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Everyone Loves ... Gerard Craft of Craft Restaurants Ltd.

Everyone Loves ... Gerard Craft of Craft Restaurants Ltd.

The Feast 50 is our annual tip of the hat to the best in St. Louis food and drink. This year, we reached out to 50 of the region’s top culinarians and asked them to wax poetic about what dishes they crave, who they most respect and where they choose to dine when they’re not in the kitchen. The result is a rich view of the St. Louis food world from the perspective of the people who know it best.

In going over all of the information for the issue, we realized that there were a few folks that were called out time and time again. One of them was chef/restaurateur Gerard Craft of Craft Restaurants Ltd.

Gerard talks about the inspiration behind each of his restaurants and the recent evolution of the St. Louis food scene here on Feast TV!

Here's what his peers had to say: 

Qui Tran, Mai Lee

Who in the St. Louis restaurant scene inspires you? Gerard Craft. He’s got four distinctively different restaurants and they are all doing amazing food. That is an amazing feat. It’s hard enough to do one well, he’s got four. It’s like he has a superhero team of chefs! Who do you think is killing it in the kitchen right now? There are many awesome chefs killing it right now. You can get an incredible meal at a lot of places in town. I think chef Mateo Daughaday down at Taste is especially killing it right now. He’s got some amazing summer items – and the corn bread in pork fat? Get out of here!

Mike Emerson, Pappy’s Smokehouse

Who do you think is killing it in the kitchen right now? I’m sure my answer will not be unique. Gerard Craft has been killing it, and will continue to kill it.

Ed Heath, Cleveland-Heath

Who do you think is killing it in the kitchen right now? Mateo Daughaday at Taste is the most underrated chef in St. Louis.

Kevin Nashan, Sidney Street Cafe

Where do you go for a midnight snack and/or nightcap? Taste.

Natasha Kwan, Frida’s Deli

If you were to ever relocate from St. Louis, what’s the one dish you would want back, and from where? The watermelon radish bruschetta from Pastaria. I have that radish growing in my garden right now because it’s so delicious.

David Choi, Seoul Taco

Who do you think is killing it in the kitchen right now? Taste. Pork-inspired dishes across the board – can’t go wrong there!

TJ Vytlacil, Blood & Sand

If you were to ever relocate from St. Louis, what’s the one dish you would want back, and from where? The kale salad from Pastaria, at the moment, is something I crave all the time. What’s your favorite drink, and where in St. Louis are you ordering it? My favorite drink is a Negroni, and I order mine from Ted at Taste when I get away from work.

Brian Hardesty, Guerrilla Street Food

Who do you think is killing it in the kitchen right now? Michael Petres, from Brasserie by Niche, has been and will be for the foreseeable future.

Chris Sommers, Pi Pizzeria, Gringo

Where do you go for a midnight snack and/or nightcap? We often end up at Taste. We love the food, the team and the fact we can walk home.

Christy Augustin, Pint Size Bakery & Coffee

If you were to ever relocate from St. Louis, what’s the one dish you would want back, and from where? If I weren’t living in St. Louis, I would dream about the beignets with prunes and fresh cheese at Brasserie by Niche.

Josh Allen, Companion

Who do you think is killing it in the kitchen right now? Gerard Craft. Though he has certainly received his share of praise and attention, chef is dishing out outstanding, inventive and well-crafted meals at multiple venues with diverse staffs, across different culinary genres. And he does it with a tremendous amount of humility. The conversation about food in St. Louis has changed, in large part, because of what he’s doing every day.

Patrick Horine, Local Harvest Grocery

Who do you think is killing it in the kitchen right now? Gerard Craft (still). The top two dishes I’ve had in St. Louis were made by him.

Adam Tilford, Milagro Modern Mexican, Tortillaria Mexican Kitchen, Mission Taco Joint

Who do you think is killing it in the kitchen right now? Matthew ‘Mateo’ Daughaday at Taste in the Central West End. Everything he puts on a plate is spot-on. And I love that he’s been dabbling in some Mexican-inspired dishes, the barbacoa being my favorite, but he’s also been making some killer tacos.

Cassy Vires, Home Wine Kitchen, Table

What’s currently your favorite meal at a restaurant in St. Louis? The chicken at Brasserie by Niche. Perfectly cooked, served with bread and jus. I love that dish. If you were to ever relocate from St. Louis, what’s the one dish you would want back, and from where? Barbacoa from Taste by Niche. Perfectly balanced. Who in the St. Louis restaurant scene inspires you? I mean, who doesn’t look at Gerard and want to emulate his every move? He’s the goal.

Josh Poletti, The Libertine

What’s your favorite drink, and where in St. Louis are you ordering it? My favorite cocktail in St. Louis is the In a Pickle at Taste. If you were to ever relocate from St. Louis, what’s the one dish you would want back, and from where? The bolognese from Pastaria is ridiculous. Thank you, Brian Moxey.

Florian Kuplent, Urban Chestnut Brewing Co.

Who do you think is killing it in the kitchen right now? Gerard Craft is definitely an inspiration – he is always working on new projects and his food is fantastic.

Jenny Cleveland, Cleveland-Heath

What’s your favorite drink, and where in St. Louis are you ordering it? Favorite drink is the Industry Sour from Taste. I really don’t even love Fernet-Branca...but with the lime and Chartreuse, it’s delicious. Who do you think is killing it in the kitchen right now? Not to be over the top here, but Mateo Daughaday. His dishes knock our socks off every time.

Marc Del Pietro, The Block

Who do you think is killing it in the kitchen right now? Matthew Daughaday. He worked with me for a while, and now he is killing it at Taste.


WATCH GERARD ON FEAST TV!

Craft talks about the inspiration behind each of his restaurants and the recent evolution of the St. Louis food scene.

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Related to this story

Inspired by this month’s Feast 50, four of St. Louis’ most-respected culinarians – Mike Emerson of Pappy’s Smokehouse, Qui Tran of Mai Lee, Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Cafe and Gerard Craft of Craft Restaurants Ltd. – share stories on how they got to where they are today. Plus, publisher Cat Neville demos Sidney Street Cafe’s classic dumpling dish.