This Week in Tweets

  • Visit and use the promo code FBOOK9! $12 for 12 months. #
  • Drinking the 2004 Ojai Syrah Roll Ranch Vineyard #
  • Drinking the NV Varichon & Clerc – Privilege Blanc de Blancs #
  • Wine tasting at 33 Wine Bar is done so now it’s time to find late night Monday #stl food that’s still tasty. #
  • Kingshighway burger @theroyale w/ dj spinning Sonic Youth and Pixies La La Love You. Pretty fine Monday #
  • With Jake, Dylan and Mike away for a bachelor party weekend, loyal 33 Wine Bar customer @Ericstl6 will be guest bartending this Fri/Sat. #
  • Bacon Salt has arrived at Schnucks #
  • RT @theroyale: …Royale all summer special: $2.50 drafts on all Missouri beers all day during the week #
  • RT @gutcheckstl: News from Monarch: RT @cookingkid: @gutcheckstl doing a farmer’s dinner on June 10 featuring Claverach & root Cellar. #
  • It’s Monarch v White Rabbits concert RT @gutcheckstl: Details on Monarch dinner, including menu and wine pairings: #
  • Maplewood is busy today. Couple extra new farms and only 4 more spots available before max capacity per the market master. #
  • Broccoli from Ozark Mountain #
  • Your restaurant can only be so swank when Bel Biv Devoe’s poison is rockin’ overhead. #
  • Celebrating auction win of ’09 Panama Esmeralda, Coffee Klatch is slashed prices on in-stock auction coffees $27.95 for the ’08 Es http: … #
  • So much cooler when I give the link… It’s one of the best coffees I’ve ever tasted. #
  • One giant ass red wattle Boston Butt is now awaiting it’s dry rub and smoking in the Burge annex–aka the pork and beer only mini-fridge. #
  • Why, oh why, did I have to freeze my entire right side pork loin in two huge pieces instead of cutting chops? How can I cut frozen meat? #
  • Eel at Miso last night was the most tender I’ve had in St. Louis. I can’t stop thinking about it actually. #
  • Much as I hate the word foodie, my understanding of Twitter is that if people start posting #stlfoodies that it’ll be a searchable term. #
  • Don’t forget: Michael Pollan is at the St. Louis County library headqurters tomorrow. #
  • I’ll say it again: sure Sandrinas is not the best food in #stl but duck confit & smoked trout sliders till 2am is astonishing in this town #

This Week in Tweets

  • Finally landed the heavier 48×30 stainless prep table for the kitchen on craigslist, and the wife is not yet sold on the idea. #
  • Drinking the 2006 Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot #
  • I had not realized till now that the pay-someone-to-farm-your-backyard-for-you concept had arrived in #stl #
  • Don’t forget tonight’s Slow Food event… SLOWednesday with Gerard Craft, Dave Hillebrand and Brett Palmier #
  • Iron Chef battling a #stl best chef is probably not the best idea I’ve ever had. Lesson learned: don’t dine w/ @twistedthreads when drunk. #
  • Last Iron Chef tweet was meant to go out yesterday because now I’m actually damned excited. It will be an awesome night. #
  • There are people doing interesting things to try and produce better Missouri wine, but it’s still just BETTER MISSOURI WINE. #
  • This is the type of new-food idea that sparks my interest most Red wine sauce w/out stock means a purer RW flavor. #

This Week in Tweets

  • Why did the taqueria I just eat in have Ikea silverware made in China, and the last Chinese place I ate in had silverware made in Mexico? #
  • Poached eggs make just about everything better. #
  • This is so awesome!!! Go MO! RT @slashfood: Riverfront Times wins for The Pope of Pork #
  • So, so cool! RT @gutcheckstl: Riverfront Times’ Kristen Hinman wins James Beard Award for her article, “The Pope of Pork,” on Missouri pork. #
  • Lunch@I Love Mr Sushi. 1-Didn’t love it & Mrs. Sushi was cooking 2-she wore plastic gloves 4-sashimi was presliced 5-rice was dry&bland boo! #
  • Looking at thinking, “this looks pretty damn good”. I need another trip to Chicago. #
  • “Local” doesn’t mean anything beyond just that, but is it fair to assume “local meat” at a farmers market implies it’s not from a CAFO? Y/N? #
  • As new farmers’ markets crop up to meet local demand, knowing what you’re buying has become a growing concern. Ask questions. Caveat emptor. #
  • Drinking the 2005 Columbia Crest Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon #
  • Winslow’s Home is on the fast track to being known for their beef brisket. Sold out almost before noon and so damned good! #
  • Fascinating! Especially the bit about heat… RT: @gutcheckstl: Harold McGee on whether to snap asparagus: #
  • Well it has been mostly green. RT @twistedthreads: @barbaricgulp you are so making me green with envy! #

James Beard Foundation Spreads the Love

Sadly, Niche’s Gerard Craft did not win the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Midwest. Instead it went to Tim McKee of La Belle Vie in Minneapolis. To show you something interesting, however, here are the nominees and winners over the last five years.

I have also included the 2007-2009 Best Chef: Great Lakes Region as many contenders now in that region (especially in Chicago) were part of the Midwest region through 2006. I have made bold those chefs who ultimately won, and have italicized those chefs who did not win but still dropped off the nomination list the following year.

Best Chef: Midwest (Currently: IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)

  • 2009 Nominees: Isaac Becker, Gerard Craft, Colby Garrelts, Tim McKee, Alexander Roberts
  • 2008 Nominees: Isaac Becker, Colby Garrelts, Tim McKee, Alexander Roberts, Alex Siegel
  • 2007 Nominees: Colby Garrelts, Tim McKee, Alex Roberts, Adam Siegel, Celina Tio
  • 2006 Nominees: Jean-Robert De Cavel, Shawn McClain, Carrie Nahabedian, Brian Polcyn, Lucia Watson
  • 2005 Nominees: Sandro Gamba, Michael Kornick, Tony Mantuano, Shawn McClain, Lucia Watson

Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH)

  • 2009 Nominees: Koren Grieveson, Arun Sampanthavivat, Bruce Sherman, Michael Symon, Alex Young
  • 2008 Nominees: Graham Elliot Bowles, Carrie Nahabedian, Bruce Sherman, Michael Symon, Alex Young
  • 2007 Nominees: Grant Achatz, Carrie Nahabedian, Bruce Sherman, Michael Symon, Alex Young

Note the following:

  • Through 2006, when Chicago was included in the Midwest, they dominated.
  • Chicago still dominates the new Great Lakes Region
  • Rarely do chefs drop off the list until they’ve won
  • When they do drop off without winning, it often means they switched restaurants
  • Three chefs dropped in the 2006/2007 region-shifting, but Chicago also picked up a ringer: Grant Achatz. And really, how do you compete against that?
  • Another one of those three chefs got snubbed because of Michael Symon who, in 2005, closed his restaurant Lola and reopened it as Lolita. He then reopened Lola in a newer, fancier location in 2006, became the star we know him to be today, and subsequently showed up on the list.

So as you can see, unless some crazy bad-ass shows up in the Midwest region (and really we like to think of that as Gerard don’t we?), what that means for Chef Craft (and St. Louis) is that we’ll more than likely see his name return to the short list again next year–and hopefully until he ultimately pulls home the prestigious award.

Whatever the future brings, however, he continues to be a shining addition the the St. Louis culinary landscape. He has brought a lot of national attention to a city not typically known for it’s dining.  That’s a great thing, and I personally thank him for it.

After the jump, view an alphabetical list of all the nominees, the restaurants they were nominated for, and their new restaurants if applicable

Read the rest of this entry »

James Beard Award Side Note

And as a little side note…

The specific James Beard Award Kristen Hinman won was Newspaper Feature Writing Without Recipes. Two other people were also given the award, and I think it’s a particularly telling thing about where we are at the moment as a nation of carnivores, that another one of the winners, Monica Eng, won for an article she wrote for the Chicago Tribune that also dealt with humanely raised pork. Even more telling: it was another Missouri farm, Newman Farm, she mostly wrote about.

Amongst the horrors of confined pork in the Midwest (and to be sure, there is a lot in our state) Missouri has a group of smaller farms going out of their way to make sure things are happening the right way.

Monica Eng’s article, Morality Bites, about her personal need to face the death of her food head on, is also worth reading if you find yourself with a little free time.

Also, some of us will soon be able to taste products made with Newman Farm pork as Mark Sanfilippo has purchased some for his Salume Beddu guanciale.

Congratulations to the RFT’s Kristen Hinman

Beard AwardsWhile St. Louis foodies will have to wait another day to find out if Niche’s Gerard Craft brings home the 2009 James Beard Award for Best Chef Midwest, the media awards were dished out tonight and The Riverfront Times Kristen Hinman scored a St. Louis win for her magnificent article, The Pope of Pork.

As a fan of all things Missouri swine, I congratulate Kristen. Having met Russ Kremer myself at the small farm show in Columbia, MO last year, I knew her article was amazing the moment I finished reading it, and I am thrilled for her that she has been awarded such a prestigious accolade in the food world.

If you still haven’t read the article, I can’t imagine you need anymore incentive to go do it now.

This Week in Tweets

  • What time is it? #
  • I love that Niche didn’t sieve their spring garlic potato soup with potato chips. Potatoes should and do have texture. #
  • Niche’s Farrar Out Farm porchetta di tessa was great. #
  • It’s great to see @WinslowsHome running out of food because it’s a beautiful day and #stl knows it’s great. They’re absolutely slamming! #
  • Kampai Sushi is pretty good. Better than expected anyway. Why do all these places in #stl have to rock the down tempo dance music though? #
  • Oh… not a very high quality of toro though. #
  • drinking 2007 Carlisle Syrah Russian River Valley — #
  • Rockin’ some 2009 #stl Earth Day Festival #
  • I ran a marathon & still gained 5lbs in Boston so, seeing all he eats as tweets, @Rick_Bayless must have the greatest metabolism ever. #
  • Why can’t I buy local green peas at the market? I can’t recall ever having seen them and that’s just weak #stl … That or I’m blind. #
  • “I like documentaries but I’m sure this movie will tell me that (based on the way I eat) my kids will have flippers or some shit like that” #
  • Response: Your kids will be fat diabetics comprised mostly of corn and in need of medical attention, but they won’t have flippers. #
  • Road rage amongst locavores: Parking at the Maplewood Market was crazy today. What will it be like in full swing? #
  • I’m not going to say I love the Bell’s Oberon, and it’s a bit too hot for it now, but as a summer beer it’s really pretty damn refreshing. #
  • While I do love the pie, I think another reason I like @pistl so much is because every time I eat there I feel like someone stole my iPod. #
  • Timely considering the happenings on stlbites/forum RT: @MichaelNagrant: Restaurants do deserve second chances… #
  • Just like being a nice guy, utilizing local does not give you a free pass. You can be the nicest guy in the world and still cook like shit. #
  • I think it’s that mid-tier of dining where “foodies” can eat quality but not pay $100+ for a meal that is the wave of the future. See @pistl #
  • I don’t have the #swineflu but I’ve got a #swinecold that is driving me crazy. #