The 2015 James Beard Best Chef: Midwest winner Gerard Craft and owner of Niche Food Group announces the upcoming 10th Anniversary Dinner for his flagship fine dining restaurant, Niche (7734 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, MO, 63105) on Thursday, November 5 at 6:30 p.m. The dinner will not only celebrate Niche’s part as a pillar in the St. Louis dining scene, but also highlight the culinary talents of the group’s executive chefs, led by newly-appointed Niche Executive Chef Nate Hereford.
Chef Craft opened Niche in the fall of 2005 in St. Louis’s Benton Park neighborhood. Always a believer in intuition, he settled on the boarded-up building as the original location for Niche without ever visiting the Midwest city that Niche and his three additional restaurants (Pastaria, Taste by Niche, Brasserie by Niche) now call home. Always with a focus on close relationships with local farmers and purveyors, Niche has undergone its most transformational period this year by instituting a program to be 100% sourced from Missouri and some surrounding areas of Illinois and Kansas–all ingredients to come from within 150 miles of the restaurant.
“We defined our philosophy as a group at Niche,” explains Chef Craft. “While each of our concepts are very different, we all maintain the same dedication to hospitality and pushing for excellence every day. Now with Nate as executive chef and Sarah Osborn as executive pastry chef, I think we are the strongest Niche has ever been.”
At the dinner, each executive chef from the groupalong with Chef Craft will feature their own culinary talents for a course. A 30-minute reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. with champagne and passed appetizers of Niche staples such as Dia’s Cheese Bread, charcuterie and more. The dinner will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets will be available for $150per person, with an optional $90 per person for wine pairings (gratuity is included). Tickets must be purchased here.
Get to know the chefs leading the future of Niche Food Group here:
Nate Hereford, Executive Chef at Niche
Culinary Inspiration: We get a chance to meet so many farmers and purveyors who are just as passionate as we we are. It pushes us to believe that we are doing something special and be better than the day before.
Time with Niche Food Group: 6 years
Favorite Dish at Niche: Pig’s Head French Dip with trotter jus, Baetje Farms Cherboug and anchovy
Favorite Memory with the Group: The time that we killed a pig on a farm and then made blood sausage on site.
Favorite Ingredient: Anything from Berger Bluff Farms
Favorite Things to Eat/Cook on a Day Off: Roasted chicken, smashed potatoes and a simple green salad with my family
Sarah Osborn, Executive Pastry Chef at Niche
Culinary Inspiration: My inspiration comes from memorable meals that I have had in the past that have evokedan emotional response in me. I strive to transfer that to our food, and therefore our guests.
Time with Niche Food Group: 2 ½ years (plus 2 years before)
Favorite Dish at Niche: Hen of the Woods Mushrooms with chorizo butter
Favorite Memory with the Group: There have been so many! I would say that my favorite would be the first time I came into eat with my family at the old space. I had been working for the restaurant for a month, and the experience was perfect. We we’re all made to feel so welcome and so taken care of.
Favorite Ingredient: All sugars!
Favorite Things to Eat/Cook on a Day Off: Whatever Nick Blue (my husband) makes me!
Nick Blue, Executive Chef of Brasserie by Niche
Culinary Inspiration: I get inspired by meals, books and my coworkers. I feel like we all try to push one another.
Time with Niche Food Group: On and off about 5 years
Favorite Dish at Niche: Dia’s Cheese Bread. I find myself craving them all the time!
Favorite Memory with the Group: The day I moved from Taste to the Niche kitchen. I remember I was so nervous!
Favorite Ingredient: Lemon juice. It helps brighten things up!
Favorite Things to Eat/Cook on a Day Off: Anything super simple like whole roasted chicken.
Anne Croy, Executive Pastry Chef at Pastaria
Culinary Inspiration: Initially my aunt, and then Alice Waters.
Time with Niche Food Group: 3 years
Favorite Dish at Niche: Brussels sprout leaves in trout broth
Favorite Memory with the Group: The night the crew at Pastaria made it through a 470 cover night, thinking that it was an anomaly…only to become the norm!
Favorite Things to Eat/Cook on a Day Off: Grilled tuna