Pastaria | St. Louis Public Radio

Pastaria

Carmen Troesser, Sauce Magazine

Sometimes when you enter Pastaria in Clayton during prep hours you can hear singer Executive Chef Ashley Shelton, 28, belting out a tune or two. You may also receive a Kool-Aid refresher or piece of candy to “keep the flow going” and put a smile on the other cooks’ faces.

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.”