It's rare for a chef to be a restaurant's unsung hero, but that's the case for Bradley Hoffmann. The Planter's House (1000 Mississippi Avenue; 314-696-6203) executive chef is in the unenviable -- or enviable depending on one's perspective -- position of preparing dishes that match the genius of Ted and Jamie Kilgore's acclaimed cocktails. Fortunately for diners, Hoffmann has proven he's up to the challenge.
Hoffmann took a break from prepping his famous duck burgers to share his thoughts on the state of the St. Louis dining scene and reveal his rituals and secret singing skills (Does this mean he sings in the shower?).
What is one thing people don't know about you that you wish they did? I love karaoke. Like, maybe too much. And I know most people that do it think they're really good at it, but I actually am really good at it.
What daily ritual is non-negotiable for you? Showers. Showers are a magical thing. Twice a day. Period.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Without a doubt, telepathy. Well, telepathy or the ability to be really good at wakeboarding.
What is the most positive trend in food, wine or cocktails that you've noticed in St. Louis over the past year? I think in the restaurant scene in general, there has been built a lot of pretension. I'm starting to notice now however, it really seems that people are getting back to hospitality, and I think that's really cool. We're all doing this to make people happy after all.
Who's the one person to watch right now in the St. Louis dining scene? I think there's a lot of really cool things going on in the dining scene right now. So maybe don't look for one? And eat everywhere.
Which ingredient is most representative of your personality? Grapefruit? I'm pretty bright and chipper. And a little bitter.
If someone asked you to describe the current state of St. Louis' culinary climate, what would you say? Just don't blink. So much is happening.
Name an ingredient never allowed in your kitchen. Choco tacos.
What is your after work hangout? I like my south city dives.
What's your food or beverage guilty pleasure? Oh my god I love tropical fruit punch so hard.
What would be your last meal on earth? Eggs. All of the eggs. Every way.