was first to break the news
: Brasserie by Niche
(4580 Laclede Avenue; 314-454-0600) is getting a new executive chef. Owner Gerard Craft
announced today that, effective Wednesday, July 7, William Fugitt
will man the kitchen at the wildly popular Central West End restaurant.
Fugitt succeeds Perry Hendrix
, who is departing Brasserie for the restaurant Custom House Tavern in Chicago.
"We're really excited to have him as part of our team here," Craft tells Gut Check. "He's really excited about St. Louis.
He likes what he sees here."
Fugitt got his start as a teenager with Jean-Louis Palladin at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. He's worked with Todd Gray at Equinox Restaurant in Washington, D.C., and Michel Bras at Michel Bras Restaurant in Laguiole, France, as well as at Tru in Chicago. For the past five years, he has lived in Ohio, where he was an executive sous chef at Jack Nicklaus' Country Club.
Brasserie's many fans needn't fear the change: "You may see menu changes here and there," Craft says, "but thing about Brasserie, it is predictable to a degree: straightforward, comfortable country French cooking."
Adds Craft, "I hope to dive deeper into that. I hope to go even deeper into those dishes we really love, out of the dark and dirty Paris bistros."