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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Chicken Scratch, by Acclaimed Chef Nate Hereford, Opens Today at City Foundry

Posted By on Wed, Oct 20, 2021 at 9:25 AM

click to enlarge Guests can either order a quarter chicken, or take a full rotisserie bird to go. - CHERYL BAEHR
  • CHERYL BAEHR
  • Guests can either order a quarter chicken, or take a full rotisserie bird to go.


For years, chef Nate Herford has worked in fine-dining kitchens, putting together elegant, cerebral dishes of what he describes as "tweezer food." Now, he's excited to veer from that path with his new fast-casual rotisserie chicken eatery, Chicken Scratch (3700 Forest Park Avenue), which opens today in the Food Hall at City Foundry.



"Roasted chicken just makes people happy and has always been a big thing for me and my family," Hereford says. "We love cooking it, and doing it on a rotisserie makes it exciting because it's super tender and delicious. With the past year and all that's gone on, doing something that makes people happy feels really important."

For Hereford, the return from the Bay Area to the St. Louis dining scene at City Foundry is familiar. Having made a name for himself as the right-hand-man to chef Gerard Craft at the acclaimed Niche, he finds himself again working with Craft to realize a vision, this time for the food hall, where Craft serves as culinary director. However, this time around, Hereford is focused less on the theater of fine-dining and is more intent on serving up a viscerally comforting experience to his guests at Chicken Scratch.

His medium for providing that comfort is impossibly succulent chicken, made by using a French Rotisol rotisserie oven. The bird is seasoned with a dry rub and cooked to the point that its skin cooks up to a medium-brown crispness while the meat remains tender and juicy.

click to enlarge The "Scratch Salad" features field greens, herbs, cucumbers, radishes, parmesan, sunflower seeds and lemon anchovy dressing. - CHERYL BAEHR
  • CHERYL BAEHR
  • The "Scratch Salad" features field greens, herbs, cucumbers, radishes, parmesan, sunflower seeds and lemon anchovy dressing.

Guests can choose from a handful of combo meals to enjoy the chicken, either as a quarter chicken with a leg and thigh or wing and breast. Combo meals come with a sauce and a side; guests can choose from such sauces as creamy "Scratch" sauce, horseradish mustard or hot sauce, while sides include kale with parmesan vinaigrette, macaroni salad or jojo potatoes (fried potato wedges). Other main course combo options include the "Scratch Salad," which consists of field greens, cucumbers, herbs, radishes, parmesan, sunflower seeds and lemon anchovy dressing with the option of adding on chicken. A crispy fried chicken sandwich and a creamy chicken salad sandwich are also available, as is the "Chicken Dip," which features pulled chicken warmed in jus and topped with marinated kale, provolone, horseradish mustard and "liquid gold dip."

Hereford also encourages guests who may be either dining elsewhere at the food hall for lunch or simply in the neighborhood to pop into Chicken Scratch and grab a half or whole rotisserie chicken for dinner. As he explains, you get the ease and familiarity of what is ubiquitous at area grocery stores, but with the quality and taste of something much more elevated — providing that extra level of care to give his guests the best chicken of their lives is what Chicken Scratch is all about.

"At the end of the day, the point of food and hospitality is to make people happy," Hereford says. "The fine-dining drive is great, but it's a big push. This is an opportunity to realize what's important for me and my family. I love food that is delicious whether it's made with tweezers or served as fast-food from a rotisserie. I'm trying to extend that idea of warmth and fun and hospitality here. You can bring those fine-dining elements to any type of food by the care you put into it and the little touches."

Chicken Scratch is open Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Scroll down for more photos of Chicken Scratch.

click to enlarge Chicken Scratch, serving rotisserie chicken, is now open inside the Food Hall at City Foundry. - CHERYL BAEHR
  • CHERYL BAEHR
  • Chicken Scratch, serving rotisserie chicken, is now open inside the Food Hall at City Foundry.

click to enlarge Chicken Scratch sides include seasonal vegetables, jojo potatoes and dressed kale. - CHERYL BAEHR
  • CHERYL BAEHR
  • Chicken Scratch sides include seasonal vegetables, jojo potatoes and dressed kale.

click to enlarge The chicken salad sandwich is made with rotisserie chicken and fresh herbs. - CHERYL BAEHR
  • CHERYL BAEHR
  • The chicken salad sandwich is made with rotisserie chicken and fresh herbs.

click to enlarge Chef Nate Hereford is excited to bring a warm, comforting concept to life at City Foundry. - CHERYL BAEHR
  • CHERYL BAEHR
  • Chef Nate Hereford is excited to bring a warm, comforting concept to life at City Foundry.

click to enlarge Chicken Scratch is now open for lunch and dinner every day except Tuesday. - CHERYL BAEHR
  • CHERYL BAEHR
  • Chicken Scratch is now open for lunch and dinner every day except Tuesday.


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