Famous Local Guide

Gerard Craft

Chef

St. Louis' first James Beard winning chef, Gerard Craft, is the city's patron saint of good eats. With five of the city's best restaurants under his belt (Sardella, Pastaria, Brasserie, Taste, and Porano), it's safe to say that taking his recommendations will lead to culinary nirvana.

 

What is your guilty pleasure food?

"Orange Freeze from Lion's Choice."

What is the one dish at Sardella that diners can't miss?

"Charred butternut squash, roasted garlic custard, red pepper jelly, calabrian chili vinaigrette, and basil."

Favorite neighborhood in STL?

"University City. There’s such amazing architecture, and it’s our mini melting pot of different cuisines. It holds our version of Chinatown with so many various dining options. With the Loop and Wash U, it makes the whole area feel super energetic and vibrant."

 

Cocktail of choice?

Pastaria

"Boulevardier at Pastaria."

Clayton

You have traveled all over the world for cooking inspiration, any other expeditions planned?

"I’m actually in Italy right now! It’s the first time that I’ve been back in over five years. We'll be eating our way around the country, but also visiting some of our favorite producers like our balsamic vinegar maker, Andrea Bezzecchi. I always say that Paris is my favorite city and Italy is my favorite country. It will be great to reignite that love on this trip in preparation for Pastaria Nashville."

When you aren't slaving away at one of your restaurants, what's your favorite way to spend a day off?

"Hanging out with the kids and being outside as much as possible. We love to camp when we can get away."

What's next on the radar for the Niche Group?

Brasserie by Niche

"We're gearing up for the opening of Pastaria Nashville--we just got our pizza oven from Italy delivered. I love chef Brian Moxey’s monthly Beer Brunches at Brasserie. He’s also killing it with some really fun dishes at Taste next door to match the equally ambitious cocktail menu. With spring coming up, you’ll start seeing those “first from the farm” ingredients come onto the menus, especially at Sardella."

Central West End