The accolades are impressive: Last year Niche executive chef Gerard Craft was named one of Food & Wine magazine's "Best New Chefs" — the first St. Louis chef to rate the honor. This year Craft was one of five finalists in the "Best Chef — Midwest" category of the prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards. Josh Galliano of Monarch and Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Café were semifinalists for the same award. But it's not just awards. People want to learn more about St. Louis restaurants, both new and classic. Niche pastry chef Mathew Rice has had recipes included in both Food & Wine and Bon Appétit. The popular Travel Channel show Man v. Food paid a visit to Iron Barley, Pappy's Smokehouse and Crown Candy Kitchen; Iron Barley also rated a visit from the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Whatever you think about the latter's spiky-haired host, Guy Fieri, the fact that he hung out in one of the city's coolest, most original joints is a sure sign that our food scene is on the upswing.
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