Gerard Craft's Cinder House at the Four Seasons Hotel has a new chef de cuisine.
Josh Adams, who replaced chef Aaron Martinez in the position, will be bringing his award-winning modern-American flair to the restaurant. Martinez, who took over this summer, has returned to Vicia, where he worked briefly upon his return to St. Louis, to join its kitchen's leadership team.
Adams was the chef-owner of June, which closed in 2014, in central Illinois. During his time at the restaurant, he was named as Food & Wine's People's Best New Chef 2013 and was a two-time James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef: Great Lakes and Rising Star Chef of the Year. The Wall Street Journal also named June as the Midwest's best new restaurant.
Adams, who has had experience at legendary restaurants such as Charlie Trotter's and Alinea, has been bouncing around doing an assortment of things since June's closing. He's done consulting work, worked at restaurants like Reserve Food & Wine in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has also done some catering and pop-up dinner work.
Adams first met Craft when he ate at June with Sidney Street Cafe's Kevin Nashan and Steve Plotnicki, the man behind Opinionated About Dining's top 100 restaurants list (which June made its way onto while open). Since then, the two have kept in touch on and off, sometimes working together at events at June and other places. When Craft reached out to Adams about the opportunity at Cinder House, Adams thought it would be a good fit.
"I think Cinder House is a really great opportunity," he says. "It's already a really great thing, and it's just trending upwards."
Not only did he like the idea of staying in one place for a while, particularly St. Louis, but he was interested in what Cinder House was doing, both in its main restaurant and in Dia's Room, Craft's 10-seat tasting menu experience located inside the restaurant.
"I think there's a lot of talent in this kitchen, and a lot of great hard-working individuals," Adams says. "I think there's a lot to learn from getting to work with [Craft] because he's someone I definitely look up to."
Cinder House at the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis, 999 N. Second St., eighth floor, Downtown, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.881.5759, cinderhousestl.com