Page 1

everybody loves

sweet and simple

get into these spirits

st. raymond’s



/ Inspired Food Culture / Saint Louis /




Inspired Food Culture





Inspired Food Culture






PHOTOGRAPHY BY Greg rannells

Impress dinner guests with beautifully dressed

Roasted Racks that taste as divine as they look. 6


/ Inspired Food Culture / Saint Louis /




St. Raymond‘s

| 10 |

Check out this month’s online content.

| 12 |

from the PUBLISHER

Indulge in the spirit of the holidays.


This month’s inspired ideas for tasteful living in St. Louis.


| 28 |

my stuff

Join the oh-so glamorous Zoe Pidgeon in her home for the holidays .

| 31 |

gadget a-go-go

We put four cookie decorating sets to the test.





from the staff

o the SPI nt




New and notable in beer, wine and spirits.

| 34 |

mystery shopper

Buy it and try it: chestnuts.

| 36 |

the cheat

Turn holiday leftovers into yet another impressive dish.

|38 |

deconstructed dishes

Explore the ingredients of panettone.




| 74 | pull up a chair

The formal-but-fun design of the Eve chair by Wittmann.


Jennifer Silverberg

Inspired Food Culture



Magazine / Saint Louis

Volume 1 / Issue 5 / December 2010

Publisher and Editor Catherine Neville Managing Editor Brandi Wills Online Editor Kristin Brashares Art Director Lisa Triefenbach Advertising Sales Director Donna Bischoff Copy Editor Barbara E. Stefàno Contributing Writers Erin Callier, Pat Eby, Chad Michael George, Erik Jacobs Jennifer Johnson, Angela Ortmann, Brian Pelletier, Matt Sorrell Barbara E. Stefàno, Michael Sweeney, Cassandra Vires Contributing Photographers Geoff Cardin, Rob Grimm, Tuan Lee Laura Miller, Jonathan Pollack, Greg Rannells Jennifer Silverberg, Carmen Trosser

Contact Us Feast Media 14522 S. Outer Forty Road Town and Country, MO 63017 Advertising Inquiries Donna Bischoff, 314.340.8529 Courtney Barczewski, 314.340.8525 Rich Shelton, 314.340.8514 Editorial Comments

Distribution To distribute Feast Magazine at your place of business, please contact Tom Livingston at Feast Magazine does not accept unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Submissions will not be returned. All contents are copyright © 2010 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. A publication of Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis, LLC A Lee Enterprises Company 8






shop girl

Our on-the-street culinary adventuress Heidi Dean uncovers a tasty alternative to meaty main dishes this holiday season: vegan MATCH® meats.

DESIGN BITES Quite the Pair Dinner & A Show Travelogue

Photograph courtesy of MATCH®

Interact with FEAST

Connect with us at for daily recipes, cooking demo videos, culinary news and behind-the-scenes photos.

Photography by Geoff Cardin



transformation of Wanderlust chef Erik Jacobs’ gutted 1973 Airstream trailer into a rolling pizza restaurant (complete with a wood-burning oven) before it hits the streets this spring.

with chief chocolatier Brian Pelletier as he divulges his inspirations, exceptional ingredients and creations in the works. Scan the Microsoft tag on page 70 to watch it from your smart phone, or view it in the Watch & Listen section at



Follow us at feastmag for up-to-the-minute restaurant news, special deals, FEAST events and more.

Inspired Food Culture






is the season to indulge and this month, we’ve got the goods. Intensely rich (and incredibly simple) chocolate truffles? Check. Succulent, meaty centerpiece dishes?


An Appetizing Holiday with Lynne Rossetto Kasper Thu., Dec. 2, 7pm, L’Ecole Culinaire, Sold Out

St. Louis Public Radio and FEAST welcome The Splendid Table’s Lynne Rossetto Kasper.

Check. Creative cocktails made with spice- and candy-

Cooking Demo

infused liquors? Check that off the list, too.

$40/person, 314.587.2433

The holiday season doesn’t seem the same without food and drink that are just a bit over the top, and here at FEAST central we had a grand time pulling together all the elements for this issue. Summer produce is beautiful and fresh, yes, but the hearty, rich foods of winter are simply seductive. Just take one look at Greg Rannells’ shot of chef Erik Jacobs’ crown roast of pork. It’s elegant, simple and so beautifully styled, you may find yourself proclaiming, as I did, that it’s reminiscent of a Gourmet cover, circa 1985. And while we’re on the topic of history, this month we also present a photo essay on the incredible people behind one of St. Louis’ long-held culinary traditions: Wednesday lunches at St. Raymond’s. Those of you who’ve had the chance to feast on the Lebanese delights served by the volunteer staff know just how much fun it is to go through that cafeteria line, plunk down a few bucks cash and enjoy your meal in the communal setting of the church’s reception hall. Those of you who haven’t, hopefully you’ll make the trek soon. The food is fantastic, yes, but it’s the spirit of volunteerism and camaraderie that makes the lunches so special. And that’s another thing we enjoy during the month of December: a sense of giving and fellowship that marks this special time of year. Until next time,

Wed., Dec. 8, 6:30pm, L’Ecole Culinaire

Get in the spirit, and in the kitchen, with L’Ecole Culinaire and sample an entire celebratory meal from start to sweet finish. Plus, Bissinger’s will offer a special chocolate-and-wine pairing. You’ll leave with all the recipes so you can impress your family and friends at home.

Cooking Class Wed., Dec. 15, 6pm, Schnucks Cooks Cooking School $40/person, or 314.909.1704

It’s an Italian holiday at Schnucks in Des Peres. Get hands-on and make panettone (see page 38) along with veggie lasagna, roasted tomato salad, marinated broccoli and zabaglione.

Wine Tasting Thu., Dec. 16, 6pm, Monarch Restaurant & Wine Bar Complimentary,

Join columnist Angela Ortmann for a free wine tasting at Monarch Restaurant & Wine Bar. Enjoy tasty nibbles as you learn about wine from one of St. Louis’ wine-industry leaders.

The Ninth Annual St. Louis Food & Wine Experience Jan. 28 to 30, The Chase Park Plaza

Join us for this annual weekend dedicated to deliciousness. Scents of freshly prepared foods waft from the main stage and culinary booths peppered throughout the event. The VIP Reserve Room, an oasis of wine for experienced and novice connoisseurs, can’t be missed. For all the delicious details and to purchase tickets (a great holiday gift!), call The Rep’s box office at 314.968.4925 or visit

Cat’s Picks Wednesdays, 8:35am, The BIG 550 KTRS

Tune in as FEAST publisher Catherine Neville chats with host McGraw Milhaven and gives her weekly picks for the best places to eat and drink in the St. Louis area.

Julia Child’s Paris

Catherine Neville

Join FEAST publisher Catherine Neville and McGraw Milhaven of KTRS radio on a special trip through France to explore the landmarks of Julia Child’s culinary adventures.

feedback? 12



May 28 to June 7, see ad on page 35 for details

Inspired Food Culture



FEAST FAVES / where we’re dining

Sunset 44 Bistro & Banquets

If it’s been a while since you’ve dined at Sunset 44, it’s time to revisit this 47-year-young institution. Owner Bob Menendez recently brought chef Tony Nguyen on board to retool the menu and we’re excited by what we’ve tasted so far. Nguyen utilizes current cooking methods and tools – do not miss the Berkshire pork belly (pictured above) that’s cooked sous-vide for 24 hours and tucked into sweet, steamed buns – but he doesn’t bow to trends for trends’ sake. Steak tacos are served bite-sized with a crisp corn shell. A classic wedge salad is drizzled with “secret sauce” and a sprinkling of hardcooked egg. Seared scallops are perched atop butternut squash purée and given a salty crunch with the addition of lardons. The lamb shank is incredibly tender and paired with deeply flavored risotto and candied carrots … and, if this is Nguyen’s first pass at 44’s revamp, we can’t wait to taste what’s next. 118 W. Adams Road, Kirkwood




PHOTOGRAPHy by Geoff Cardin

Sunset 44 Bistro


PHOTOGRAPHy by Geoff Cardin

FEAST FAVES / secret ingredient FEAST FAVES / secret ingredient

Time, Temp and Enzymes No matter the method, all steaks are aged before being cooked and consumed. Wet-aging seals the beef in plastic, allowing enzymes to break down the meat from the inside out. In dry-aging, cuts are hung in a temperatureand humidity-controlled cooler for roughly four weeks. Enzymes break down the meat from the outside in, creating an exterior crust that must be removed prior to cooking. Moisture is lost and the meat shrinks, resulting

Prime 1000 314.241.1000 Downtown

in intensified flavor and superior texture. At Prime 1000, diners may view cuts of beef, surrounded by hunks of pink Himalayan salt, being dry-aged in the steakhouse’s cooler. Order your cut with a range of sauces – from uni butter to candied bacon jus – and taste the difference for yourself. 1000 Washington Ave., Downtown





STEAK KNIVES | 1 | Global 4-piece steak knife set, $176; Sur La Table, multiple locations, | 2 | Laguiole Natura 6-piece knife set, $39.95; Crate & Barrel, 1 The Boulevard, Richmond Heights, | 3 | Birch 4-piece steak knife set, $99.95; Williams-Sonoma, multiple locations, Inspired Food Culture



FEAST FAVES / where we’re dining

Cardwell’s at the Plaza 314.997.8885

PHOTOGRAPHy by Geoff Cardin


Cardwell’s at the Plaza Shoppers, are you seeking a restorative meal to fortify you to further exercise that platinum card? Look beyond the food court (way beyond) and rest your weary boot-clad bones at this “too good to be in a mall” restaurant. Cardwell’s at the Plaza is consistently in the top tier of local restaurants, serving well-crafted, often locally sourced fare ranging from an easy-to-share Mediterranean sampler to hearty dishes like the pork “mignon” 16


with house-made sausage and mashed sweet potatoes. Fish specials rotate constantly (and are always a good bet), and if you’re looking for a light nosh to pair with one of the restaurant’s stellar wines by the glass, consider the charcuterie plate with house-made pickles. 94 Plaza Frontenac, Frontenac


Pickled Veggies These all-natural goodies are made in or around St. Louis and add a punch to your favorite dishes. All three will have you puckering up for more!

GREAT ON: Italian beef sammies

GREAT ON: Burgers & brats

GREAT IN: Bloody Marys

| 1 | 2 Acre Farm shishito peppers, $5; Township Grocer, 102 Main St., Edwardsville, | 2 | Devil’s Breath bread and butter jalapeños, $5; Devil’s Breath Chile Co., for locations | 3 | Bloody Buddeez carrots and celery, $6.99; 3 Buddeez, for locations PHOTOGRAPHy by Laura Miller Inspired Food Culture





FEAST FAVES / whAT we’re drinking

Chouteau at Lola Like a little black dress, this cocktail is a classic. Grand Marnier’s spicy orange flavor is perfectly on-season during the holidays. Imbued with the essence of bitter orange, this widely available spirit finds its way into many drinks and dishes this time of year, but we like it best when it’s simply paired with a good-quality sparking wine, as in the Chouteau at Downtown’s Lola. This cocktail couldn’t be simpler, making it an easy, go-to mixer to serve family and friends this season. Lola mixes Grand Marnier with Marquès de Gelida cava, a Spanish sparkler that is worth seeking out for its great flavor and price point. 500 N. 14th St., Downtown

Chouteau Serves | 1 |

COCKTAIL PHOTOGRAPHy by Jonathan Pollack. Champagne recorker PHOTOGRAPHy by Laura Miller

1 oz Grand Marnier 4 oz Marquès de Gelida cava orange slice for garnish

| Preparation | Pour the Grand Marnier


into a Champagne flute then pour the cava into the glass. Garnish with an orange slice.

314.621.7272 Downtown

Champagne Bottle Stoppers | 1 | Screwpull Champagne resealer in antique chrome, $30; Williams-Sonoma, multiple locations, | 2 | Metrokane Velvet wine/Champagne sealer, $6.99; Provisions Gourmet Market, 11615 Olive Blvd., Creve Coeur, | 3 | Champagne recorker, $4.99; The Wine & Cheese Place, multiple locations,



|3| Inspired Food Culture



FEAST FAVES / design trends we love


Embossed quartz surfaces, such as the Motivo collection from CaesarStone, transform walls, countertops or custommade furniture pieces into artistic elements in your kitchen or dining room. Pictured as a patterned finish on a custom island, it feels just as good as it looks. CaesarStone Motivo quartz surface in Crocodile, price on request; Callier & Thompson, 14180 Manchester Road, Manchester,

Can’t find a paint color that jumps out at you? Consider an embossed wall covering for a more visually intriguing option. The repeating pattern creates a large-scale, three-dimensional wall that’s just as earth-friendly as it is eye-catching. Molded from bamboo, they are durable, sustainable and biodegradable. Inhabit Architect (top) and Braille (bottom) wall flats, $86 per 18”x18” flat; 20


Inspired Food Culture



FEAST FAVES / secret ingredient FEAST FAVES / THE DISH

English Breakfast Cold, dark winter mornings can easily keep us curled up in bed, but now that we’ve tasted the English breakfast at The Mud House, we happily have an excuse to get up and out the door. After you’ve placed your order, seek out a spot to sit and await delivery of this steaming plate of classic Anglo comfort food. Earthy, rich and satisfying, flavors mix and mingle with each bite as you peruse the Sunday paper or flip through that novel you’ve been meaning to finish … the comfortable, eclectic interior at this Cherokee gem will make you consider whiling away the entire winter’s day sipping coffee and soaking up the atmosphere. PHOTOGRAPHy by Jonathan Pollack

The Mud House 314.776.6599 Cherokee-Lemp District



2101 Cherokee St., Cherokee-Lemp District

FEAST FAVES / shop-o-matic

Lake Forest Confections

Lake Forest Confections PHOTOGRAPHy by Laura Miller

If you’re looking for a warming refuge from the chilly winter weather, there’s no better place to escape than this charming, traditional confectionary. Pop inside the cozy shop, breathe in the sweetly scented air and settle in for a satisfying sugar fix. With plenty of the usual suspects – caramels, creams, toffees, nuts, fruits and more draped in silky chocolate – you’re sure to find something for all your sweet-toothed loved ones. But while you’re there, try some of their specialties, such as darkchocolate-dipped caramel lollies, molasses puffs or cherry cordials (pictured above, in the making).

314.721.9997 Clayton

Need a special dessert to set off your holiday feast? Check out their pastry case, decked with beautifully decorated, fresh-made cakes and pies. And this time of year you’ll find a huge selection of holiday-themed treats and assorted gift boxes. With so much to choose from, you’ll feel just like a kid in a candy store. 7801 Clayton Road, Clayton

FEAST FAVES / what we’re dRinking

NAPA VALLEY CABS written by Jennifer Johnson

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has become so ubiquitous it can be easily overlooked by adventurous wine enthusiasts seeking something different. This issue’s article on roasted racks of meat is the perfect excuse to rediscover the vast world of Napa Cabs, reflective of diverse wine-making practices, climate and topography. Originating in Bordeaux, France, this full-bodied and tannic grape variety naturally complements foods high in protein and fat, and Cabernets from Napa Valley are typically marked by the presence of dark berry fruit characteristics due to the region’s generally warm, dry climate and fertile soils.

2006 Ramey Wine Cellars

2006 Nicholson Jones

Napa Valley Claret

Selection Cabernet Sauvignon,

Napa Valley, Calif. Cocoa, ripe blackberries and currants intermingle with notes of savory spice and smoke, elegantly transitioning into a concentrated, rich and multi-layered form on the palate, with a generous finish. Pair with braised elk, steak au poivre and venison Danube. $29.99; The Wine Merchant, 20 S. Hanley Road, Clayton,

Clare Luce Abbey

Napa Valley, Calif. Unexpectedly medium- to full-bodied, this well-structured wine speaks to the palate with finesse: Mature berry fruit coincides with coffee-toffee, licorice and subtle herbal notes, with meaningful spice and oak. Consider decanting, and pair with lamb chops, beef Wellington and hearty stews. $48; Robust, 227 W. Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves, Inspired Food Culture





FEAST FAVES / what we’re buying

WINE CHILLERS Between holiday dinners and New Year’s Eve celebrations, we’re tripping over the cases of wine lining the hallway. If only we had somewhere to store them all at just the right temperature until the moment they need to be served. Oh yeah, they make wine refrigerators that do just that!




| 1 | Thermador Freedom 24-inch built-in wine preservation column, $4,699; Autco, 11610 Page Service Drive, Maryland Heights, | 2 | Sub-Zero 424 wine storage, starting at $2,669; Designer Appliances by Lemcke, 104 W. Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves, | 3 | Marvel Chateau wine cellar with refrigerated doors, $4,799; Callier & Thompson, 14180 Manchester Road, Manchester, | 4 | U-line Wine Captain, $2,399; Ferguson, 17895 Chesterfield Airport Road, Chesterfield,


Inspired Food Culture




Pignolata By Eleanor Salerno, submitted by Lori Nobbe

Yield | about 500 |

And the WINNER is... Written by Kristin Brashares


3 cups ¼ tsp 1 tsp ½ tsp 5 1 tsp

flour salt sugar baking powder eggs vanilla


1 cup 3 tsp

honey sugar almonds for garnish nonpareils for garnish cinnamon to taste

| Preparation – Dough | Sift flour, salt, sugar and baking powder into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, slightly beat eggs and vanilla. Place flour mix on a clean table and make a well in the center. Pour in egg mix a little at a time and work into dough. Knead until smooth and shiny, not sticky to the touch. Dust table with flour occasionally to keep dough from sticking. Let rest 10 minutes. Take 1 Tbsp of dough and roll it into a long, thin rope, about ¼ inch in diameter. Continue until all dough is used. Cut ropes into pea-sized pieces, and keep them separated on a clean towel. Air dry for a few minutes. Heat oil in pan or deep fryer to 375°F. Drop ½ cup of pieces into the hot oil. (Pieces will roughly double in size when fried.) When golden brown, remove and drain in a colander, then place cooked balls in a brown paper bag to absorb more of the oil.

| Preparation – Syrup | Heat honey and sugar, careful not to boil. Add cookies to coat.

| To Serve | Add chopped, toasted almonds, nonpareils and cinnamon to taste. PHOTOGRAPHY by Laura Miller

Being a judge is never easy, especially when the subjects of scrutiny involve serious amounts of sugar, butter, chocolate chips, caramel and other irresistible sweets. Our first annual Holiday Cookie Recipe Contest drew tons of drool-inducing entries with heartwarming stories of recipes passed down through generations. It was a recipe for pignolata, submitted by Lori Nobbe of Kirkwood, that ultimately won us over, both for its novelty and the rich tradition behind its making. As enjoyable as holiday cookies are to eat, the real delight is usually in the baking, and indeed, these itty-bitty Sicilian sweets have brought loads of laughter, storytelling and

togetherness to the Garozzo family kitchen for the past 30 years. Eleanor Salerno, who immigrated to the United States from Sicily in the early 1900s, made her family’s pignolata recipe during the holidays. Over the years, more and more family members – and Nobbe, a longtime family friend – joined her. Salerno died in the mid-1990s, but the family has kept the annual tradition alive. In recent years, three sisters, a cousin, a sister-in-law and grandkids have pitched in. They divvy out jobs (dough rollers, cutters and fryers), form an assembly line and crank out two to three batches. Each family leaves with a brown paper bag full of the mini-balls to finish with honey, almonds and nonpareils at home, so the cookies are fresh when served.

Signature snowflakes premium rectangle box, $3.99; felt snowflake tie-on, $1.99; The Container Store, 1769 S. Brentwood Blvd., 314.968.8480,



check it out!

Feast extra


Many “close seconds” emerged from our stack of Holiday Cookie Recipe Contest entries, and we chose three to share online. Visit every week in December for runner-up recipes.

Inspired Food Culture




Stylish, beautiful and glamorous, Zoe Pidgeon (née Robinson) has a knack for creating restaurants that are fully conceptualized and polished, from well-edited menus and drink selections to always-on-trend interiors. At Bobo Noodle House, clean, modern lines, natural surfaces and simple, white dinnerware evoke the spirit of the kitchen’s Pan-Asian dishes. I Frattelini could not be more different. Here, diners walk into an intimate jewel box that echoes a European café. And the food? Rich, satisfying Italian cuisine served in a bustling, warm atmosphere. Pidgeon, rather than simply opening restaurants, creates dining experiences. How do you and your husband, Dean, unwind at the end of the day? We have a lovely back porch,

I Fratellini 7624 Wydown Blvd., Clayton 314.727.7901


and we sit out there every night, even now that it’s cold. We bundle up, drink a cocktail, he smokes a cigar and we catch up. • Favorite weeknight dinner? Roasted chicken. • Sunday brunch? Brasserie by Niche. But I really try to stay away because last year it made me kind of fat! • How will you spend New Year’s Eve? Dean and I at home, nice Champagne, great dinner and hoping not to get a call to bail my teenagers out of jail. • What’s your favorite Champagne? Louis Roederer Cristal, but I’m also fond of lots of high- and low-end Champagnes and sparkling wines. • What wine chiller do you use to keep those bottles at temp? Sub-Zero. • Favorite ice bucket? A simple silver bucket that I’ve had for years. • What nibbles do you usually pair with sparking

Bobo Noodle House 278 N. Skinker Blvd., University City 314.863.7373


written by Catherine Neville

wine? A nice triple-cream cheese with good crackers. • When your sons are home, what do you cook together? We do lots of grilling. Roasting, too, now that its winter. Plus pastas, risotto, homemade pizza. They mock me because almost every meal contains arugula. • When you go out, what type of food do you crave? Everything, and I’m always hungry. Dean says that I have one of those cartoon bubbles over my head with a pork chop in it. • Favorite midnight snack? Eggs. • Best trend in the St. Louis food scene? The collaboration and camaraderie of St. Louis chefs and restaurateurs. I think it brings us all up a notch. • Worst? TVs in restaurants that are not sports bars. • What style do you think is next to emerge? I don’t know, but I hope I’m a part of it!

PHOTOGRAPHy By Greg Rannells

Zoe Pidgeon

Inspired Food Culture





gadget a-go-go

Put to the test


DECORATING SETS written by Pat Eby

PHOTOGRAPHY by Laura Miller

Kuhn Rikon Frosting Deco Pen

Wilton 12-Piece Cupcake Decorating Set

Kuhn Rikon Cookie & Cupcake Decorating Set

WS Kids Cookie and Cupcake Decorating Kit





Despite its stocky appearance, the tool sits comfortably in the hand and gives the cookie artist two speeds and significant control, even with unruly royal icing. The plunger-fill design gets firm frosting into the cartridges without fuss. It’s easy to mix colors in any of the three cartridges, thanks to a special paddle. The slick design features notches and discreet lines to help the user properly align tips and collars.

If you’ve used big pastry bags with couplers, tips and a messy cleanup, this baby set with three larger decorating tips and one filler tip will seem simple. The smaller disposable bags fit the hand perfectly for a steady, controlled release of frosting. The instruction book gives the best directions for nice patterns, rosettes, stars and flowers. Cleanup flies by; pitch the plastic bag and wash the tips in warm water.

One set holds enough bottles for five little people to squeeze frosting or to hold five different colors: three half-cup-capacity accordion shapes, one tall bottle that holds a cup of frosting and one exclusive snap-apart dual chamber bottle for two-tone frosts with extra bottles available for purchase separately. Decorating tips include round, star, leaf, basketweave and ribbon. The kit includes a tiny offset spatula, too.

The WS Kids kit, manufactured by Kuhn Rikon, uses the same bottles as the Sur La Table set, minus one bottle and tip. Three accordionstyle bottles and one straightsided bottle gave the same super control and fun results. A tidy storage box with great graphics takes up less space than the boxes of other kits.



Snapping the cartridge in and out requires a bit of pressure on plastic parts. At just under one-quarter cup, the cartridge capacity ranks tiny. The pen holder can’t be immersed in water and no parts are dishwasher safe.

No design innovation, just small pastry bags, not so easy for adults to master and definitely not kid-friendly. The large pattern tips work only with buttercream on bigger cookies or for cupcakes. Royal icing comes out of the larger writing tip fast, so be prepared.


$8.99; Michael’s, multiple locations,

$24; Sur La Table, Plaza Frontenac, Frontenac,

$29.99; Bertarelli Cutlery, 1927 Marconi Ave., The Hill,

Royal icing dropped by tablespoonfuls into the bottles, but the buttercream had to be forced in. Strong shapes held only with the heftier buttercream. The accordion bottles didn’t clean or dry easily.


Unfortunately, fill and cleanup issues are the same as the Sur La Table set. No offset spatula, no dualchamber bottle and no ribbon tip. $19.95; Williams-Sonoma, multiple locations,


k out


W h at to l oo k for : User-friendly design: Whether you’re icing solo or riding herd over kids wielding decorating tools on a sugar high, new kits offer great options. Sticky icing stays put in upright plastic bottles. The squeeze-ease handling of accordion and straight-sided bottles helps young artists squiggle happily and older bakers to take control and shine.

Versatility: Look for kits with multiple tips in varying patterns and sizes. Large, straight-sided bottles work well for plating sauces and thin royal icing. Accordion squeeze bottles give good control for pattern work. Extra bottles: The prettiest cookies usually have at least two colors of frosting, so look for enough bottles for multiple colors.


Attention cookie lovers! Try the winning recipe from our holiday cookie contest. Inspired Food Culture



ON the shelf

BEER written by Michael Sweeney

When not using his spare time to make fun of people who write blogs, Michael Sweeney writes the beer blog The irony is lost on him.

Ska Brewing Co.'s Euphoria Pale Ale STYLE: American Pale Ale (6.4% abv) AVAILABLE AT: Friar Tuck, multiple locations,



written by Chad Michael George

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.

Bitter Truth SloeBerry BlueGin Provenance: Germany (28% abv) Available at: Friar Tuck, multiple locations,; $43.99; $8.99 (six-pack, 12-oz bottles) Pairings: Parmesan cheese • Grilled chicken

While nearly all craft breweries feature a pale ale in their year-round lineup, Ska Brewing's pale ale is a winter seasonal. This ale features a floral hop aroma and flavor while staying very clean and easy-drinking.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.'s Celebration Ale STYLE: American IPA (6.8% abv) AVAILABLE AT: The Wine Merchant, 20 S. Hanley Road, Clayton,; $9.99 (six-

Bitter Truth breaks out of the bitters category with this delicious example of what a good sloe gin can be. Hans Reisetbauer, Austria’s most famous distiller, crafted this beauty for Bitter Truth using sloe berries, a relative of the plum and prune family. Look for a subtle hint of almond and spice, along with a balanced tart but off-dry finish.

Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Maple Wood Finish Provenace: Kentucky (47% abv) Available at: The Wine & Cheese Place, multiple locations,; $80

pack, 12-oz bottles) Pairings: Chicken curry • Maytag blue cheese

There was a time in my life when I wasn’t a hophead. But a few years ago, my friend Matt Herren offered me Celebration Ale, and I was hooked. This beer isn’t for the faint of heart; the hops are almost puckering, they’re so strong. But every sip takes me back down memory lane.

Six Row Brewing Co.'s Strong Porter STYLE: Porter (5.22% abv) AVAILABLE AT: Six Row Brewing Co., 3690 Forest Park Ave., Midtown,; $4.50 (16-oz draught) Pairing: Smoked salmon • Pulled pork

When drafting its initial lineup of beers, I’m sure Six Row Brewing noticed the lack of an everyday porter brewed in St. Louis. This roasty, toasty beer has an excellent mouth feel that's never too thin or too heavy. Not only did they fill a hole in the local lineup, they filled it with a great beer.

This latest release in the Master’s Collection is the first bourbon ever to be finished in sugar maple barrels. The result offers hints of cinnamon and, of course, maple syrup. The whiskey is smooth and elegant and worthy of the high asking price. There is no guarantee of another production run, so grab your bottle now and savor it over the years to come.

Michter’s US*1 Rye Whiskey Provenance: Kentucky (42.4% abv) Available at: The Wine Merchant, 20 S. Hanley Road, Clayton,; $41.99

After a short hiatus, Michter’s is back in the St. Louis market with one of the best bargains on the shelves today. To make this single-barrel rye, they cut open the grains – which concentrates the rye flavors during fermentation – and the whiskey is aged in charred, new American white oak barrels in a heated warehouse. The resulting spirit has loads of spice and black pepper, balanced by soft fruit notes of plum and jam.

OUR TOP PICKS FOR DECEMBER Pouring wine photography by © Patterson

WINE written by Angela Ortmann

STLwinegirl Angela Ortmann shares her passion for all things epicurean through her event and consultation business, which is dedicated to enhancing your food and wine experience.

2007 Château Latrézotte Le Sauternes de ma Fille Provenance: Barsac, France Available at: Provisions Gourmet Market, 11615 Olive Blvd., Creve Coeur,; $16.99 Pairings: Roquefort • Foie gras • Caramel-apple tart

From the famed portfolio of Bernard Magrez, this Sauternes is made from 99 percent Sémillon; its lightness pairing well with both sweet and savory dishes. This wine stirs up aromas and flavors of honey, peaches and apples.

Gaston Chiquet Brut Tradition NV Provenance: Champagne, France Available at: The Wine Merchant, 20 S. Hanley Road, Clayton,; $46.99 Pairings: Potato chips, french fries and popcorn • Quiche Lorraine • Lobster

Grower’s Champagne, aka “farmer’s fizz,” is sparkling wine produced by the estate that owns the vineyards. This blend of Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir is smooth and elegant. With a nose of dried apricots and rising dough, the finish is refreshingly fruity.

2006 RioFava Barolo Provenance: Piedmont, Italy Available at: Robust, 227 W. Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves,; $29.50 Pairings: Parmesan cheese • Pasta Bolognese • Braised venison

Considered one of Italy’s greatest wines, Barolo shows best after five years or more of aging. The tannins soften and make way for a full, complex wine that continues to excite with every swirl of your glass, revealing aromas of rose and plum. A mouth of chocolate and earth, with remarkably surprising bright cherry notes in the finish.

Join Angela Ortmann and FEAST publisher Catherine Neville for a wine tasting at 6pm on Thu., Dec. 16, at Monarch Restaurant & Wine Bar. RSVP by emailing Inspired Food Culture



mystery shopper PHOTOGRAPHy by Carmen Troesser

Chestnut Blini with Maple Flan and Date Purée By Christie Saali, Sidney Street Café

Serves | 6 to 8 | Maple Flan

6 eggs

½ cup milk ½ cup maple syrup 3 cups sweetened condensed milk Date Purée

4 oz pitted dates

1¼ cups maple syrup Chestnut Blini

1 cup maple syrup

¾ cup peeled chestnuts 3 Tbsp cream 2/3 cup milk 2 Tbsp sugar 5 Tbsp butter, plus more to coat pan ¼ cup semolina flour

3 eggs, separated

| Preparation – Maple Flan | Preheat oven to 300ºF. Mix all ingredients. Fill eight 6-oz ramekins and place in roasting pan with water halfway up sides of ramekins. Bake for 1 hour, until flan is almost set (it should jiggle slightly). Let cool in roaster for 20 minutes. Transfer ramekins to refrigerator.

| Preparation – Date Purée | Heat dates and maple syrup in a pot for 5 minutes on low. Remove from heat and let cool. Purée in blender until smooth. | Preparation – Chestnut Blini | Bring syrup to a

MEET: Chestnuts written by Matt Sorrell

Wintertime fare doesn’t get

simmer and add chestnuts. Simmer for 30 minutes. Strain off chestnuts and place in food processor. Purée into paste. Mix cream, milk, sugar, butter, flour and chestnut paste in a sauce pot. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool. In mixer, beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Add yolks to cooled milk mixture and fold in whites. Heat skillet to mediumhigh. Melt enough butter to coat bottom of pan. Drop batter by the spoonful into pan. Brown on both sides.

| To Serve | Spoon purée onto 8 dessert plates. Place blini on top of purée with flan on the side.

What Is It?

sweet taste and, depending on how long you roast them, a consistency akin to a baked potato. You can eat chestnuts raw out of the shell, too, though they can be a bit astringent.

in song and a seasonal

Ranging from light brown to almost black in color, chestnuts at first glance look fairly formidable. But the soft shell can easily be pierced with a sharp blade. Unlike a lot of traditional holiday foods, chestnuts are actually good for you. They’re gluten-free and have tons of fiber. They’re also high in starch and are sometimes used as a potato substitute.

staple on tables across the

How Do I Use It?

These nuts can be enjoyed in many dishes. They make a tasty addition to salads and soups, or in stuffings for your holiday bird. They can even be milled into flour and used in all manner of baked goods.

Of course, roasting over an open fire is probably what most folks think of when chestnuts are mentioned, though ovens work just fine, too. Just be sure to score the outer shell first, or you’ll get a little surprise when the water inside heats up. Once roasted, chestnuts have a light, slightly

Chestnuts are perishable to the extreme. Due to their high moisture content, they’re prone to mold, so store them in airtight containers in the fridge. You can freeze them, too, for later use.

much more traditional than chestnuts. Immortalized

land, these nuts can be consumed as is, or added to a variety of dishes.

Stop by Straub’s to pick up more delicious recipes featuring chestnuts. Visit for information on their four locations. 34


check it out!

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GO! on the on the Go! Access FEAST anywhere you go with our mobile site, Our recipes link makes it convenient to shop for ingredients from your smart phone. Inspired Food Culture



the cheat

Holiday Leftovers STORY AND RECIPE BY Cassandra Vires

Every holiday since I was a kid, the picture is the same: My mother’s house full of brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and whatever strays she picked up along the way. She is in the kitchen, making the grand feast and, while there are only about 20 of us to feed, she prepares enough food to serve three times that. Inevitably, the next week is full of turkey sandwiches, reheated mashed potatoes and, worst of all, a lot of food in the trash can. And I’m not the only one whose mother overdoes it a bit. Turning leftovers into something delicious is how I learned to cook. So this month I give you a cheat that keeps on giving: how to get creative and turn your holiday leftovers into yet another impressive meal.

For the holidays, what could be better than not only finding a use for leftover dinner rolls, ham, turkey and cranberry sauce but also whipping up quick and delicious breakfast sandwiches for your houseguests? This recipe is quick, easy and much of it can be done ahead, so everyone can sleep in a little and the cook can spend more time with guests. It’s a little sweet, a little savory and something hopefully everyone will enjoy. Serve with a simple salad on the side, and you have yet another fantastic meal with those you love. Chef Cassandra Vires received her culinary training in Houston, Texas, and has a knack for reimagining classic dishes.

French Toast Panini This recipe utilizes a number of leftovers that are typically thrown out or turned into an everyday sandwich. Quick and easy to make, it is a perfect brunch or snack for the whole family.

Serves | 8 | 4 cups 4 1 tsp 1 tsp 1 tsp 8 8 slices 1 cup 8 oz


Scan the Microsoft Tag from your smart phone to watch chef Cassy Vires whip up a French Toast Panini from leftover dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, turkey and eggnog! Visit to get the free app. Or, watch the video in the Watch & Section section at 36


heavy cream eggs ground nutmeg ground cinnamon vanilla extract leftover dinner rolls, halved butter, as needed leftover ham or turkey leftover cranberry sauce Brie

| Preparation | Heat a large griddle or panini press to high. | 1 | In a large bowl, mix heavy cream, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Whisk until

well-combined. Dip halved rolls in cream mixture.

| 2 | Melt butter on the heated griddle and cook rolls on both sides until warm and crisp on the outside. Remove and set aside. Once cool enough to handle, prepare the sandwiches with ham or turkey, a spoonful of cranberry sauce and a slice of Brie. | 3 | Return to panini press or bake in a 350ºF oven until warm and the cheese is melted. Serve warm. | To Make It Ahead | Griddle the leftover rolls, construct sandwiches and place in fridge until ready to reheat.


PHOTOGRAPHY by Jennifer Silverberg


|3| Inspired Food Culture



deconstructed dishes

Charlotte Molds

Panettone written by Erik Jacobs


A charlotte mold, depending on how one looks at it, is either a cake pan on steroids or a bundt pan that’s missing its inner hole. If you do not have a charlotte pan in which to make your panettone, you can find disposable, gift-worthy paper molds online, or just use your bundt pan or cake pan. Please note that baking times may be decreased in a bundt pan so pay close attention, and if using a cake pan, fashion a parchment collar about four inches above the rim of the cake pan in order to allow the panettone to reach its desired height.

Recipe by Gabrielle DeMichele, Nate Bonner and Lucy Schnuck

A sweet Italian bread traditionally served at Christmastime, panettone is often mistakenly associated with fruitcake. Make that mistake at your own risk because panettone is a wonderfully rich and delicious yeast bread. Invest some time and energy into this extraordinary enriched bread this season and you will not be sorry. Especially amazing is the French toast you can make with leftovers. Gabrielle DeMichele, Nate Bonner and Lucy Schnuck work together to formulate original recipes, brainstorming the best ingredients, methods and techniques to employ when teaching classes at the Schnucks Cooks Cooking School in Des Peres.

Panettone SPONGE

2/3 cup 1½ 1 cup

milk envelopes active dry yeast (¼-oz each) all-purpose flour


1½ sticks 1 tsp ½ cup 1 tsp 2 tsp 4 Tbsp 6 4 cups ½ cup ½ cup ½ cup 4 Tbsp

unsalted butter, plus more for bowl, mold and knife salt sugar freshly grated lemon zest pure vanilla extract sweet Marsala wine large eggs, divided all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface chopped candied citron sultana raisins glacéed chestnuts unsalted butter, melted

| Preparation – Sponge | Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until just warmed through; whisk in yeast.

JOIN US! rsvp: OR 314.909.1704


Place flour in a medium bowl and add milk mixture; stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until tripled in size, about 45 minutes.

| Preparation – Dough | In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, salt and sugar until light and fluffy. Add lemon zest, vanilla and wine; beat until smooth. Add 2 eggs and beat until well combined. Add 1/3 of the flour and mix until well combined. Repeat process two more times with remaining eggs and flour. Add sponge mixture and beat until smooth. Stir in candied citron, sultanas and chestnuts until just incorporated. Butter a large bowl and transfer dough to bowl. Let stand at room temperature until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Butter two 2- to 2½-quart charlotte molds or other straight-sided molds; set aside. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Fold dough in half a couple of times to deflate. Divide dough into 2 equal pieces and roll each into a ball. Place each piece in prepared molds and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature until dough rises to the top of each mold, about 2 hours. Using a sharp buttered knife, cut an X into the top of each panettone. Transfer to oven and bake for 50 minutes.

| To Serve | Unmold panettone and transfer to a wire rack; brush all over with melted butter. Let cool. Wrap each panettone tightly in two layers of plastic wrap and keep refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Get hands-on with the Schnucks Cooks team and FEAST publisher Catherine Neville at 6pm on Wed., Dec. 15, to make panettone as well as fresh-pasta veggie lasagna, roasted tomato salad, marinated broccoli and zabaglione.



Yield | 2 loaves |

Candied Citron


Glacéed Chestnuts

Citron is an ancient citrus fruit mainly used for its highly aromatic and flavorful rind. Neither lemon nor lime, the zest of the citron is simmered in sugar syrup until much of the bitterness is leeched out and replaced with sweetness. Available in specialty gourmet markets and online, candied citron is often used in Old World holiday baked goods.

If your kid’s face turns pale when you offer raisins as a snack, try offering these exotic dried superfruits instead. Nothing more than dried white grapes, these golden raisins add intense richness to recipes. Fashion a daring tale of Arabian swashbuckling heroes to go with that bowl of golden raisins, and they might just eat them up.

Glacéed chestnuts, also called marrons glacé, are fresh chestnut meats that are candied over a period of a few days. They can get pricey, but to make them yourself will take days of your time and your last bit of patience. If you choose to substitute, realize there isn’t really a good one. Use candied walnuts or pecans, but it will not be nearly as authentic.

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racks Recipes by Erik Jacobs


photography by Greg Rannells

Porcini Encrusted Roast Rack of Lamb Lamb’s natural richness provides a truly amazing foil to the earthy pungency of this porcini mushroom crust. The color contrast of the almost-black mushrooms to the medium-rare interior of the lamb is quite striking. Although far less gamey now than in days past, lamb still has a pronounced flavor that pairs well with contemporary wines and side dishes. Served atop a bed of pan-seared mushrooms, this dish cries out for a peppery Côtes du Rhône, or a rich, foresty Pinot Noir from Oregon. Serves | 4 to 6 | Rack of Lamb

3 cloves ¼ cup 2 2 oz 2 tsp 1 tsp 1 tsp

garlic, finely minced olive oil, divided 8-bone racks of lamb, frenched* salt and freshly ground black pepper dried porcini mushrooms, pulverized in a spice grinder ground cumin cocoa powder dried thyme butcher’s twine

Pan-Seared Mushrooms

1½ lb 6 cloves 1 oz

mixed mushrooms (shiitake, crimini, portabella, oyster, white button, chanterelle, etc) olive oil for sautéeing garlic, sliced in half lengthwise fresh thyme on stem salt and freshly ground black pepper

| Preparation – Rack of Lamb | Mix minced garlic in half the olive oil and marinate lamb in this mixture for 2 hours

or up to 24, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Bring marinated lamb to room temperature and brush off raw garlic, keeping as much oil as possible on lamb. Season with salt and pepper. In a hot sauté pan, place seasoned lamb rack fat side down and sear until golden brown, approximately 2 minutes. Turn over and sear another 2 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to rest. In small bowl, mix pulverized mushrooms, cumin, cocoa and thyme. Brush lamb with remaining olive oil and coat in porcini mixture until thick, alternating light coatings of oil (if needed) with the powder mixture until it is fully utilized. Tie the racks with butcher’s twine on every other bone. Tie snugly, but not too tightly. This step will help the racks retain their shape during cooking.

Nothing marks a special occasion more boldly than roasted racks of meat. From their creative preparation to their artful presentation, they are a feast for both the palate and the eyes.

Place coated, seared racks in oven and allow to roast 5 to 6 minutes until internal temperature reaches 130ºF for a medium-rare rack. As the size of racks can vary dramatically, rely on internal temperature readings of the lamb, and not strictly on cooking time, to achieve your desired doneness. Remove from oven about 5ºF below

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Taste the season with FEAST and L’Ecole Culinaire on Wed. Dec. 8. Chef-instructor Matt Borchardt will cook a multi-course celebratory meal, complete with a chocolate-and-wine tasting led by Bissinger’s Handcrafted Chocolatier. Call 314.587.2433 to reserve your space!

your target temperature and allow meat to rest for about 10 minutes. During the rest, cooking will continue to reach desired internal temperature.

| Preparation – Pan-Seared Mushrooms | Slice mushrooms into planks ¼-inch thick. To properly sear, sauté each mushroom species separately in a hot pan with olive oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. When all the mushrooms have been cooked, add garlic to pan and cook until golden brown on all sides, being careful not to burn. Return all mushrooms to pan, add thyme, salt and pepper and toss until well mixed.

| To Serve | Carve racks into individual chops by slicing between bones and arrange on bed of mushrooms. Allow 3 to 4 chops per person. Serve immediately. *Ask your butcher to prepare frenched racks of lamb for you if you’re uncomfortable or unfamiliar with the technique. An excellent guide to this technique can be found here:

Veal Rack Persillade Usually reserved for special occasions because of its price, rack of veal presents the home chef with a delicious and easy roast to prepare for A-list guests. Since veal is a mild-flavored meat, it takes well to a variety of styles. Here it is paired with the traditional French persillade (payr-see-ahd), which also goes wonderfully with lamb. Serves | 6 | 1 ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp 2 cups 1 cup 2 cloves

6-bone rack of veal salt and freshly ground black pepper olive oil panko bread crumbs flat-leaf parsley, chopped garlic, minced zest of 1 lemon

| Preparation | Preheat oven to 375ºF. Place roasting pan on a burner over medium-high heat. Salt and pepper the veal rack generously. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to the hot pan and place rack in pan (meat side down) to sear, approximately 3 minutes or until a golden-brown crust is achieved. Turn rack over and allow to brown on underside, 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest. In a small mixing bowl, combine panko, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, remaining olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Mix until panko is moist, adding just enough olive oil to make the bread crumb mixture stick together when squeezed without becoming too saturated. When veal is cool enough to work with, press crumb mixture on the meat side of the veal, forming a crust about ½-inch thick. Once the veal is coated, place it back into the roasting pan and bake until internal temperature reaches 135ºF for a roast cooked to medium, approximately 65 minutes. If the crumbs begin to brown early, tent the top of the roast with aluminum foil for the rest of the cooking time. Remove rack from oven. Cover loosely with foil, and allow veal to rest at least 20 minutes. Carve into individual chops and serve.

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Crown Roast of Pork with Mediterranean Bread Pudding A regal centerpiece for a traditional holiday feast, the dramatic presentation of the crown roast of pork has wowed dinner guests for many generations. Save some time and effort by having your butcher fashion and tie the roast for you. The sweetness of the pork will be a wonderful foil for the savory Mediterranean bread pudding. Stuffing the crown after it has fully cooked will ensure a shorter roasting time with juicier, more even results. Serves | 10 to 12 | 1 4 Tbsp 2 Tbsp 2 cups 3 6 cups 3 3 cloves 4 cups 1 cup 1 cup 2

crown roast of pork, approximately 8 lbs (fashioned and tied) olive oil, divided salt and freshly ground black pepper butter for greasing baking dish whole milk or half and half large eggs ½- to 1-inch bread cubes large shallots, sliced garlic, coarsely chopped baby spinach marinated artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped and divided feta cheese red bell peppers, roasted and cut into ¼-inch strips*

| Preparation | Preheat oven to 325°F. Allow crown roast to come to room temperature, about 1 hour. Rub 2 Tbsp olive oil over pork, and season with 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper. Place tied and seasoned crown, bone ends up, on rack in shallow roasting pan. Wrap bone ends with foil to prevent burning. Roast uncovered 2 hours and 20 minutes to 3 hours or until thermometer reads 155ºF to 160ºF. Remove from oven, tent with aluminum foil and allow to rest. While roast is cooking, grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with butter. Whisk together milk, eggs, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper. Place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl, cover with egg mixture and allow to soak for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Raise oven temperature to 400ºF. In a deep sauté pan, heat remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat and add shallots. Sauté until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook about 1 minute. Stir in baby spinach. You may have to do this in stages if your pan is not large enough to hold all the spinach at once. Sauté until spinach wilts and liquid in pan is almost cooked off, about 5 minutes. Add spinach mixture, ¾ cup chopped artichoke hearts, ¾ cup feta and ¾ of the roasted peppers to soaked bread cubes and mix thoroughly. When everything is evenly mixed, place in buttered baking dish, cover with aluminum foil and place in oven. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake uncovered 10 minutes longer. Remove from oven. Allow 10 minutes for pudding to set and then transfer to middle of crown roast. Garnish with remaining artichoke hearts, peppers and feta. Slice at table for the most dramatic presentation. *Red peppers can be very quickly roasted under a broiler or over a gas burner until skins char. To remove skins, place the still-hot peppers in a plastic bag to steam them loose and gently remove skins and seeds.

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Getting into the Spirit Written by Matt Sorrell


Photography by Carmen Troesser

Whipping up a spirits infusion is an easy way to get creative with flavors outside of the kitchen. Most any liquor will do as a base. Anything from candy to coriander can be steeped in it





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and the process couldn’t be simpler.

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Think Like A Cook If you want to try your hand at infusions, start by thinking outside the bar, according to Matt Seiter, bar manager at Sactuaria. He should know; by his own admission, Seiter has spent more time behind the stove than behind the bar in his career and keeps a bevy of housemade infusions on hand. Seiter says to consider the base spirit a stock and choose additives to complement it. For example, gins have lots of botanicals and are a good match with cilantro and coriander. Whiskeys and rums often have vanilla notes that can be enhanced by vanilla bean. Look through your favorite cookbook, or food references like The Flavor Bible, for good matches.


Swedish Fish Vodka Infusion By Eric Scholle, Farmhaus

Âź lb 750-ml bottle

red Swedish fish from Crown Candy Kitchen vodka

| Preparation | Stretch Swedish fish (you want maximum surface area when infusing) and place in quart-sized mason jar. Fill with vodka and let sit for 24 hours. Strain vodka back into bottle or other container with a chinois (very fine-mesh conical strainer).

Vanilla Rum Infusion By Matt Seiter, Sanctuaria

1 liter 1 2 6

white rum whole vanilla bean 3-inch cinnamon sticks cloves

| Preparation | Pour rum in bottle or container of choice. Cut vanilla bean in half, remove seeds and put husk and seeds into rum. Add cinnamon sticks and cloves. Let sit 4 to 7 days. Strain through a conical strainer or coffee filter.

Kola Nut Tincture

Candy Cane Vodka

By Matt Seiter, Sanctuaria

By Eric Scholle, Farmhaus

750-ml bottle ½ lb

2 cups 1 pint 2 pints

cracked kola nuts Everclear distilled water simple syrup to taste

| Preparation | Roast nuts over high heat until aromatic. Cool, add Everclear and seal in quartsized Mason jar. After 1 month, strain out nuts and add water. Sweeten with simple syrup, to taste, if desired.

Rosemary-Almond Tequila Infusion

vodka candy cane from Crown Candy Kitchen, crushed

| Preparation | Combine vodka and candy canes in a blender and purĂŠe until smooth.

Cinnamon-Fig Brandy Infusion By Matt Obermark, Atomic Cowboy

750-ml bottle 3 12

brandy, preferably Camus VS cinnamon sticks dried figs, sliced

By Matt Obermark, Atomic Cowboy

| Preparation | Combine all ingredients in a

750-ml bottle 3 1 cup

bottle or container of choice and let sit for 2 to 3 days. Strain through conical strainer, then through cheesecloth. After straining, squeeze fig slices through cheesecloth.

Reposado tequila 6-inch sprigs rosemary crushed almonds

| Preparation | Combine ingredients in a bottle or container of choice and let sit for 2 to 3 days. Strain through conical strainer, then through cheesecloth.

Get more infusion and cocktail recipes at

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Keep in mind that while you’re not using kitchen appliances, you’re still cooking.


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co-owner of Bar Italia, who is known for his grappa infusions. If the amount of alcohol is too high and is killing the taste, Yohannes suggests adding a bit of water to bring down the proof. If the end result seems a bit off, he suggests adding small amounts of sugar, about one-half teaspoon to start, to settle the flavor.

iss . You’ll m a l i u q e te t th

some if you slam this.”


th e

“Alcohol is like the flame on a stove,” Seiter says. The higher the proof the hotter the flame, and the quicker the flavor will be imparted to the spirit. Another way to get flavors to take hold quickly, Seiter says, is to muddle the ingredients before adding them to the liquor. Sometimes the spirit can take over, though, says Mengesha Yohannes,

Tequila Starburst

Devil’s Cyn

By Matt Seiter, Sanctuaria

By Matt Seiter, Sanctuaria

Serves | 1 |

Serves | 1 |

1/3 oz 2 oz ½ oz 6 dashes

vanilla extract cracked ice Espolòn Reposado Tequila Cointreau kola nut tincture (on page 51) lemon twist

| Preparation | Lace a Nick and Nora glass with cracked ice and vanilla extract, then let sit while preparing cocktail. In mixing glass, combine remaining ingredients, add cracked ice and stir for 30 seconds. Empty the Nick and Nora glass and strain cocktail into it. Garnish with a lemon twist.

1/8 1 dash ½ oz ½ oz 1½ oz ½ oz 3

| Preparation | Muddle apple or pear with bitters, lemon juice and St-Germain in a shaker. Add infused rum, Pommeau and ice, shake and fine-strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with 3 apple slices.

By Eric Scholle, Farmhaus

Serves | 1 | chocolate vodka candy cane vodka (on page 51) heavy cream ice

| Preparation | Combine all ingredients in a shaker, shake and serve in a martini glass. Coat rim of glass with crushed candy cane if you wish.

Photo on page 49

Peppermint Patty Martini

2 oz 1 oz 1 oz

apple or pear, cored and cubed Bitter Truth grapefruit bitters lemon juice St-Germain vanilla rum infusion (on page 50) Pommeau ice apple slices

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Play Around “You’ve got to experiment with it,” says Matt Obermark, bar manager at Atomic Cowboy. Obermark keeps about a halfdozen infusions on hand at the bar at any given time, and is always trying something new. The beauty, and the danger, of infusions is that you can literally try anything, and the choices can be overwhelming. To get a good idea of what a potential ingredient will do in alcohol before you invest your time (and your booze), Yohannes recommends doing a test infusion with a small amount of clean vodka. Once the process is under way, sample the infusion daily, says Seiter, regardless of what the recipe says; this isn’t baking, after all.

one more cocktail

Swedish Fish Martini By Eric Scholle, Farmhaus

Serves | 1 | 2 oz 1 oz ½ oz

Swedish Fish vodka infusion (on page 50) dry vermouth pear juice or syrup ice

| Preparation | Combine all ingredients in a shaker, shake and serve up in a martini glass.

LOV Everybody


St. Raymond‘s Written by Barbara E. Stefàno


Photography by Tuan Lee


RECIPES COURTESY OF St. Raymond’s Maronite Church

By noon, St. Raymond’s Maronite Catholic Church is hopping: The food line stretches from the steam tables in the kitchen and down the long hall outside the banquet room. The aroma of hot oil and freshly cooked meats permeates the building, while the chatter of diners and servers builds to a gentle cacophony. “Food is a big part of our hospitality,” says volunteer and parishioner Diana Deeba. “You’d hurt some feelings if you were offered food and turned it down.” At St. Raymond’s, you won’t see anyone turning down chow. For less than ten bucks, you can fill up on dozens of hearty, authentic Lebanese dishes. Smiles and friendly banter are complimentary. For decades, members of the largely Lebanese congregation have been dishing out Middle Eastern cuisine and fellowship every Wednesday to all who care to partake. About 15 to 20 long-time parishioners make up the kitchen staff, with another 30 or so volunteers doing prep work earlier in the week. Main chef Charlie Miller dutifully cooks chicken, dumplings and other foods prepped by his wife, Teresa. “I started out as a busboy.” He jokes, “I got promoted.” Deeba, Barbara “Babs” Oseguera and others make salads, sides and pies and serve guests. Ameal Nassif and Mamie Koenig speedily package take-out orders, while church secretary Roxie Rask mans the register. Behind Miller is an eye-catching pile of deepbrown loaves the size and shape of small sweet potatoes. “Those are ‘footballs,’” says Nassif, using the food’s nickname. “This is kibbi. You have to try one.” He breaks open a steaming-hot loaf, clearly proud of this St. Raymond’s staple. Kibbi is a mixture of beef, bulgur wheat and spices. Though it’s traditionally made with lamb, St. Raymond’s uses ultra-lean, triple-ground sirloin prepared by Kenrick’s Meats & Catering. “If you see the meat when it comes in, there’s almost no fat in it,” Miller says.

prep WORK

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Fried kibbi (kibbi aras) takes on a delightful crispness on the outside with a satisfying crumble of ground beef inside. When describing the dish, seasoned volunteers reflexively make the twisting-finger-in-palm motion used to hollow out the loaves of meat. The Lebanese often serve fried kibbi with yogurt sauce, but diners can use their imaginations and dip it in just about anything. Peat Wollaeger, an artist who comes to the lunches about once a month, matches kibbi with that distinctly American condiment, barbecue sauce. “It’s amazing.” Raw kibbi (kibbi nayeh) is tender, almost creamy, and mildly spicy. Deeba suggests counterbalancing the slightly tangy paste with a drizzle of olive oil, chopped onion and flatbread for scooping. Other faves among the St. Raymond’s lunch crowd include lemony and slightly briny stuffed grape leaves and cabbage rolls, both filled with beef and rice. Diners flock to the spinach pies and meat pies, which are satisfyingly savory and always served piping hot. Tangy, tomato-y green beans and beef are served together over a mound of rice. Nearly two-dozen other dishes offer diners everything from homey, traditional chicken and dumplings to rice-and-bean dishes, salads and fresh pies. If you have a hankering for tabbouli, a bulgur wheat salad popular with regulars, you’ll have to come the first Wednesday of the month. That’s the only day it’s offered because its preparation is so labor-intensive. Wrap up your meal with a stiff cup of Lebanese coffee. A variation on Turkish coffee, the subtly spiced brew is made with a super-fine grind boiled with cardamom. The brewing process forms a residue that is poured with the liquid when the drink is served, so don’t tip the cup all the way back or you’ll risk crunching on the grounds. Many volunteers are lifers in the church, and some of them have been working the Wednesday lunches for close to 40 years. “We do this every week,” Deeba says. “I can’t tell you what brings us back. It’s just a good group.”

food FAVES

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When asked who runs the show, the kitchen erupts with laughter. “Nobody’s in charge,” Nassif says. “We have a system. You have a job and you do it, or who knows what will happen?” Volunteers arrive as early as 6:30am every Monday to receive delivery of ingredients and start cutting, spicing and mixing. For a few hours on Tuesdays, they roll cabbage and grape leaves and prepare meats for fried kibbi, among other duties. It’s another early start on Wednesday with kitchen workers arriving at 6am for more prep and to begin cooking. They save as much as possible for the last minute and continue cooking even after service begins, so food is always fresh. The cooks have been at it so long, they follow an instinctive, “pinch of this, dash of that” method of preparation, doing their work by feel rather than by measure, Deeba says. Every week, Deeba estimates 300 to 500 guests take advantage of that famous Lebanese hospitality. Many discover the weekly feasts by word of mouth; for others it’s a family tradition. Dr. Kevin Toal, retired, and his former surgical assistant Karen Weissflug have attended the lunches nearly every week since the early 1970s. “We had a patient who used to work the serving line,” Weissflug says. “She said, ‘You need to stop by,’ and we’ve been coming here ever since.” Matt McGuire, general manager of Monarch Restaurant & Wine Bar, got his indoctrination in grade school. “My dad would bring me,” he says. His father, the late John McGuire, was a longtime reporter for the Post-Dispatch. “I think it was probably a good place for stories.” Matt and his younger brother, Joe, meet at St. Raymond’s most Wednesdays. “St. Raymond’s is like a lot of things in St. Louis that are traditionbound,” says McGuire. “It’s an institution.”

St. Raymond’s Maronite Catholic Church holds lunches 11am to 2pm every Wednesday at Cedars Banquet Facility, 939 Lebanon Drive. Call 314.421.9151 to place carry-out orders.

get in LINE

Inspired Food Culture



everybody LOVE | Preparation | Wash and drain the lettuce, and chop into

bite-sized pieces. Dice onions, tomatoes and cucumber. Toss with chopped lettuce, garlic and mint in a large bowl. Set aside. In small bowl, mix oil, salt and pepper; add lemon juice a little at a time until the preferred flavor is achieved. Toss salad with dressing to taste, and top with feta cheese and black olives.

Stuffed Grape Leaves

Lebanese Salad Simple and straightforward, Lebanese salad offers a twist on the usual lettuce salad with the addition of mint – used liberally in Lebanese cooking – and pungent fresh garlic tossed with the greens. The tangy-tart dressing contrasts well with fried kibbi. Serves | 8 | 1 head ½ bunch 2 2 1 clove ¼ cup ¼ cup ¼ cup


iceberg lettuce green onions tomatoes small cucumbers garlic, mashed chopped fresh mint olive oil salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste lemon juice, or to taste feta cheese to taste black olives to taste


As with many Lebanese recipes, there are a number of variations on stuffed grape leaves. If preferred, use ground lamb instead of beef. This version includes a beef and rice filling and produces enough for a table of eight to enjoy several rolls each. Serves | 8 | 1 jar 1 cup 1 ½ lb 1 tsp ¼ tsp

grape leaves in brine uncooked long-grain rice lean ground beef garlic powder allspice salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste water lemon juice to taste

| Preparation | Rinse grape leaves thoroughly in cold water to remove the brine and squeeze out excess moisture. Set aside. Rinse rice and drain well. Mix rice with beef, garlic powder, allspice, salt and pepper, adding just enough water to moisten the mixture. Position a grape leaf so that the tip of the leaf is pointing away from you. Place about 1 Tbsp stuffing mix

horizontally across grape leaf in a tube shape, leaving room around the edges for folding. Fold the bottom of the leaf over the top of the stuffing, then fold in the ends of the leaf. Roll the tube away from you to get a tight roll. Continue stuffing leaves until the stuffing mix is gone.

Line the bottom of a saucepan with extra grape leaves, and arrange the stuffed leaves in the pan in rows. Sprinkle the rolls with salt. Place an inverted pan or heat-proof dish on top of the rolls and leave it on top during cooking. Add lemon juice to water and pour just enough water into the pan to cover the rolls. Bring to a boil on the stove, cover and reduce heat. Simmer on low heat until the rice is done, about 40 minutes.

OVES St. Raymond’s Fried Kibbi (Kibbi Aras)

Kibbi is so integral to Lebanese food culture that a traditional dinner isn’t complete without it. Kibbi can also be served raw (kibbi nayeh), but unless you have a butcher you trust implicitly, opt for this savory fried version. Serves | 8 | Kibbi

2 cups 3 lbs 3 ½ tsp ½ tsp 1 Tbsp

finely ground bulgur very lean beef, finely ground small onions, finely grated or chopped salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste allspice cinnamon finely crushed marjoram

½ tsp 1 cup

crushed mint flakes cold water

Meat Stuffing

1½ lbs 1 1 tsp ½ cup 1 Tbsp 1/3 cup

lean ground beef large onion, chopped allspice salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste pine nuts crushed, dried mint lemon juice

| Preparation – Kibbi | Wash bulgur in cold water three times and drain. Let stand for 30 minutes. Mix all ingredients except water. Knead, dipping hands frequently in water until it is fully incorporated into the mixture. | Preparation – Meat Stuffing | Brown beef through mint in a saucepan. Drain away grease. Add juice and mix well.

| To Assemble | Heat cooking oil in a skillet over mediumhigh heat. Take about ½ cup kibbi into your hands and use your forefinger to hollow out the middle and form into a football-shaped tube. Work the kibbi between the finger and palm to widen the hole. Fill with about ¼ cup meat stuffing and pinch the end to seal. Fry kibbi until the outside is firm and deep brown in color. Drain on paper towels and serve plain or with a favorite dipping sauce.

Turkish/Lebanese Coffee (Ahweh) Turkish coffee is as deeply entrenched in the Lebanese culture as ever it was in Turkey, and nary a meal passes without an offer of this bitter, aromatic drink. Coffee lovers

who enjoy sweet java should add sugar during the brewing process to achieve the best the flavor and texture. Serves | 8 | 2 Tbsp 1 cup 1

coffee water sugar to taste cardamom pod

| Preparation | Use grinder to pulverize coffee to a very fine powder. Place water in a small pot on medium heat. Add sugar to taste, then gradually add coffee grounds, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a boil and becomes frothy. Remove pot from heat, add cardamom and stir until froth recedes. Boil twice more, removing the pan from heat and stirring down the froth after each boil. After the third boil, pour the coffee into demitasse or espresso cups and serve immediately.

Inspired Food Culture



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truffles story and Recipe by Brian Pelletier, Kakao Chocolate


Photography by Tuan Lee

Truffles are a decadent treat that are surprisingly simple to make. The key to turning basic ganache into gourmet truffles is nothing more than a two-step process: First, add a creative flavoring, then roll it up in a tasty topping. With expert tips from a professional confectioner and a list of recommended ingredients, these satisfying (and satisfyingly easy) sweets will become your new holiday staple.



Vanilla bean

Chile pepper


Candied ginger

Cocoa powder

chopped chocolate


The Basic Recipe Chocolate Ganache Since there are only two basic ingredients in ganache, seek out the best quality you can find. Heavy cream is required – you can’t substitute milk or even half and half, because the milk fat is key. For the chocolate, use your favorite, but don’t use chocolate chips. Yield | 80 to 100 | 1¾ cups heavy cream 2½ cups finely chopped dark or milk chocolate

| Preparation | Heat cream in a 2-quart saucepan until it just starts to simmer. Remove from heat and add chocolate, stirring slightly to ensure the chocolate is covered by the cream. Cover pan and let sit 5 minutes, so the chocolate and cream can get to know each other. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir the mixture – scraping the sides of the pan – until the ganache is smooth and no bits of chocolate remain. (If you have pieces that didn’t melt, take them out of the ganache.) Pour ganache into a shallow bowl, let cool to room temperature, then cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight. To form truffles, scoop out ganache with a spoon, mini ice cream scoop or melon baller. Form ganache into ¾-inch balls and place in a single layer on a sheet pan. Return to refrigerator for 1 hour or until nicely firm. If you plan to add toppings, roll truffles in chosen toppings first, then refrigerate until it’s time to serve.



Variations STEP 1


You can flavor the basic truffle recipe using two methods: Steep a flavoring ingredient in the cream or add a flavored liquid to the cream before you add the chocolate.














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When steeping the cream with flavor, strain out the flavoring agent before adding the cream to the chocolate. Note that you’ll need to add a bit more cream to account for what is soaked up by the strained ingredients. How much will depend on the ingredient – a vanilla bean will use very little, but coffee will soak up more. Flavors for Steeping • Vanilla bean: Split the bean lengthwise and scrape out seeds into cream (save the bean for your morning coffee). • Coffee: Add 2 Tbsp coarse-ground coffee to the cream. • Tea: Add 2 Tbsp of your favorite tea – black, green, herbal – to the cream; try Earl Grey with dark chocolate or chamomile with milk chocolate. • Spices: Be creative! Chile pepper can be amazing with chocolate; also try curry powder or orange zest.




Add Flavor


Adding Flavored Liquids When adding liquid, subtract an equal amount of the cream. You don’t need too much, just a couple of tablespoons. Add liqueur after taking the cream off the heat so you don’t evaporate too much flavor. Try: • Whiskey or bourbon • Fruit liqueurs like cherry, raspberry and orange • Nut liqueurs like almond or walnut


Top Them Off Once the truffles cool, you can top them with any number of tasty bits. Simply sprinkle your topping on a plate, roll the truffles through it and put them in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. Try topping them with:

• Ground nuts • Finely chopped chocolate • Coconut • Candied ginger • Chopped cocoa nibs • Cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)

cocoa nibs

Ground nuts

Inspired Food Culture



Truffle Gallery A few flavor-and-topping combinations to try this holiday season.














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Earl Grey tea truffle rolled in chocolate shavings

Vanilla bean truffle rolled in ground cocoa nibs


Cherry liqueur truffle covered with toasted coconut

Whiskey truffle dusted with cocoa powder

Coffee truffle covered with ground hazelnuts



Scan the Microsoft Tag from your smart phone to take a behind-the-scenes tour of Kakao Chocolate with chief chocolatier Brian Pelletier. Visit to get the free app. Or, watch the video in the Watch & Section section at 70


Inspired Food Culture





Inspired Food Culture



pull up a chair

THE EVE CHAIR written by Erin Callier

Boasting a couture take on the slipcover concept, the Eve chair by Wittmann is a tailored and timeless classic in the making. Available with or without armrests, the surprising rear detailing, clean lines and a variety of fabric and finish options create a custom-like versatility that lends itself to any number of creative pairings.

$1,654-$3,827 depending on material, finish and style options Centro Modern Furnishings 4727 McPherson Ave. Central West End

Unique pairings available through three local sources:

Luciano Dining Table

“The sleek and sophisticated Luciano table is a stunning and functional complement to the Eve chair. The detailed stitching on the chair and the hand-cut pieces of genuine mahogany on the table top will infuse any dining space with warmth and elegance.”

Kathlean May, Arhaus Furniture $1,499; Arhaus Furniture, 1657 S. Brentwood Blvd., Brentwood,

Bento Dining Table

“I love the round Bento dining table by Artistica because it’s easy to have a conversation with everyone who is seated at the table. The table is extremely simple in style with an amazing espresso finish. The twist on the pedestal makes it look more transitional – similar to the feel of the Eve chair, which would look awesome in a solid gray flannel fabric.”

Denise Fogarty, Denise Fogarty Interiors $990; Denise Fogarty Interiors,



Kennedy Dining Table

“The simple yet clean-lined Kennedy table by SunPan Imports enhances the amazing detail of the Eve chair. The wooden legs of the chair contrast well with the metal structure of the table. Contemporary design is all about playing soft surfaces against hard surfaces to create a personal balance of style.”

Mike Finan, UMA $1,750; UMA, 1100 Locust St., Downtown,

December 2010 FEAST Magazine  

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

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