December 17, 2021

St. Louis Chefs to Obsess Over [PHOTOS]

St. Louis has become a food city, with some of the best chefs and cooks in the country.  We know the way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach. Check out these culinary crafters, because we know they’re going to make you drool.

 

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Navin’s BBQ owner and pit master Chris Armstrong may be a newcomer to the St. Louis barbecue scene, but his 'cue has quickly become a favorite within the community. With a brand named as a nod to one of Armstrong’s favorite films, The Jerk, and featuring sandwiches like "The Lou," which includes Red Hot Riplet crumbs, Provel cheese and a toasted ravioli garnish, Armstrong’s sense of creativity and humor is on full display at Navin’s. 
Photo credit: Mabel Suen
Navin’s BBQ owner and pit master Chris Armstrong may be a newcomer to the St. Louis barbecue scene, but his 'cue has quickly become a favorite within the community. With a brand named as a nod to one of Armstrong’s favorite films, The Jerk, and featuring sandwiches like "The Lou," which includes Red Hot Riplet crumbs, Provel cheese and a toasted ravioli garnish, Armstrong’s sense of creativity and humor is on full display at Navin’s. Photo credit: Mabel Suen
Chef Ronda Walker was a nurse for 30 years before deciding to follow her dream and open Creole With a Splash of Soul, which features a delicious menu of Creole cuisine with a soul food twist. The interior of this Grove fan favorite is warm and welcoming, like the comfiest and most elegant home you’ve ever visited. Ronda’s ambition to chase her dreams, even in spite of obstacles like her own personal health issues, is inspiring, making this 2021 addition to the St. Louis restaurant community one not to miss.
Photo credit: Mabel Suen
Chef Ronda Walker was a nurse for 30 years before deciding to follow her dream and open Creole With a Splash of Soul, which features a delicious menu of Creole cuisine with a soul food twist. The interior of this Grove fan favorite is warm and welcoming, like the comfiest and most elegant home you’ve ever visited. Ronda’s ambition to chase her dreams, even in spite of obstacles like her own personal health issues, is inspiring, making this 2021 addition to the St. Louis restaurant community one not to miss. Photo credit: Mabel Suen
Nick Bognar is a James Beard Award semi-finalist for his work at his restaurant, iNDO. Currently, he splits his time between the Botanical Heights hot spot and Ballwin's Nippon Tei, serving some of St. Louis’ finest Southeast Asian and Japanese Cuisine around.
Photo credit: Mabel Suen
Nick Bognar is a James Beard Award semi-finalist for his work at his restaurant, iNDO. Currently, he splits his time between the Botanical Heights hot spot and Ballwin's Nippon Tei, serving some of St. Louis’ finest Southeast Asian and Japanese Cuisine around. Photo credit: Mabel Suen
Steve Ewing’s hot dogs are a south city staple, so popular within the St. Louis community that when he announced that Steve's Hot Dogs would be permanently closing its doors in 2019, the public simply would not let it happen. Ewing's menu includes everything from classic hot dogs and burgers to wild specials like a hot dog topped with a toasted ravioli. Ewing himself was a vegetarian for many years, so he has a variety of vegetarian and vegan options, making it easy for everyone to find something they like at Steve's Hot Dogs.
Photo credit: Colby at Matchbox
Steve Ewing’s hot dogs are a south city staple, so popular within the St. Louis community that when he announced that Steve's Hot Dogs would be permanently closing its doors in 2019, the public simply would not let it happen. Ewing's menu includes everything from classic hot dogs and burgers to wild specials like a hot dog topped with a toasted ravioli. Ewing himself was a vegetarian for many years, so he has a variety of vegetarian and vegan options, making it easy for everyone to find something they like at Steve's Hot Dogs. Photo credit: Colby at Matchbox
Cathy Jenkins opened Cathy's Kitchen with inspiration from her travels around the country and the food she tried along the way. Her menu is divided not by type of dish, but by sections of the United States, filling each category with food from each place. Cathy’s delicious menu features Chicago-style Italian beef sandwiches, New Orleans jambalaya and Memphis-style barbecue, allowing visitors to experience a food tour of the entire country without leaving North County.  
Photo credit: Kelly Glueck
Cathy Jenkins opened Cathy's Kitchen with inspiration from her travels around the country and the food she tried along the way. Her menu is divided not by type of dish, but by sections of the United States, filling each category with food from each place. Cathy’s delicious menu features Chicago-style Italian beef sandwiches, New Orleans jambalaya and Memphis-style barbecue, allowing visitors to experience a food tour of the entire country without leaving North County. Photo credit: Kelly Glueck
Alexa Camp is executive chef of The Drawing Board, Tower Grove South’s new hot spot for drinking, dining, and games. Co-owners Matt Wamser (pictured, left) and Paul Wamser gave her freedom to do whatever she liked. She is drawn to dishes that are more elevated than typical dive bar fare, such as smash burgers, smoked meats and falafel sliders, ensuring that this recent addition to Tower Grove South will be a St. Louis favorite.
Photo credit: Mabel Suen
Alexa Camp is executive chef of The Drawing Board, Tower Grove South’s new hot spot for drinking, dining, and games. Co-owners Matt Wamser (pictured, left) and Paul Wamser gave her freedom to do whatever she liked. She is drawn to dishes that are more elevated than typical dive bar fare, such as smash burgers, smoked meats and falafel sliders, ensuring that this recent addition to Tower Grove South will be a St. Louis favorite. Photo credit: Mabel Suen
Known in the St. Louis vegan scene simply as “Chef Chris,” Chris Bertke has developed a loyal following for his thrilling plant-based fare. His whimsical pop-ups at St. Charles’ Vegan Butcher and Deli, where he formerly worked, drew crowds and created a great amount of buzz for his creative take on vegan food. Since his departure from Vegan Butcher and Deli, he’s worked in ghost kitchens around the city and has plans for more vegan pop-ups, including a vegan pizza spot. 
Photo credit: Compliments of Chris Bertke
Known in the St. Louis vegan scene simply as “Chef Chris,” Chris Bertke has developed a loyal following for his thrilling plant-based fare. His whimsical pop-ups at St. Charles’ Vegan Butcher and Deli, where he formerly worked, drew crowds and created a great amount of buzz for his creative take on vegan food. Since his departure from Vegan Butcher and Deli, he’s worked in ghost kitchens around the city and has plans for more vegan pop-ups, including a vegan pizza spot. Photo credit: Compliments of Chris Bertke
David Sandusky of BEAST Craft BBQ has been featured on Food Network’s BBQ Brawl and is known throughout the St. Louis community for his “all killer, no filler” approach to barbecue. Now with three restaurants and a butcher shop under his belt, he has established himself as one of the region's premier pit masters. 
Photo credit: Mabel Suen
David Sandusky of BEAST Craft BBQ has been featured on Food Network’s BBQ Brawl and is known throughout the St. Louis community for his “all killer, no filler” approach to barbecue. Now with three restaurants and a butcher shop under his belt, he has established himself as one of the region's premier pit masters. Photo credit: Mabel Suen
Chef Loryn Nalic co-owns Webster Groves’ Balkan Treat Box with her husband, Edo Nalic. A veteran hospitality professional, Nalic became passionate about Balkan cuisine after meeting Edo, who immigrated from Bosnia to St. Louis in the 1990’s. She traveled around the region, learning about and perfecting Balkan cuisine before opening Balkan Treat Box, first as a food truck and now as a brick and mortar and has received local and national recognition for her thrilling food. 
Photo credit: Sara Bannoura
Chef Loryn Nalic co-owns Webster Groves’ Balkan Treat Box with her husband, Edo Nalic. A veteran hospitality professional, Nalic became passionate about Balkan cuisine after meeting Edo, who immigrated from Bosnia to St. Louis in the 1990’s. She traveled around the region, learning about and perfecting Balkan cuisine before opening Balkan Treat Box, first as a food truck and now as a brick and mortar and has received local and national recognition for her thrilling food. Photo credit: Sara Bannoura
Joe McMahon always knew he wanted to be a chef and went from helping his grandmother in the kitchen to Director of Culinary Operations and Development for the Mission Taco Joint brand. A longtime fan of Mission himself, he finds inspiration in not only the restaurant's food, but in the way his colleagues love what they do. 
Photo credit: Andy Paulissen
Joe McMahon always knew he wanted to be a chef and went from helping his grandmother in the kitchen to Director of Culinary Operations and Development for the Mission Taco Joint brand. A longtime fan of Mission himself, he finds inspiration in not only the restaurant's food, but in the way his colleagues love what they do. Photo credit: Andy Paulissen