Best New Chef St. Louis 2004 - Kevin Nashan
Kevin Nashan probably doesn't want to be mentioned here. Most likely he's fine with people not knowing that he's the new head chef at Sidney Street Café. As of December 2003, Kevin co-owns the wildly popular, twenty-year-old fine-dining landmark along with his wife, Mina and his brother, Chris -- but you won't find that information mentioned on the restaurant's Web site, or written up in any press release, or, God forbid, blared across some cheesy banner hanging from the restaurant's exterior. Kevin seems the type who's content to let his food do the talking. Which is so Kevin, because the thing about taking over a restaurant as renowned as Sidney Street is, your cooking chops are measured by how well you hide the seams between the former management and the current one; in other words, the better you are, the less recognition you get. Someone's gotta toot this guy's horn, though. Kevin's kitchen work is confident yet relaxed, self-assured yet unfussy, as evidenced in Sidney Street dishes both old (a luxurious filet béarnaise) and new (a witty beggar's purse appetizer). While we're at it, we may as well also mention that in his spare time, Kevin competes in Ironman triathlons. He'll probably kill us for letting that one slip out.