Best Local Chef - 2005
St. Louisan blood don't run much thicker than the hemoglobin that pumps through the veins of Iron Barley chef and proprietor Tom Coghill. A north-side native previously best known for manning the stoves at Frazer's Brown Bag (one of the true feathers in this city's culinary cap), Coghill opened Iron Barley in the Carondelet neighborhood a few summers ago as testament to the greasy, messy, haute-hoosier cuisine he grew up on: chili, Monte Cristos, PB&Js, roasted chicken and pork, Grandma's potato salad. Coghill pays annual testament to the art of beer-guzzling (a St. Louis tradition if ever there was one) with his Oktoberfest blasts, and he hosts live music regularly throughout the year. Iron Barley has garnered so much national attention that it's not unheard-of to bump into Memphis or Little Rock road-trippers on weekends, folks who drove to the Lou just to eat here.