St. Louis diners know that Louie serves some of the best pasta in the city. Now, executive chef Sean Turner is setting out to prove it's some of the best in the country.
On Thu., April 11, Turner competed at the U.S. qualifying event for Barilla’s eighth-annual Pasta World Championship in Pebble Beach, California. Here, he went head to head against seven other chefs from across the country, who were selected by Food & Wine magazine. Each chef prepared a pasta dish for VIP guests as well as a panel of judges including Food & Wine editor-in-chef Hunter Lewis and celebrity chef (and Top Chef alum) Antonia Lofaso.
An alum of local kitchens including Brasserie, The Royale, Central Table and Blood & Sand, and who also worked for acclaimed chef Jonathan Benno at Lincoln Ristorante in New York City, Turner helped owner Matt McGuire open Louie in Clayton's DeMun neighborhood in late 2017. The restaurant was widely considered one of the year's best new openings, and the rustic Italian-inspired menu is well-curated, including a few starters, wood-fired pizzas, housemade pastas and larger entrées.
Housemade pastas are a standout on Louie's menu. They range from tried-and-true classics like a deceptively simple cacio e pepe or spicy chitarra with tomato, basil, chile and Parmigiano-Reggiano to rotating seasonally inspired pastas like butternut squash agnolotti with brown butter, sage and walnuts and sweet potato ravioli with brown butter, almond, smoked ricotta salata and chives.
Turner took home top honors from the qualifying event and was officially named "U.S. Master of Pasta." His winning dish, bucatini pistachio pesto, featured Barilla's collezione bucatini noodles topped with pistachio pesto and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. From here, Turner will go on to represent the U.S. in Barilla’s eighth-annual Pasta World Championship competition on Oct. 10-11 in Paris. More info about the competition is available here.
Editor's Note: This post has been updated to include information about Turner's winning dish.
Louie, 706 DeMun Ave., Clayton, Missouri, 314.300.8188, louiedemun.com