St. Lou…is A Culinary Destination
By Robyn Frankel
Note: for the purpose of this article, names of specific restaurants and neighborhoods have not been included because of space limitations as well as the risk of omitting so many that deserve mention.
St. Lou IS bursting with flavors created by some of the most talented and creative chefs, craft brewers, vintners, bakers, cheese producers, pasta makers, coffee roasters and chocolatiers in the nation. And it is no wonder they are attracted to and thriving in St. Louis, according to Catherine Neville, publisher of Feast magazine and producer and host of five-time Emmy-award winning “Feast TV,” which can be seen on public television stations across the state, including Nine Network. She has continuously reported on the St. Louis food and restaurant scene for almost two decades through print, radio, TV, web and social media.
“St. Louis offers a rare combination of strategic location, community support and affordability. In addition to being situated in the center of the nation’s agricultural production, which provides unprecedented access to an abundance of readily available locally grown ingredients from farmers and meat producers, there is a robust commitment to encouraging and supporting entrepreneurship,” she said.
“Every chef has his or her own personal style and technique that is reflected in the extraordinary dishes and presentations they serve,” Neville said.
The St. Louis dining scene is diverse, adventurous and attracting the attention of national media, including a recent mention in Bon Appetit for having two of the top 50 best new restaurants of 2017, one of them in the top 10. “It’s gratifying when national food writers recognize the quality and impact of our culinary scene. This city has an incredible food scene and the country has taken notice,” Neville said.
According to Neville, an important byproduct of the local food scene is greater connectivity across the metro area. Restaurants offer patrons exceptional dining and the opportunity to explore the diversity of St. Louis neighborhoods. “The entire region boasts dining destinations worthy of a visit,” said Neville, “and it’s thanks to their dedication to quality and craft that local culinarians are making the places we call home true food-and-drink destinations.”
“When someone travels to an unfamiliar part of the region to seek out a new dining experience, it’s good for the restaurant business and good for our community,” Neville said. “In the past, high quality dining was reserved for special occasions, but today, chef-driven food can be had at any price point. Smash burgers made with grass-fed beef and ramen served with farm fresh local eggs are perfect examples of the democratic nature of modern food. Amazing eats can be had at any price point and in just about every neighborhood.”
St. Louis now boasts over 50 craft breweries, there are a growing number of distilleries and Missouri’s renowned wine country is just over an hour away from downtown. That, coupled with farmers focused on high quality meat and produce, ensures that chefs and restaurateurs have the very best ingredients to use when creating an experience for their patrons. “There are not many metropolitan areas across the nation can compare to the St. Louis region’s extraordinary food and drink scene. And here, everyone is invited to the table.”
Recently Catherine announced the development of a national television show to be presented by the Nine Network and distributed nationwide through American Public Television. Tastemakers will debut next Fall, 2018. Visit watchtastemakers.com for more information on this new independent project produced with St. Louis-based production partners, Tybee Studios, and based in Catherine’s St. Louis office.