Niche

Chef Gerard Craft
(photo provided/used with permission)

Earlier this month, Gerard Craft became the first chef from St. Louis to win the James Beard Foundation’s award for “Best Chef: Midwest.” Craft is the executive chef and owner of Niche Food Group in St. Louis. The business includes Niche, Brasserie, Taste, and Pastaria.

Craft had received nominations in past years, but chefs in bigger cities, he said, are most often chosen for the award.

“I think it’s tougher in St. Louis [to win the award],” he explained. “St. Louis historically hasn’t gotten a ton of exposure, especially in the food world.”

Sauce executive editor Ligaya Figueras sits with the magazine's 2009 "ones to watch": Cory Shupe, far left, T.J. Vytlacil, Cory King and Adam Alnether.
Jonathan Gayman / Sauce Magazine

Six years ago, Sauce Magazine put together its first “ones to watch” list. At the time, though, Adam Altnether and T.J. Vytlacil were just trying to get started.

“The year before that was kind of this meteoric rise in Niche that everything just kept coming to me,” Altnether told “Cityscape” host Steve Potter on Friday. In 2009, Altnether was the chef de cuisine at Niche. Today, he’s a partner at Craft Restaurant Group and Niche’s executive chef.

(via Flickr / neil conway)

St. Louis foodies, this one's for you.

Four local culinary names have been designated James Beard Award semifinalists, the St. Louis Business Journal reports.

For those of you unfamiliar with the James Beard Award, the Journal says Time magazine called it the "Oscars of the food world."