Friday, June 3, 2016

Chef Brian Moxey Is Glad He Kissed Manhattan Goodbye

Posted By on Fri, Jun 3, 2016 at 7:34 AM

Brasserie's new executive chef, Brian Moxey. - GREG RANNELLS
  • Greg Rannells
  • Brasserie's new executive chef, Brian Moxey.
Brian Moxey, executive chef of Brasserie (4580 Laclede Avenue; 314-454-0600), has an impressive resume — a culinary education from the French Culinary Institute in New York, a gig with famed chef Tom Colicchio at Craftsteak in Manhattan, five years working under chef Marco Conora at NYC's acclaimed Insieme. It's no surprise, then, that he chuckles a little when he discusses his first restaurant job.

"I waited tables at Ruby Tuesday in college in Cape Girardeau," Moxey says, laughing. "I continued to wait tables throughout school, but I really liked the energy of the kitchen. I ended up changing my major to hospitality management, and when I graduated, I went to culinary school."

A Sikeston native, Moxey grew up with an appreciation for food that came from family dinners. His mom, whom he describes as a "fantastic cook," had a meal on the table every single night for him, his dad and brother. Though he didn't realize it at the time, those dinners instilled in him a passion for food that he carried with him when he went away to school. 

Moxey enjoyed his time in New York, but decided to move back to Missouri once he had a family. "Raising a child, New York just got a little too hectic," he explains. "We wanted to be closer to family — for our daughter to know her grandparents."

The move turned out to be as good for his career as it was for his personal life. When he arrived in St. Louis, he began working for Gerard Craft at the bustling Pastaria. He briefly left the company to work with Perennial Artisan Ales before returning last month to take the reins from Nick Blue at Brasserie. 

"I think what chef [Craft] really likes is my playful creativity," says Moxey. "But I also have a respect for classics and technique." Brasserie, he explains, allows him to show both sides of his personality. 

Moxey took a break from the kitchen to share his thoughts on the St. Louis food and beverage scene, his food crushes and what you should be drinking in the shower. 

What is one thing people don't know about you that you wish they did?
This is a tough one! I tend to be pretty open with everybody.

What daily ritual is non-negotiable for you?
Hot black coffee. First thing every morning.

If you could have any superpower what would it be?
Controlling the weather on my days off would be pretty sweet.

What is the most positive thing in food, wine or cocktails that you've noticed in St. Louis over the past year?
It's hard to pinpoint the most positive thing. This is an incredibly positive and supportive city and scene for the food and beverage industry. I'm super pumped for Side Project and Rockwell Brewing. Good Fortune is going to be a ton of fun as well.

Who is your St. Louis food crush?
It's so hard to choose. Mark Sanfilippo at Salume Beddu and Brian Lagerstrom at Union Loafers are certainly crushes though.

Who is the one person to watch right now in the St. Louis dining scene?
Ashley Shelton at Pastaria. She's amazing.

Which ingredient is most representative of your personality?
Onions.

If you weren't working in restaurants, what would you be doing?
Hopefully doing something I enjoy as much as working in restaurants.

Name an ingredient never allowed in your kitchen?
I'm pretty open to trying different things. I'm not too crazy about truffle oil though.

What is your after-work hangout?
I generally head straight home after work.

What's your food or beverage guilty pleasure?
I don't experience any guilt because of it — Bud Light Lime is a pretty perfect shower beer.

What would be your last meal on earth?
Something simple, probably grilled. Rosé wine. Hanging out in the backyard with my daughter and wife.

We are always hungry for tips and feedback. Email the author at cheryl.baehr@riverfronttimes.com. 


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