightly muddle the mint and swizzle the drink instead of shaking it. However you choose to mix your Mojito, know that there aren’t any wrong answers. This drink provides an opportunity for you to flex your cocktail creativity.

Mojito Serves | 1 | 7 to 10 mint leaves, plus more for garnish ¾ oz lemon juice ¾ oz simple syrup 2 oz Brugal white rum club soda

| Preparation | Place mint leaves in a

Working With Herbs To add subtle herbal notes to a drink without overpowering its flavor profile, simply add fresh herbs to the shaker with all the other ingredients in the recipe. Don’t muddle anything, but shake the drink a little harder than normal. The ice in the tin acts as the muddler, and the shaking motion will release the oils enough but not too much. If you want that herbal flavor but you want your drink to look pretty as well, use the light muddle procedure described in the Mojito recipe featured here. Lightly muddling (pressing the herbs without tearing

them) adds a bit more flavor than the process above and has the added benefit of creating a beautiful drink full of fresh herb leaves. For a drink strongly infused with the flavor of whatever herb you’re working with, place the herbs in the glass or shaker, add some liquid (juice and/or syrups) and muddle your heart out. Just be sure to fine- strain the drink before you serve it. Those shreds of herbs can distract from the enjoyment of the drink, especially when they find their way into your teeth.

Matt Seiter is a co-founder of the United States Bartenders’ Guild’s St. Louis chapter, a member of the national board for the USBG’s MA program and a continuing educator for all desiring knowledge of the craft of mixology. He is a member of Drink Lab and is the creator of the Sanctuaria Cocktail Club.

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Collins glass. Add the juice and syrup to the glass. With a muddler, gently press the mint leaves against the bottom of the glass, twisting the muddler a bit. You want to release the oils from the mint but not grind it to a pulp. Try to keep the leaves whole. Add the rum and fill the glass ¾-full with crushed ice. Using a bar spoon, swizzle the drink for about 10 seconds. Top off with more crushed ice and club soda. With the bar spoon, move the mint leaves throughout the glass to make it look pretty. Spank 3 to 4 mint sprigs to release their aroma and use to garnish the drink.


ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

#8

chesterfield

Jazz Fest

JOINUSEVERYSATURDAY THROUGHOCTOBER INTOWERGROVEPARK 8-Noon

2-10 pm • Saturday

June 15

produced by Silverman Music

ANNOUNCINGOURFIRSTEVER

David Benoit

with

Paul Taylor

URBAN HOMESTEADING

FAIR

Photo Credit: Cary Gillaspie

Bach to the Future, John Coltrane Tribute Jeanne Trevor & Friends

JUNE 29 8AM - 1PM

$25 - $35 - $50

* Schedule Subject to Change

metrotix.com

BLUERIBBONSFOR:PICKLING,HOMEBREWING,URBANCHICKENS,BAKING,ANDMORE! ENTERYOURAWARD-WINNINGCREATION:WWW.TGMARKET.ORG

Sponsored by: Clayton Studios, Salt Restaurant

BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

chesterfieldjazzfestival.com h t fi ldj f ti l

Open on Sundays too for Brunch or Dinner! Turkish/Mediterranean food is a cross between Southern European, Greek and Middle Eastern cuisines. Aya Sofia Restaurant and Wine Bar offers a large variety of cold and hot meze (small plates) that are intended to be shared and will complement any of our entrees,including delectable lamb, beef, chicken, and fresh seafood. Lunch: Tues-Fri - Dinner: Tues-Sun - Sunday Brunch Happy Hour: Tues-Fri NIGHTLY DINNER SPECIALS AVAILABLE FOR PRIVATE PARTIES AND CATERING Turkish Mediterranean Cuisine

Known for our meze (small plates) and excellent wine selection

6671 Chippewa Street • St. Louis • 314.645.9919 • ayasofiacuisine.com

Family owned and operated since 1967. We sharpen • Knives • Scissors

• Garden tools • Lawn mower blades

• Old fashion rotary mowers • And much much more

Wide selection of Wusthof Knives, Global Knives, Victorinox Knives, AllClad Pans, Capresso Coffee Makers, Atlas Pasta Machines, Emile Henry Bakeware, USA Pan Bakeware, Vic Firth Pepper Mills, and other World Class brands. Great selection of High end Knives, Cookware, Kitchen tools and gadgets. Great Holiday specials.

Bertarelli Cutlery 1927 Marconi • Saint Louis 314.664.4005

Bertarelli Cutlery Inspired Food Culture

@STLKNIVES JUNE 2013

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on the shelf

top june PICKS

beer

written by Michael Sweeney

Award-winning sommelier and mixologist Chad Michael George is founder of Proof Academy, which covers everything from wine and cocktail list consulting to spirits and mixology education.

Saint Louis Brewery’s Schlafly Can Sessions IPA

Zaya Rum 12-year

AVAILABLE AT: The Wine & Cheese Place, multiple locations, wineandcheeseplace.com; $6.99 (six-pack, 12-oz cans) PAIRINGS: Grilled bratwurst• Panzanella salad

I’m not quite certain what the difference between a “session IPA” and a pale ale is, but I do know a winner when I see one. This IPA from Schlafly features a big dose of citrusy hop aroma but still has enough malt body to give the beer some balance. These new yearround session cans from Schlafly should find a way into your shopping cart for your next float trip.

Tallgrass Brewing Co.’s Halcyon Unfiltered Wheat STYLE: Wheat Ale (5% abv) AVAILABLE AT: Randall’s Wine and Spirits, multiple

locations, shoprandalls.com; $7.99 (six-pack, 16-oz cans) PAIRINGS: Tuscan pasta salad• Colby cheese I think some people are too quick to poo-poo wheat beer. Because Tallgrass Brewing is located in the heart of wheat country, it wanted to make a wheat beer worthy of Kansas. With a very healthy dose of local wheat, this beer has a wonderful creaminess you don’t find in other wheat beers. Tallgrass has crafted Halcyon to be not only refreshing but also filling. A rare but welcomed characteristic in this style of beer.

Avery Brewing Co.’s Joe’s Premium American Pilsner STYLE: American Pilsner (4.7% abv)

JUNE 2013

PROVENANCE: Trinidad (40% abv) AVAILABLE AT: Friar Tuck, multiple locations, friartuckonline.com; $48.99 TRY IT: In a classic daiquiri or neat

Zaya is aged for 12 years in the Trinidad tropics, where the hot climate speeds up the barrel-aging process. Even with a high alcohol content, this rum is smooth and silky. Zaya’s high proof also makes it great in cocktails, as it holds its own against other mixers. Look for delicious notes of vanilla, caramel, cinnamon and nutmeg. This may be my new favorite sipping rum, but I like to throw it in a classic daiquiri recipe as well, particularly a Hemingway.

North Shore Gin No. 6 PROVENANCE: Pennsylvania (45% abv) AVAILABLE AT: The Wine & Cheese Place, multiple locations, wineandcheeseplace.com; $29.99 TRY IT: In your favorite martini recipe. I recommend 3:1 gin to Dolin dry vermouth.

Over the last few years, many craft distillers around the country have attempted to create their own form of modern or “new American” gin, being an alternative to the juniper-dominant London Dry style. North Shore makes both a London Dry and a modern style; the No. 6 is their entry to the modern category. Fresh botanicals grace this gin, which is dominated by fresh lavender and lemon zest. Juniper is still a strong component, but the balance of citrus, spice and earthy botanicals has not been paralleled in other new gins produced throughout the country.

Caribou Crossing Single Barrel Canadian Whiskey PROVENANCE: Canada (40% abv)

AVAILABLE AT: Lukas Liquor Superstore, 15921 Manchester

AVAILABLE AT: Randall’s Wine and Spirits, multiple

Road, Ellisville, lukasliquorstl.com; $8.99 (six-pack, 12-oz cans) PAIRINGS: Smoked pork chops• Chevre

locations, shoprandalls.com; $53.99 TRY IT: Neat or with a few rocks.

People don’t realize just how difficult it is to make a light lager. Heavier, darker beers can hide some imperfections, but faults have no place to hide in a pilsner. As if there were any doubt, Avery Brewing has crafted an almost-faultless lager combining European and American hops for a truly unique and tasty beer.

feastSTL.com

written by Chad Michael George

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

STYLE: American IPA (4.5% abv)

30

spirits

Canadian whiskeys are almost always rye-based, and Caribou Crossing has a very spicy backbone to show this off. Canadians are also usually not 100 percent aged in oak, as half of the distillate is neutral in nature. This creates a very smooth and easy-drinking whiskey. Caribou Crossing has enough personality to hold up in a cocktail such as a Manhattan, but the subtle and soft flavors make this bottle a straight sipper. Sweet vanilla, soft citrus and a little tobacco are the main flavors, but the smooth and soft finish is the highlight.


D AT E N I G H T P E R K S

WINE FLIGHT FOR 2 INCLUDING

wine

1 Flatbread Margherita Pizza and 2 Side Salads

$20

written by Kyle Harsha

Kyle Harsha is a certified specialist of wine and certified sommelier with over 20 years’ experience in the food and wine industry. He is the St. Louis sales manager for Vintegrity Wines.

On The Boulevard,

Across from The Galleria.

VINONADOZ.COM

Breggo Pinot Gris 2011 PROVENANCE: Anderson Valley, Calif. AVAILABLE AT: Wines of Wildwood, 2418 Taylor Road, Dierbergs Town Center, Wildwood, winesofwildwood. com; $27.99 PAIRINGS: Grilled chicken• Roasted pork loin• Diver scallops

Packed with ripe pear, white peach, and flint flavors, this is a far different (and better) wine than the insipid Pinot Grigios often offered at chain restaurants, and it is an ideal hostess gift for a dinner party. Breggo is owned by Anderson Valley superstar owner/winemaker Cliff Lede and is rapidly becoming a stalwart in the area because of the quality of its wines.

Hwy 94 Dutzow, Missouri www.blumenhof.com

800-419-2245

Free entertainment every Weekend Happy Hour 4PM - 7PM on Fridays

Open daily

Except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, And New Year’s Day

Borsao Rosé 2012 PROVENANCE: Campo de Borja, Spain AVAILABLE AT: The Vino Gallery, 4701 McPherson Ave., Central West End, thevinogallery.com; $9.99 PAIRINGS: Charcuterie• Beef tartare drizzled with truffle oil• Fresh strawberries

June in St. Louis is hot. In order to combat the swelter, grab this rosé made from Garnacha (aka Grenache) harvested in a small district of Aragon in northeastern Spain. The strawberry and raspberry notes, along with a hint of cotton candy, will defeat the driest of mouths. Serve it well-chilled, and you will be the star of any pool party, barbecue or company picnic.

Shinas The Verdict Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 PROVENANCE: Victoria, Australia AVAILABLE AT: Randall’s Wine and Spirits, 14201 Manchester Road, Manchester, shoprandalls.com; $18.99 PAIRINGS: Burnt ends• Lamb with mint• Dark chocolate with sea salt

The Verdict is the brainchild of winemaker-by-day and night-court-judge-by-evening George Shinas, who uses the eight generations of wine-growing experience in his family to its fullest potential. This Cabernet, sourced from gnarly old vines, shows cassis, black cherry, mint and eucalyptus notes that are sure to stand up to the best meat dishes you make this summer.

Inspired Food Culture

JUNE 2013

31


mystery shopper

MEET: Dukkah

story and recipe by Erik Jacobs Photography by Jennifer Silverberg

Food fads come. Food fads go. I particularly enjoyed the days past at various trendy bistros when bread service included a generous pour of good-quality, grassy, peppery, herbal olive oil. That hot, crunchy artisan bread would soak up the oil and make us all feel that by denying ourselves butter, we were eating healthy. Sometimes a bit of garlic, balsamic or herbs would find their way onto the dipping plate. Remember that? So it is that everything old becomes new again – with a twist. Enter dukkah.

What Is It?

This Egyptian blend of ground nuts, seeds, spices and salt is becoming a bona fide food fad. Dukkah, translated from Arabic, means to pound, which offers a hint about the consistency of dukkah. Neither a paste nor a powder, it is a roughly chopped mix. Traditionally hazelnuts are the star of the blend, with a supporting cast that includes pistachios, sesame seeds, coriander, cumin, black pepper and salt. There is no standard blend for dukkah, and hence it is found with a variety of ingredients.

What Do I Do With It?

In Egypt, pita is dipped in olive oil and then into dukkah and eaten. So simple. However, dukkah is also enjoyed as a topping for vegetables as well as a rub for fish and other meats. It’s particularly pleasing as an addition to hummus. Make a well in the hummus and fill it with good-quality olive oil and then sprinkle some dukkah in the oil and onto the hummus. A crispy baguette or a crunchy stalk of celery will be transformed by the exotic flavors and textures of the tasty mix.

Homemade Dukkah Yield | 2 cups |

In local stores you can find many delicious packaged versions of dukkah that are a quick and convenient way to add nutty, savory flavor to dishes. Making dukkah at home will allow you to play with the ingredients and intensity of flavors. The key is to purchase fresh nuts and spices, toasting them to bring out the essential oils and allowing everything to cool before grinding.

Stop by 32

feastSTL.com

½ ½ ½ 2 2 1 1 2 2

cup hazelnuts cup pistachios cup sesame seeds (white or black) Tbsp coriander seeds Tbsp cumin seeds tsp dried thyme leaves tsp dried mint leaves tsp flaked kosher salt or sea salt tsp freshly ground black pepper

| Preparation | Preheat the oven to 350°F.

using other spices or seeds, be sure to toast each

Spread the hazelnuts, pistachios and sesame

individually, as they will toast at different rates.)

seeds on a baking sheet and toast for 6 to

When cool, transfer to a food processor or spice

7 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool,

grinder and pulse until chopped. Add to the nuts

coarsely chop and transfer to a bowl.

and toss in herbs, salt and pepper.

In a sauté pan over medium heat, toast the coriander seeds until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from pan and toast the cumin seeds. (If

to pick up more delicious recipes featuring dukkah. Visit straubs.com for information on its four locations. JUNE 2013

check it out!

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Inspired Food Culture

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33


how to

Smoking With Pappy’s

written by Brandon Chuang Photography by Jonathan Gayman

billowing welcoming aromas to lure patrons into an already heavily patronized establishment. It’s Big Ron that we open up first. As we open the doors, a large plume of applewood- and cherrywood-fueled smoke billows out. “We use fruit wood because it’s a bit milder,” Emerson says. “You still want to taste the meat when it’s all said and done, not just smoke.” As the smoke escapes, I use the attached orange metal foot pedal to rotate the racks upon racks of glorious ribs that are before me. Emerson then shuts the door – veteran that he is, he can eye how far along in the cooking process the ribs are. Grabbing a piece of wood from the pile, I’m instructed to throw one into the circular hatch that sits alongside Big Ron. Emerson swings the mouth gate wide to reveal a half-charred piece of wood inside as well as a large gas-fueled flame that roars like a baby fighter jet. “We use gas because I’d like to get at least a few hours of sleep.”

People say you can’t truly know the Grand Canyon unless you visit it and experience the vastness, the awe-inspiring sprawl of crags and cracks that extend beyond the bleeds of any textbook or travel guide. The scale is far too great for comprehension by anything less than all five senses working in concord to give you a complete and accurate picture. The same holds true for Pappy’s Smokehouse. You can’t just read about it. Or watch it on TV. To truly know Pappy’s, to understand the magnitude and insanity – the Pappy’s-ness of it all – you have to go to the source and spend time with the men and women who work diligently every day to create the barbecue that seemingly all of America has fallen in love with. You’ve eaten the sausage. Now it’s time for me to show you how it’s made. I pull into the parking lot of Pappy’s on a cool Saturday morning: 8:57am. Walking into the restaurant, I’m immediately hit with the horrible feeling that something is wrong. That’s when I realize. There’s nobody here. If for some reason you’ve never actually been to Pappy’s, the first thing you need to know is that the place is perpetually packed – ribs-to-ribs full of people, all eager to get their hands on some award-winning barbecue. Entering Pappy’s with no people is kind of like walking up to a swimming pool with no water. It’s jarring; a bit unnerving; and, I don’t know why – but hell, I’ll continue the analogy – seemingly a bit dangerous. To my rescue comes Mike Emerson, the longbearded co-founder and owner of Pappy’s. As I press him with my concerns, he laughs and tells me his story of the floor mats. “The first day we opened, I told my guys that if we could get a line up to here, we’d be good, ” he says as he points to the second of two 3-foot-long dirt-brown mats near the register. There are probably 12 more behind them, snaking through the restaurant and out the back door. “I figured that if we got to

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there, we’d probably serve about 50 people that day. We ended up serving 70, and I’ve been adding floor mats ever since.” As Emerson guides me into the kitchen, he introduces me to his son, John, and six or seven other wide-awake members of his team. Most of them have already been here for four hours, prepping, rubbing and smoking for the long day ahead. As Emerson gives me a tour, guys move around me surprisingly slowly, sauntering about from station to smoker. To smoke with Pappy’s, you have to start the night before. Emerson or one of his barbecue stewards does some homework: checking the weather forecast, reviewing local event calendars and reading through daily logs that go back nearly half a decade to find out exactly what they did on that day in years past. Colder days mean fewer eaters. Large events – 5Ks, street fairs and the like – mean more eaters. Summer just means insanity. Once everything is reviewed and contemplated, it’s time to make the call on how much meat to prepare the next day. I mentioned earlier the magnitude of what Pappy’s does, and for good reason. When we go out to eat, from an executional standpoint, we normally have a fairly large disconnect with our food. There’s a reason we eat out at restaurants, and for many, it’s because we have no idea how to make, or at the least easily make, the food we’re eating. Most of us haven’t made a lamb ragout or roasted a pheasant. But with barbecue it’s different. We all know someone who makes “killer ribs.” We’ve smoked and barbecued enough times to be comfortable, and because of that familiarity, we think we understand barbecue and barbecue restaurants like Pappy’s. We don’t. On average, Pappy’s smokes 1,000 pounds of meat a day. To put that in perspective, that’s roughly half of a Ford Focus. Which is a car. In regard to what

kinds of meats, Pappy’s runs the protein gamut: pork ribs, pork butt, beef brisket, sausage, chicken and the relatively new turkey breast. (“The girls over at SLU solely blamed me for their ‘freshman 15,’” chuckles Emerson. “They asked me to put something a bit healthier on the menu.”) Depending on the protein, different methods of preparation are used. For the turkey, there’s not much done. Simply apply the dry rub and throw the turkey in the smoker. Same goes for the pork butt, with the addition of a few score marks to help the rub seep in. But for items such as the chicken and the beef brisket, some butchering must be done to trim the excess fat before they can be rubbed down and smoked. For the ribs, the silver skin – the thin layer of fat that lies on the interior side of the bones – must be removed. For this purpose, there are two I Know What You Did Last Summer-style meat hooks hanging over the sinks, but John opts to use a slotted kitchen spoon to begin the extraction before using his gloved hand to rip the silver skin clean away. “It’s faster for me this way, ” he explains. In only a few minutes, he’s already skinned 10 full slabs of ribs. Only 500 more to go. Because of Emerson’s commitment to freshness, coupled with the demand, Pappy’s smokes meat almost around the clock. Items like the pork butt take almost an entire day to smoke and cook, while other meats, such as the chicken, take only a few hours. To ensure the best barbecue possible, Pappy’s smokes in waves to meet the lunch and dinner rushes. Initially Emerson had just one smoker, a ceiling-height metal beast named Walter that sits in the back of the kitchen. As the crowds continued to swell, he added two more smokers, Big Ron and Leroy. (All the smokers are named after Emerson’s friends. When I asked him how one gets a smoker named after himself, he was actually puzzled, as if he had bought the smokers already christened.) These smokers sit out front,

While Emerson may use the more-stable-thancoal gas to fuel the smoke – something that is technically illegal in barbecue competition – don’t for a second doubt his legitimacy or conviction. When we step inside again as more staffers bring in the chicken they were soaking in Leroy since 6 this morning, I notice a beige plastic box on the top right corner of Walter. I assume it’s a timer of some sort. It’s an alarm. “If Walter goes below temp after hours, I get a phone call from the alarm company.” If you couldn’t tell by the alarm system that is securing a barbecue smoker, it takes a lot to run Pappy’s. What started out this morning as a handful of guys taking their time (hey, barbecue isn’t for the impatient) has now morphed into a veritable army of employees. The first runs of meat are starting to come off Leroy, Ron and Walter. Sides, including french fries and deep-fried corn, are being prepared as catering orders are assembled for delivery. There’s even a wedding tasting going on, complete with Pappy’s tasting consultant(!) and bottles of Fiji water. In total, Emerson employs approximately 50 people. Considering there’s really no wait staff, that makes Pappy’s on par with the staffing numbers of many five-star-restaurant kitchens. What Pappy’s does on a daily basis is astounding. The space moves so much pork that Pappy’s leveraged pricing contracts with pig farmers that run 15 years. What was once Emerson’s office is now a second staging kitchen that is used solely for takeout orders. His walk-in cooler is full with just today’s proteins. The restaurant is opening soon, and people are already coming in and waiting. They’ve probably heard they need to come here to this mecca. This Stonehenge of smoke. They’ve come to experience it – all of it – in all its glory so that they can return home and tell their friends the same thing they were told. “You must go there. You won’t truly know until you experience it.” Pappy’s Smokehouse 3106 Olive St., Midtown 314.535.4340, pappyssmokehouse.com


Inspired Food Culture

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35


tech school

Crisping Skin

Story and recipe by Cassy Vires Photography by Jennifer Silverberg

Oftentimes in restaurants I see people immediately remove the skin from their fish and push it to the sides of their plates without even trying it. Such a waste. Crisping skin is something home cooks and chefs alike struggle with, but when done right, crispy skin can be the best part of the meal. The most common method is to dredge meat in flour or cornstarch before cooking it. However, flour is a flavor killer, so I avoid it whenever possible. Cornstarch could be used instead, but it also dampens the flavor of the dish. Another approach is to pan-fry or even deep-fry the protein. However, typically the proteins used in this technique are more delicate, and it is a shame to overwhelm them with butter or heavy cooking oil. In my kitchen, crispy skin is achieved with nothing more than a pan and a small amount of oil. Not every cooking technique applies to every potential protein, but when cooking fish and poultry – especially fattier meats like salmon and duck – there are three key factors to achieving crispy skin: moisture, temperature and patience. Moisture. If the skin is wet when it goes into

the pan, you will have soggy skin. Dry the skin first, either with paper towels or by dragging the back of your knife across the surface to skim off any water. I personally like to salt the skin and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before cooking. The salt will draw moisture to the surface, where it can be easily wiped away. Temperature. One’s instinct would be to cook

the skin over extremely high heat – that’s how things get crispy, right? Wrong. Drawing out all the moisture means drawing out not just water but also fat, which has to be done on low heat. Start by heating a small amount of oil in a pan over medium heat until it gets hot. Add the protein, skin side down, reduce the heat to low and let all of the fat and moisture render out. Now the skin will begin to crisp. Patience. Don’t fidget with the meat and

tug at it to release it from the pan. When all of the fat has rendered out, the protein will easily lift away from the pan. Give it 15 minutes or so, depending on what you are cooking. If you want to serve the meat medium-rare, remove it from the pan once the skin has crisped and then turn the heat up to high. Return the protein to the pan and quickly sear the flesh side. You may have to place it in the oven for a few minutes to continue cooking if you’re dealing with a denser protein, especially poultry. Practice a little with different proteins and before you know it, you’ll be serving perfectly crisped, crunchy skin that no one will dare push to the side of the plate again. Cassy Vires is the owner and chef of Home Wine Kitchen and the forthcomingTable, opening in Benton Park this summer.

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Spiced Duck Breast

This seared duck breast is great with a simple salad, roasted vegetables or creamy risotto. Have fun experimenting with the spices for a custom blend that suits your personal tastes.

Serves | 4 | 4 2 ¼ ½ 1 ½ ¼ 1 1

8-oz boneless duck breasts Tbsp kosher salt tsp ground ginger tsp ground star anise tsp ground coriander tsp ground Szechwan peppercorns tsp ground cinnamon pinch ground cloves Tbsp olive oil

| Preparation | With a sharp paring knife, score the duck skin in a crisscross pattern. Season with salt and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the remaining spices. Pat the skin of the duck breast dry with paper towels and rub the spice blend into the skin and cut marks. Shake off any excess seasoning. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, gently

add the duck breasts, skin side down. Reduce the heat to low and allow the duck to cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until the skin is dark and crisp. Remove the duck breasts from the pan and turn the heat up to high. Place the duck breasts back into the pan, flesh side down, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer the duck breasts to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice the duck and serve immediately.


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JUNE 2013

37


gadget a-go-go

Pizza Grill Stones

Weber 14-inch Original Pizza Stone PROS

This substantial stone comes with a stainless steel handled cradle, a great instruction booklet and the authority of the Weber name. It slowly warms as the charcoal fire set for direct heat comes to temperature. Crust cooked on this stone spots nicely and pretty as a leopard, with a good crunch, a few charred edges and some airy bubbles for a great-tasting pie. CONS

During testing, we broke the first stone when we tried to reposition it on the hot grill. It didn’t seem like a knockout punch, but the stone went down like a fighter with a glass jaw. The carrier fits loosely around the stone. Handle with care. This stone deserved a second chance. $39.99; Rick’s Ace Hardware, multiple locations, acestl.com

Pizza Grill Pan with Fold-away Rosewood Handle PROS

This inexpensive perforated metal cooking pan makes a very acceptable pizza and works quickly over indirect heat on the grill. It gives room to grill vegetables or meat on the direct-heat side of the grill, which is a big plus. The rosewood handle makes removing the pizza from the grill easy. Even with the pan’s slightly raised edge, the pizza slides onto a plate with ease, no peel needed. CONS

The first pizza burned to a charcoal mess over direct heat during testing. My bad. Even when the pan is oiled first, cleanup is a tough go, with some of the burned stuff seared on for good.

written by Pat Eby Photography by Jonathan Gayman

Emile Henry Flame Pizza Stone

Master Forge 3-Pack Pizza Stone

PROS

PROS

Beautiful, colorful and well-designed to deliver a grill-to-table pizza in about six minutes. Its 12-inch size works well for one- or two-person pizzas. The handles allow you to move the hot stone off the grill to a heat-safe surface. A slight knock to the edge in the transfer didn’t cause the stone to shatter. The glazed surface cleans easily, and it’s dishwasher-safe.

This big (15-inch) stone packaged with a woodhandled stainless steel pizza peel and a pizza wheel makes a good starter stone for backyard pizza enthusiasts. It heats through quickly and delivers a pretty good pizza, though not one as brown or as bubbly as others we tested with the same conditions and fire size. Priced right. CONS

CONS

No cons except for a slight case of consumer rush, a longing for more Emile Henry cookware. $40; Bertarelli Cutlery, 1927 Marconi Avenue, The Hill, bertarellicutlery.com

The stone’s a little thin. Flat stones with no handles can’t be removed from the grill until they cool, which can take some time. $19.99; Lowe’s, multiple locations, lowes.com

$17.99; Terra, 11769 Manchester Road, Des Peres, terrastl.com

Che

ck o pag ut e

What to look for : Materials. If you like bubbling-hot pizzas with deeply browned crusts,

Construction. Handles molded into the stone or separate handled

hearty artisan breads and toothsome grilled sandwiches, pick up a grill stone this summer. The choice of ceramic, stone, cast iron, steel or metal depends on your tastes, your budget, your patience and your level of clumsiness. Ceramic and stone are fussy to heat, easy to break and perfect for crispedthrough crusts. Cast iron is stalwart and indestructible. Steels are too pricey for our tests, plus they’re big and heavy. Metal models vary by construction.

carriers allow you to move the stone off the hot grill. Metal or cast iron stones may be flat, grooved, pebbled or punched to distribute heat throughout.

Shape. Your two choices are round or rectangular, and they come in

multiple sizes.

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Maintenance. Caring for a stone can be a persnickety process, with

ceramic stones being the most difficult. In most cases, you can’t cut the pizza on ceramics and ceramics can’t be immersed in water. Cast iron, steel and metal need care but nothing extraordinary.

60!

While the grill is fired up, check out Scott Thomas’ smokin’ hot grill tips in A Pork Steak Primer.


The Chill Bar.

Chill delivers pre-packed frozen yogurt and the toppings of your choice to your event for your guests to PILE ON their own and enjoy! Have chill at your next summer gathering, picnics or parties. It is also a unique favor for birthdays, weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, celebrations or corporate events. Email us or call us today and we’ll give you the down-low on how to schedule Chill at your next event. Come try our New Flavor Contest Winner - Banana Pudding!

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All you can eat sushi happy hour special Buy one get the 2nd half price with a purchase of 2 beverages on Mondays - Fridays

We have our all you can eat salad $6.99 lunch specials. Two rolls for $7.99 lunch only. Also for students – show your official student ID and get 15% off every visit. Choose from sushi, sashimi, special rolls, and if sushi isn’t really your thing, various entrees, salads, noodles, and more are offered. And the best part? The sushi is reasonably priced so you don’t have to break the bank for a delicious sushi meal! Delivery is also available at grubgo.com

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JUNE 2013

39


menu options

Beyond Brunch

Story and recipe by Tory Bahn Photography by Jennifer Silverberg

Eggs Benedict is one of those versatile dishes that, though most often associated with brunch, fits right in at every meal − and at every kind of table. The classic version with an English muffin, Canadian bacon and French hollandaise (talk about an identity crisis!) can be found in most any diner, while the trendiest of eateries swap breads, sub meats and spice up the sauce to put their own twist on this menu favorite.

Our from-scratch version tops flaky homemade chive biscuits with succulent lobster, perfectly poached eggs and rich, lemony hollandaise. Served with savory potatoes and a side of fruit, this dish makes a beautiful summer brunch entrée. But dress it up with sautéed seasonal greens and a glass of crisp white wine and you’ve got a sophisticated Benedict worthy of a seat at the dinner table.

Lobster Benedict with Savory Chive Biscuits Serves | 6 | Chive Biscuits 2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder 2 tsp sugar ¾ tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper 2 Tbsp minced fresh chives 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces ¾ cup buttermilk, plus more for brushing ½ cup coarsely grated sharp Cheddar Hollandaise 2½ sticks unsalted butter

2 egg yolks 2 Tbsp lemon juice salt and freshly ground black pepper Lobster Benedict 2 whole lobsters, boiled 2 Tbsp white vinegar

6 eggs chopped chives ground cayenne

| Preparation − Chive Biscuits | Preheat oven to 450ºF. Generously butter an 8-inch round cake pan. Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, salt, pepper and chives. With your fingertips, rub the butter pieces into the dry mixture until the mixture starts to look like coarse meal. Add the buttermilk and stir just until the dough begins to come together. Gather the dough into a ball and turn onto a lightly floured surface. There will be some loose flour and pieces of the dough. Roll the dough out into a ¾-inchthick rectangle. Sprinkle the cheese over the dough, leaving a ½-inch border all around. Fold the dough like a letter − fold 1/3 of the dough over the center and fold the remaining 1/3 of the dough so it overlaps the first fold. Roll the dough out again to ¾-inch thickness. Cut six 2½- to 3-inch discs from the dough. Tightly fit the biscuits into

the cake pan. Brush biscuits with buttermilk and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until browned.

| Preparation − Hollandaise | Fill a blender with hot water and set aside to warm. Melt butter in a small saucepan until the milk solids foam, separate and float to the top. Remove from heat and carefully discard the solids with a spoon. Drain the blender and dry it well, working quickly to retain the warmth. Add egg yolks and lemon juice to blender, cover and blend. Slowly add the hot butter, at first drop by drop and then in a slow but steady stream until you have a thickened emulsion. Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can adjust the consistency with drops of lemon juice or warm water if desired. Keep warm in a water bath until ready to serve.

| Preparation − Lobster Benedict | Remove lobster meat from the tails and claws. Roughly chop meat and set aside in a small bowl. Fill a large saucepan with 2 to 3

chef’s tips : Working hard is hardly working. Be careful not to overwork your biscuit dough. You want a tender, buttery crumb, and overworking the dough will begin to develop the gluten in the flour and lead to a chewier biscuit. Egg timer. When you’re poaching eggs, the temperature of the eggs determines the poaching time. If the eggs start at room temperature, you’ll get a nice runny yolk after about 4 minutes. If they’re straight from the fridge, they’ll need to poach for 5 to 6 minutes. Either way, don’t be afraid to lift the lid and check them after 4 minutes. Very gently press around the edge of the yolk to see whether the white nearest the yolk feels set or is still gelatinous.

inches of water. Add vinegar and bring to a boil. Crack eggs into 6 small ramekins. When water has reached a boil, working very quickly, add each egg to the boiling water. Cover the pan and remove from heat. After 4 to 6 minutes, quickly remove eggs from water and drain slightly on a towel. Slice biscuits in half. Top each set of halves with lobster meat and a poached egg. Cover with hollandaise and garnish with chopped chives and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

JOIN US! RSVP:

schnuckscooks.com 314.909.1704

m a k e th e m ea

l: Lobster Benedict wi th Savory Chive Biscuits ○ Lyon naise Potatoes ○ Fruit Salad ○ Beig nets ○

LEA r n M ORE :

In this month’s class

a foolproof method

we’ll teach you

for poaching eggs. You’ll learn to m ake hollandaise in a blender or food processor and become a pro at work ing with yeast dough as we make be ignets.

get hands-on: Join FEAST and Schnucks Cooks Cooking School on Wed., June 26, at 6pm 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. 40

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Pairs well with

FIREFL IES

When the air gets thick and the shoes come off, there’s nothing more perfect than a crisp, citrusy bottle of Missouri Vidal. After all, it was made from grapes that ripened on summer nights just like this one. Inspired Food Culture

missouriwine.org

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41


Wof the prettiest scenery in

inding through some

Missouri, the the Hermann Hermann Wine Wine Trail Trail Missouri,

Events

meanders for 20 miles along the Missouri River between Hermann and New Haven. Nestled along the trail are seven charming family-owned wineries.

Wild Card Wine Trail 1st weekend of May

Berries & BarBQ Wine Trail

Last full weekend of July

Holiday Fare Wine Trail 3rd weekend of November

Say Cheese Wine Trail 2nd weekend of December

Chocolate Wine Trail 4th weekend of Feb. 2014

855-572-8992 • HermannWineTrail.com AAdam dam PPuchta uchta • BBias ias • DDierberg ierberg SStar tar LLane ane • HHermannhof ermannhof • OOakGlenn akGlenn • RRöbller öbller • SStone tone HHill ill

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Inspired Food Culture

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43


road trip

st. louis

chic


cago Written by Andrew Mark Veety photography by J. Pollack Photography

it stretches out and undulates along the contours of the landscape, a patchwork of sun-bleached concrete and rippled black asphalt. It’s the road we affectionately – and sometimes somewhat ironically given its condition in places – call “Mother,” United States Route 66. At its conception in the 1920s and ’30s, 66 was a loose collection of interconnecting county roads and byways that joined Chicago in Illinois to Santa Monica in California. This system of roads was then redrawn and straightened with brute force, eminent domain and the judicious application of government spending in the 1940s as well as interstate construction funds in the postwar period. Subsequent decades led to interstate highways that have largely replaced U.S. 66, leaving the Mother Road to fade like a jagged scar on the countryside and disappear from most maps. In its place are modern mega-structures that are

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wide, fast and mind-numbingly efficient – a highway system optimized to facilitate the frenetic pace of American transportation. Yet for all their immediacy and the ability to move people and things rapidly from point A to point B, we’ve lost the intimacy of traveling roads like 66 even as we romanticize the ethos of it in our popular culture. Making your way across America on 66 brings to mind an adventure adorned in history, bright neon and a healthy dose of the absurd. Traveling Route 66 is a trip in itself, with the potential to be every bit as interesting as a final destination – and not just because it’s a journey that comes complete with actual corners.

the first leg

Top Left: Betsy Ross flag barn, Carlinville, Ill. Top middle: Red-brick road, Auburn, Ill. Top right: Macoupin County Jail, Carlinville, Ill.


the first leg of route 66 runs from chicago to st. louis, covering roughly 300 miles before passing the arching steel of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and heading south and west through Missouri toward the panhandle of Texas and on to the Pacific Ocean. One way, the trip between the Windy and Gateway cities can be completed on Interstate 55 in around five hours and with a tank of gas, but Feast wondered what we would find – and, more important, eat – if we slowed down and followed the Mother Road between these two great American cities.

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Given the changes to the route over the years, travelers leaving St. Louis can choose one of three egresses out of town. The first crosses the Mississippi near the Arch and meanders around Interstate 55 and East St. Louis before joining the highway outside Collinsville. To the north, a path can be found along the frontage road that follows Interstate 270. The third crosses the McKinley Bridge, leaving Downtown St. Louis and progressing through Venice, Madison and Granite City before meeting up with the northern route and heading northeast into the city of Edwardsville and the village of Hamel. This path can be slow and congested at times, especially as you make your way out of St. Louis, but the transition is worth it for lovers of Route 66 architecture and signage, even if much of it has been out of useful service for some time. Passing through Hamel, travelers have an opportunity to take one of two routes into Springfield. The first is alongside and on 55 for most of its leg into the capital. A better option is to take the western leg, a winding two-lane passage through the countryside, far from the interstate on present-day Illinois Route 4, which is the older of the two Route 66 alignments. It is this stretch of 66 – rural and sparse – that offers the finest segments of road for driving. It snakes through dense fields of corn and soybeans that slowly transition to cozy small towns with inviting storefront-lined squares to explore if you need a chance to get out of the car and stretch. This is also the leg where travelers will come across roadside monuments and folk art dedicated to Route 66; a unique stretch of road in Auburn that transitions from blacktop to 1.4 miles of pristine red-brick road and back; and, eventually, the first of the Illinois “giants” – the Lauterbach Tire Muffler Man, which stoically oversees arrivals to the capital of Illinois. Then there are two can’t-miss 66 landmarks where you can grab a bite: the Cozy Dog Drive In and an original MaidRite Sandwich Shop claiming the oldest drive-thru window in the United States.

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cozy dog drive in The Cozy Dog Drive In is one of the most well-known restaurants along Route 66 in Illinois, where multiple generations of founder Ed Waldmire’s family serve up their take on the beloved corn dog – in this case an Oscar Mayer wiener, skewered and cradled in a blanket of cornmeal that has been deep-fried to a flawless golden hue. The portability of a Cozy Dog lends itself to getting out of your seat and passing some time investigating the memorabilia and tchotchkes that cover the walls and ceiling of this Route 66 landmark. When pressed, members of the staff may sheepishly cop to adorning Cozy Dogs with a wide swath of ketchup. However, we’re partial to a trail of classic yellow mustard drizzled lazily across that crisp, savory crust. 2935 S. Sixth St., Springfield, Ill., 217.525.1992, cozydogdrivein.com

maid-rite sandwich shop

oldest drivethru window in the u.s.

Maid-Rite Sandwich Shops have seen a resurgence in recent years. However, their loose meat sandwiches – essentially sauceless sloppy joes of steamed ground beef aggressively seasoned with onion and served on steamed hamburger buns – never seem as good as when they are passed from one of the original locations’ compact and efficiently run kitchens. Travelers in a hurry can and do make for the speed of the famous drive-thru window, but it’s worth taking a moment to belly up to the small wooden tables – reminiscent of vintage schoolhouse desks – just off the kitchen with a pile of wax-paper-wrapped Maid-Rites and a large mug of homemade root beer for an authentic and soul-satisfyingly delicious Route 66 meal. 118 N. Pasfield St., Springfield, Ill. 217.523.0723, maid-rite.com


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one of the last views on the way out of springfield is “the rail splitter,” an ax-wielding

on to atlanta, ill.

30-foot-tall statue of a beardless Abe Lincoln that looks over the entrance to the Illinois State Fairgrounds. The monument marks the transition of Route 66 from meandering country roads to a frontage road running parallel to the faster-moving Interstate 55. Don’t be swayed to deviate from 66 and take the speedier highway, as this path brings you through a series of sleepy towns and villages that the interstate largely circumvents, save the occasional off-ramp to stop for fast food and gas. What this uneventful stretch of 66 lacks in sights, it makes up for in eats, namely German schnitzel sandwiches and plates of award-winning pie served in the shadow of the “Bunyan Giant,” another of the Illinois highway giants. He stands roadside, presenting a massive hot dog to all who travel down the quiet main drag in Atlanta, Ill.

hallie’s on the square Hallie’s sits on the edge of a classic American downtown in Lincoln, among the storefronts and offices that surround a public square. This unassuming family restaurant serves lunch and dinner to the surrounding community and Route 66 travelers nostalgic for the gigantic schnitzel sandwiches that were served at another – now shuttered – Lincoln landmark: The Mill. Hallie’s starts with an 8- to 10-ounce pork chop that is pounded thin with a mallet, breaded and then fried before being sandwiched between comically inadequate halves of an enriched-whiteflour hamburger bun. With golden fried pork spilling out the edges of the bun, the packaging does little more than hold lettuce, onion, pickle and tomato in place. The best method for attacking this sandwich is to adorn it with hot sauce and work in concentric circles, eating around the pork and making your way inward toward the bun. Diners looking for an even more substantial gastrointestinal challenge should opt for a schnitzel horseshoe – an open-faced version of the sandwich that stacks pork, fries and cheese sauce atop toasted halves of bread. 111 S. Kickapoo St., Lincoln, Ill., 217.732.6923, halliesonthesquare.com

above: “The Rail Splitter,” a 30-foot-tall statue of Abraham Lincoln, Springfield, Ill.

palms grill cafe Atlanta, Ill., is easy to miss as you travel along Route 66, but the pies served up at Palms Grill Cafe make this sleepy main street a stop worth making. Take note of the Illinois State Fair blue ribbons that reside on the wall as you pass through the entrance and grab a seat at the sandwich counter. Make no mistake; pie at Palms is a most serious business. Strong black coffee pairs with a decadently moist and tender pie crust that testifies to the culinary magic of vegetable shortening and its importance to memorable baked goods. By all means ask what flavors are available for the day if you must, but a better idea is to place your fate in the skillful hands of piemaker Lumi Bekteshi by simply stating: “I will gladly try them all, so line them up. Please and thank you.” 10 S.W. Arch St., Atlanta, Ill., 217.648.2233

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Watch the june episode NOW!

Scan the QR code above or visit the Multimedia section of feastSTL. com to watch it online.

You can also catch Feast TV on ABC30 at 9:30am on Sun., June 9.

Feast TV is brought to you with support from Inspired Food Culture

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route 66 between atlanta and braidwood offers travelers vast stretches of frontage road to drive

between atlanta & braidwood

as it runs alongside Interstate 55 through the heart of Illinois, but it also provides easy access to a host of roadside attractions: midcentury and classic Route 66 architecture and roadside advertising pieces, jugs of pure “maple sirup” for purchase in Funks Grove, a fully restored Standard Sinclair service station that offers a photo op in Odell, and the memorabilia-filled Polk-A-Dot Drive-in, which serves up burgers and dogs under neon lights in Braidwood. Travel on this leg is easygoing, with few alignment changes to get sidetracked on. Most important, this stretch passes through the Bloomington/Normal area, offering hungry travelers an Illinois take on thin-crust pizza from the 77-yearold Lucca Grill and a can’t-miss burger from a newcomer to Route 66 eats: the DESTIHL Restaurant & Brew Works.

Top LEFt of page: Odell Wind Farm, Odell, Ill. above and right: Ambler’s Texaco Gas Station, Dwight, Ill.


lucca grill The first thing you notice upon entering Lucca Grill is how the green-tinted tin ceiling plays tricks with what little light is available, no matter the time of day. Large sections of the dining room are shrouded in a cozy, murky darkness, and the bar running the length of the building is cast in the soft glow of incandescent lighting. Even at midday, between the lunch and dinner crowds, regulars fill the seats and listen to early 1990s modern rock while alternating between sips of light American lager and bites of square cuts of crisp thin-crust pizza. If there is a pizza at Lucca Grill that is a must-try, it’s the “A La Baldini,” which is dressed in a coat of sweet and fragrant tomato sauce and topped with thin slices of deli-style mozzarella cheese, savory sausage, spicy slices of pepperoni and ham, whole pepperoncini, strips of onion and green pepper, and thick slices of mushroom. The thinness of this pizza means that a piping-hot pie pulled from the pizzeria’s deck oven cools quickly, necessitating the rapid consumption of slices to get it at its very best. While the act of eating rocket-hot pizza as fast as one can might not be the most attractive endeavor, take heart: That’s when the lighting – or lack thereof – starts to seem absolutely perfect. 116 E. Market St., Bloomington, Ill., 309.828.7521, luccagrill.com

destihl restaurant & brew works Just off Veterans Parkway (Business Route 55) in Normal resides what is possibly the best burger on Route 66 in Illinois. This burger is not from a drivein or roadside diner but at DESTIHL Restaurant & Brew Works, where travelers can sample a flight of craft beer – including a rotating selection of funky, tart beers known affectionately as a “sour.” Our advice? Order a dark beer and the Beer-Battered Bacon and Egg burger, an impressive sandwich that stacks slices of the aforementioned beer-battered jalapeño bacon and fried egg with a sweet tomatobacon jam and smoky white Cheddar cheese atop a half-pound prime-cut Angus beef patty. Grill char and salt lay a tasty foundation for this burger, but it’s the one-two punch of deep-fried bacon mingling with the runnings of an over-easy egg yolk that elevates the dish from a solid hamburger to one that quickly approaches life-changing. 318 S. Towanda Ave., Normal, Ill. 309.862.2337, destihl.com


along 66’s final leg in illinois, it becomes hard to not stare at and ponder the long stretches of abandoned pavement, broken up at regular intervals by berms of dirt and overrun with weeds and grass. These are original sections of Route 66 between Braidwood and Chicago, seemingly cast aside in favor of the newer pavement that runs parallel to the road. The distraction slowly becomes a curiosity as the road bends away from Interstate 55 and heads along Route 53 through the picturesque Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie (the first of its kind in the United States). It’s a buffer between the rural beauty of central Illinois and the gritty, urban vibe of Joliet and the southwestern suburbs of Chicago. This last leg of Route 66 leads to the road’s terminus, near Grant Park and the Art Institute of Chicago, and the end of our journey – or the beginning, depending on which direction you’re headed – along the eastern end of the Mother Road.

the final leg

puerto escondido taco truck Lucky travelers passing just south of Interstate 80 may spot a babyblue food truck parked off to the side of the Southeast Auto Sales parking lot. It belongs to Puerto Escondido Restaurant in Joliet. A brief menu offers a roster of traditional Mexican tacos to lunch and dinner crowds, which – judging by the lines in the parking lot – have little trouble finding this out-of-the-way location. Adventurous eaters will find tacos filled with lengua, cabeza and tripas (tongue, beef head and tripe, respectively) and topped with cilantro, red onion and a dusting of crumbled cotija cheese. However, it is the pastor that stands out, with chunks of rough-chopped and grilled pork mixed with the pleasing hit of sweet pineapple. Need further convincing? Every taco rings the register at a single dollar, making this a must-stop for a mid-journey snack. Above: Dick’s on 66, Joliet, Ill. top right: “The

Gemini Giant,” Wilmington, Ill. bottom right: Rich & Creamery on Broadway, Joliet, Ill.

1513 S. Chicago St., Joliet, Ill., 815.723.1225, puertoescondidojoliet.com


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white fence farm White Fence Farm is a sprawling complex of buildings containing an antique car collection, a petting zoo and a series of dining rooms with seating for more than 1,000 people. Anytime the dining room is open, it is full of folks tucking into family-style fried chicken dinners complete with red bean salad, bowls of cottage cheese, pickled beets, mashed potatoes, gravy and corn fritters. The key to White Fence Farm’s chicken is how it’s prepared: liberally seasoned and precooked in massive custom-built pressure cookers before being refrigerated until orders are up. Right before being served, each order is tossed into soybean oil to fry until a thin, crisp coating of crust and chicken skin is formed. This tasty shell offers a bit of resistance before breaking to expose the moist meat contained within.

henry’s drive-in The best seat in Henry’s Drive-In is one in view of the kitchen, which disappears into clouds of steam each time a set of stainless steel covers is lifted so someone can access the hot dogs and rolls contained within. In a town known for its hot dogs, on a road known for its drive-ins, Henry’s bucks the trend and skips the Vienna Beef products that make up most Chicago-style dogs, opting instead for a custom-blended, garlicky, all-beef frank that is topped with a line of yellow mustard, chopped onion, a pickle spear, sport peppers and a generous helping of french fries. The package is one that begs for a knife and fork but requires that you make an honest effort to eat it with your bare hands – literally cramming it into your waiting mouth – before reaching for the utensils.

1376 Joliet Road, Romeoville, Ill. 630.739.1720, whitefencefarm-il.com

6031 W. Ogden Ave., Cicero, Ill., 708.656.9344

for the road getting off the interstate and following Route 66 across the countryside is an adventure, and to make the most of it, it helps to have resources – and an able co-pilot – that can assist you as you navigate the Mother Road and all of its twists, turns and alignments. The following websites, books and smartphone app were indispensable when it came to planning and ultimately taking our trip along Route 66.

The official Illinois Route 66 tourism site. Includes region-by-region details, attractions, a calendar of events and lodging information. illinoisroute66.org

ez66 guide for travelers

historic route 66 A great starting point for planning any trip on Route 66. Includes state-by-state overviews, links to manufacturer-specific

feastSTL.com

illinois route 66 scenic byway

books

websites

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GPS point-of-interest (POI) maps and a vibrant travel forum. historic66.com

JUNE 2013

Published by the National Historic Route 66 Federation, this spiral-bound resource covers all the basics of traveling 66, guiding users along the easiest-to-navigate alignments

and to must-see attractions. Detailed maps and turn-by-turn directions come in handy, especially for preplanning your trip, although the content layout lends itself to active reading by a navigator versus passive reference by a driver.

route 66 dining & lodging guide Also published by the National Historic Route 66 Federation, this regularly updated resource is compiled by members of the Route 66 Federation and contains brief overviews of local eateries and places to overnight. Newer versions are spiral-bound, but we were more than happy with an older edition that was a perfect size to keep in the glove compartment for a quick reference.

smartphone app road trip 66 For our trip, this was our go-to resource for onthe-fly navigation, especially when it came to making our way around the varied alignments you’ll find across Illinois. Alignments are clearly marked on an easy-to-read map, and the application leverages your phone’s GPS to help you keep track of your present location relative to the route. Highlighted along the way are convenient references for things like landmarks and restaurants, each expanding to include a photo, history, a detailed map of the area and links to related resources. Currently available only for the Apple iOS devices. roadtrip66.com


lou mitchell’s restaurant When it comes to diners, Lou Mitchell’s is a Chicago institution, holding court within blocks of the sticker-covered sign signifying the start of Route 66. Make your way through the narrow entrance and find yourself rewarded with an offering of fresh, sugary donut holes or a small box of Milk Duds to nosh on as you wait for your seat. Expect a cup of house-branded coffee and a glass of fresh-squeezed juice while a steady stream of diners make haste to take down plates stacked high with pancakes, Belgian waffles containing bits of fried and chopped bacon, and an unconventional take on eggs Benedict that swaps out ham for fillets of tender smoked salmon hidden beneath a crown of poached eggs and a lemony, rich, taxi-cab-yellow hollandaise sauce. It is little wonder that Lou Mitchell’s has been the starting point of Route 66 journeys since 1923. 565 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, 312.939.3111, loumitchellsrestaurant.com


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Written by Scott Thomas

You’re hosting a barbecue and pork steaks are the main event. You set up the grill for indirect grilling – coals on one side and nothing on the other. You crack open your favorite beer and slice open the cellophane package of pork steaks. The steaks are placed on the cutting board, seasoned and slapped on

|

photography by Jennifer Silverberg

the hot side of the grill. After the steaks have some beautiful grill marks, you move them over to the other side of the grill, toss in some smoke wood and close the lid. Forty-five minutes later, they are slathered with a couple of coats of your favorite sauce (mixed with a little of that beer in your hand), the lid is closed to allow the sauce to caramelize and, voilà, dinner is served. Your secret to great pork steaks is to drop them into a slow cooker with a half-gallon of barbecue sauce and let it all simmer for half a day before you toss them on a screaming-hot grill for a minute or two to finish. And everyone marvels at how tender your “grilled” pork steaks are.

These are the two most common preparations for pork steaks served in St. Louis. While both methods bring some great ideas to the table, food science points out a few fatal flaws in these approaches. The first method entails searing the meat before smoking it. Searing imparts a wonderfully flavored crust onto the pork steak, but it also keeps smoke from penetrating the meat. Smoke wood is not cheap, and much of what is used in this method is wasted. In the second method, simmering pork steaks in a slow cooker full of sauce for a few hours will indeed make for extremely tender meat and some fantastically flavored sauce. However, the meat itself will be lacking in flavor. Boiling meat in liquid does not transfer the flavor of the liquid into the meat. It does the exact opposite. The pork steaks will be beyond fork-tender, but all you’ll taste when you dig in is the sauce.


Place the steaks on the side of the grill with no coals underneath and toss some smoke wood into the coals. Fruitwoods such as apple, cherry and peach and hardwoods like hickory are excellent smoke woods for pork steaks. Smoke at 250ºF for an hour or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 160ºF.

At the beginning. In the grocery store. When shopping for pork steaks, look for cuts that are at least 1 inch thick. And while you’re there, pick up a ham hock and your favorite barbecue sauce. We’re going to make that incredible sauce from scenario No. 2, but we’ll do it without leaching the flavor from your pork steak.

Fill your slow cooker with a half-gallon of sauce, set it to simmer and toss in the ham hock. A few hours later, the sauce will be finished, your kitchen will smell divine and you’ll be ready to step outside to the grill.

Now that the meat is infused with sultry smoke flavor, we’re going to move it to the other side of the grill to get that wonderful char on the outside. Searing both sides of the steaks over hot coals will caramelize the proteins and create that flavorful crust we started with in scenario No. 1.

Just as before, set up the grill for indirect grilling – coals on one side and nothing on the other.

Next, move them back to the side with no heat and hit them with a coating of that savory sauce we made earlier.

Season both sides of the thick pork steaks with salt and pepper and follow up with a good coating of your favorite rub.

Toss in some more smoke wood and close the lid.

“But you said the meat won’t take on any more smoke flavor after the pork steaks are seared.” And you’re right: The meat won’t. But the sauce will. After 10 minutes, open the lid and slather on another layer of sauce. Smoke for 10 more minutes, remove the steaks from the grill and serve. This method yields very tender meat with a nice smoke ring, a wonderful flavor char and that gooey barbecue sauce we all love on our pork steaks. It’s a simple approach that makes for a complex and layered flavor profile.


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Written by Brandi Wills

Pork steaks are a signature of St. Louis-style barbecue, grilled in backyards across the region. The cut − thin steaks carved from a part of the pork shoulder referred to as the Boston butt − is rarely found outside of the Midwest. The prevalence of the pork steak in local butcher cases is no surprise considering the cut was popularized in St. Louis by Schnucks Markets in the late ‘50s. Don and Ed Schnuck, second-generation owners, first offered pork steaks in stores as an inexpensive cut of meat that people could barbecue. The Boston butt is generally used for roast and sausage, but Don and Ed recognized that half-inch steaks cut from this area performed great on the grill. And customers agreed. For two years, Schnucks Markets was exclusively cutting and selling pork steaks to St. Louisans before others noticed its popularity and followed suit. Today you can find pork steaks in nearly every grocery store and butcher shop in the area. Craig Schnuck, the eldest son of the late Donald O. and Doris Schnuck, shares his parents’ method for preparing pork steaks: “At family holiday get-togethers my mom would bake the pork steaks first, and then my dad would baste them on the grill to finish them. This process keeps the pork steaks more moist than only cooking them on the grill.”

The Original Schnucks Pork Steak Serves | 6 | 2 Tbsp pork drippings*, butter or shortening 1 onion, minced 1 tsp minced garlic 1 cup ketchup ½ cup water 1 Tbsp lemon juice 1 Tbsp wine vinegar 2 Tbsp brown sugar 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp salt 6 pork steaks

| Preparation |

Place fat in a medium saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until they begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Add ketchup, water, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Simmer mixture, stirring often, for 20 minutes. Set aside. Preheat oven to 500ºF. Place pork steaks in a pan and place in oven for 15 minutes. Drain fat from pan. Reduce heat to 350ºF, pour sauce over steaks and continue baking until the steaks are done, about 45 minutes. Alternatively, after baking them at 500ºF for 15 minutes, you can grill the steaks until they are cooked through, basting often and generously with sauce. * If desired, cook pork steaks at 500ºF for 15 minutes as directed in recipe and use drippings from pan to make sauce.

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Feast extra

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HUNTED Written by Brandon Chuang

|

Photography by Jonathan Gayman


Alliaria petiolata.

That’s the given name of a particular biennial plant that grows in Missouri and across much of the United States. In season, it can grow to be upward of 3 feet tall, and when the plants bloom, they resemble baby’s breath – the disposable filler flower that florists tuck into your bouquet to make it seem like you spent more money than you actually did. When you see a field of them, they’re actually quite beautiful. Which is why it’s strange that Ryan Maher hates them. In fact, he hates them so much that he wants to kill them. And he wants to do so by eating them.


Maher is many things. As the owner of Missouri Wild Edibles, he forages in the nearby woods and hills for, basically, anything that’s safe to eat. From morels and chanterelles to berries and other wild-growing edibles, he sells raw and processed vegetation to chefs and home cooks alike. And while the foraging venture is not his main source of income – Maher is also a chef – it’s definitely a passion of his, which is why he so badly wants to destroy Alliaria petiolata, more commonly known as garlic mustard. To hear Maher talk about garlic mustard, you’d think he was skimming the text of a Greek epic poem. Mysticism. Magic. Villainy. According to Maher, garlic mustard was originally brought to the U.S. from Europe as a food source. Used as both vegetable and herb, as well as for medicinal purposes, it was planted and harvested much like any other plant. However, as years passed, garlic mustard took flight – spreading and sprawling where souls unbodied dwell – casting a shadow over all that man knew and would want to know. Being a completely different ecosystem from Europe, the U.S. doesn’t have the same fauna to keep the imported flora in check. Here there are no bugs and insects that will devour garlic mustard. If you cut off the head of a garlic mustard plant incorrectly, then, like a Hydra, two more will grow in its place. Stranger still, deer in the U.S. won’t eat it, while deer in Europe graze on the plant regularly. And while garlic mustard is actually beneficial for the soil and groundcover in Europe, here in the U.S. it chokes out everything in its path – a dangerous adversary to trees, plants and animals all. So I can gain a better understanding of what we’re dealing with, Maher invites me to tag along on a short foraging expedition. An odyssey to hunt down garlic mustard. Meeting him in a commercial parking lot next to a movie theater, I’m a bit let down when Maher arrives not on a large and proud ship, like those of Agamemnon, but instead in a late-model green SUV, like those of Chevrolet.

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When he steps out of his vehicle, I see that he looks the part of the Homeric hero. Long blond hair. Chiseled jawline. Piercing blue eyes. If this were one of the movies showing in the theater next door, you’d never believe Maher was actually a forager – just like nobody who looks like Matt Damon is ever actually a janitor at Harvard. But it seems that pretty boys can do not-so-pretty jobs too – which is evident by Maher’s muddied boots and dirt-painted jeans. Maher leads me through a thicket of felled trees and soft ground into the woods beside the theater. It’s the same type of woods you’d see almost anywhere in the country. Hilly landscapes and ravines. Towering canopies of limbs and logs. As we walk deeper into the trees, Maher dives deeper into detail about garlic mustard. He tells me how, if left unchecked, it spreads across the ground quickly and in the process of growing destroys all of the area’s mycorrhizal fungi – in essence, the feeder plant from which all other plants gather necessary nutrients and moisture. Kill the mycorrhiza and you kill the plants. Kill the plants and you kill the animals. Kill the animals and – you get the point. Thus far, I still have never actually seen this killer plant, so I ask Maher when we’ll come across it. “Just look around you.” He reaches down and plucks a leaf from the ground below, handing it to me. It’s veiny and fibrous-looking like kale but has the general shape of cilantro. Taking a quick scan of the area, I realize that what I’d ignorantly mistaken for “random forest floor” is actually all garlic mustard. “Taste it.” After putting it into my mouth, I understand why it’s called garlic mustard. It definitely tastes wild, with an acidic, vinegary bite – like chewing on dandelions – but there’s no mistaking the garlickyness followed by a pungent horseradish aftertaste. “Not bad, right?” inquires Maher. “The thing you have to realize is that right now, none of these plants have flowered yet. Once the season really hits, this entire area will be a field of 3-foot-tall

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garlic mustard plants. And if we don’t do something about it, eventually that’s all this area will be.” The Missouri Department of Conservation shares Maher’s concern about garlic mustard, which is tagged as an invasive species. The agency would love it if people like Maher could come in and simply tear it all out. However, there’s apprehension about how helpful their helpfulness would be. Garlic mustard is an insanely durable plant. As mentioned previously, if you simply mow it down or cut the heads off incorrectly, two more will grow in their place. And once they flower and seed the area, animals and humans inadvertently help expedite their growth. “The seeds are extremely tough,” explains Maher. “Just walking over them, like a deer would, helps kick around and spread their seeds. And even if one were to get stuck in your car’s tire tread, that seed could survive and plant itself wherever it falls.” Even after the plant is “dead,” there’s still concern. Foraging hobbyists who have pulled garlic mustard for their own use have disposed of the roots in their compost only to find a few weeks later that the plants have sprung back to life, reanimated and spreading across their yards. “It would be awesome to educate people,” Maher says. “If enough people inquired, an organization such as the conservation office would probably be willing to form a class to teach people the proper way to remove it. Humans are really good at making things extinct. Why not harness it?” So what does one do with garlic mustard after it’s been properly removed from the ground? Maher, a self-described kinetic learner, chooses to show me himself at entre, the Central West End event-space-cum-sometimes-restaurant of chef-owner John Perkins. Maher has been in the restaurant business since the age of 15, and his full-time job is that of chef. He’s worked in kitchens all across the city, even boasting a stint down in New Orleans at Emeril Lagasse’s restaurant Emeril’s, and has finally set

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up camp with Perkins at entre. After bringing in a large plastic shopping bag stuffed full with garlic mustard, Maher begins rinsing the greens in a mild bleach solution. “Since it’s growing in the wild, you want to make sure you get off anything and everything that could be on there.” After the wash, rinse and drying cycle are complete, he begins to cook and talk at the same time. “It’s a pretty versatile green,” he says. “You could simply sauté it with some garlic and a nice vinegar. Put it in a salad or even a pesto. And the health benefits – it’s a superfood.” Superfood is right. Thumbing through a book on wild greens as Maher cooks, I stumble across a nutritional chart for garlic mustard. Of the hundreds of plants and other edibles listed, Alliaria petiolata tops the charts in calcium, zinc, magnesium, iron, fiber, and vitamins A and B. I didn’t even list the categories where it came in second or third. His cooking complete, Maher and I sit down to taste the results of his efforts. He’s prepared two dishes as examples: one, a garlic mustard salad with crumbled blue cheese, pickled sarsaparilla onions and an apple butter vinaigrette; the other, garlic mustard sautéed with baby kale, mushrooms, garlic, thyme and a bit of balsamic vinegar and then finished with white wine and lemon.

toward sustainability, it makes more and more sense that the harvesting of garlic mustard and other invasive edible species would become not only popular but also the norm. A quick look at the ever-evolving foodscape will show you that consumers are thinking before they stuff their faces. And these thoughts aren’t as simple as “Will it taste good?” The questions being raised all deal with impact. What’s the impact on my health? On the environment? In many cases, we simply ask the questions and proceed to find answers with our wallets. We pay for humanely raised pork and organic milk, because we believe that’s all we can do as non-pig/cow farmers, but with edible invasive species we can actively promote positive change. Kudzu, lionfish and Asian carp − all invasive, all edible − have begun dotting menus across the country, allowing diners to do their part simply by eating. In the case of garlic mustard, Maher is showing that by properly harvesting it, we can continue on that same path at home, creating an immediate impact through consuming something that is possibly growing in your own backyard. Maher understands the challenges he faces. He understands that while everyone would love to make a difference, not everyone has time to head to the woods and forage. It’s why he’s on a mission to familiarize people with garlic mustard in the best way he knows how. By feeding them.

They’re both delicious. When eaten raw, garlic mustard can come off as a bit aggressive – its strong mustard aftertaste overpowers the gentler flavors. But when incorporated with other ingredients, it has a more muted, complementary role. The salad tasted fuller, meatier, than any other salad I’ve ever tried, and considering that there were only four components in the whole dish, the difference maker was the garlic mustard. “This is what I hope people can understand and get excited about.” There’s little doubt that people could get excited about the potential of garlic mustard. In fact, it would be understandable if there was some frustration on the part of Maher or the small army of devotees across the country who share his passion, but thus far, I haven’t seen any. Just a desire to spread the word. And as we continue to live in a growing food culture that is shifting

Maher is looking to incorporate the plant into a product for Missouri Wild Edibles to go alongside his small-batch mustards. In addition, he’s working with Perkins to bring garlic mustard onto the menu of entre’s upcoming pop-up restaurant, The Agrarian, which opens June 11. Even more ambitiously, Maher has begun the process of creating a cooking class where participants learn how to cook garlic mustard and other foraged goods and, in some cases, go out with him to learn the proper procedures for harvesting edibles each season. There’s a lot on Maher’s plate, but he’s up for the challenge – especially if it means benefiting Missouri’s ecosystem. As he talks, you can hear the commitment. He knows that what he wants to do will take time. So he’ll continue to plan and educate and cook, just as he always has. But he’ll also be foraging, disappearing into tree lines to save native plants. And he’ll do it, one garlic mustard leaf at a time.

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the last bite

Crème Custard Napoleon

Contributor: Scott Thomas, writer Too often, texture is overlooked in desserts, which are usually a single soft consistency, possibly shaken up with a flaky crust or the occasional nut. Harder to find is the dessert that brings together delightful textures and various intriguing flavors. Eleven Eleven Mississippi does just that with its crème custard napoleon. The napoleon combines the splendid gooeyness of “carameled” bananas, the rich sponginess of custard and the flaky crunch of phyllo and is topped with a wisp of whipped cream. When my wife and I go on date night, we tend to have dinner at one restaurant and then head to a second destination just for dessert. However, when we dine at Eleven Eleven, we stay put to enjoy the crème custard napoleon and a glass of Penfolds port in the restaurant’s romantic setting. Eleven Eleven Mississippi 1111 Mississippi Ave., Lafayette Square 314.241.9999 1111-m.com Turn to p. 60 for Scott’s tried-and-true method for grilling up great pork steaks.

Photography by

Jonathan Gayman


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June 2013 Feast Magazine  

FEAST Magazine delves into St. Louis' culinary scene for inspired ideas in cooking, the latest on restaurants, great gadgets, kitchen design...

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