Chef Gerard Craft's Culinary Team Celebrates 10 Years at Niche This Week

By Katlyn Moncada
In Food

Congratulations to Niche on celebrating 10 years in St. Louis this week! To honor the occasion, James Beard award-winning chef Gerard Craft is gathering his talented team of executive chefs from all of the Niche Food Group restaurants for a special dinner on Thursday, Nov. 5.

Photo courtesy of Niche

Photo courtesy of Niche 

Craft brought Niche to the STL dining scene in the fall of 2005, and has since given us Pastaria, Taste by Niche, Brasserie and the soon-to-be Poranno Pasta & Gelato. The most notable recent transformation Niche has undergone, is spending the past year instilling a program to source 100 percent of its ingredients used from the 150-mile radius surrounding the area including Missouri, Illinois and Kansas.

Reflecting on the past 10 years, Craft says he hopes to create careers looking to the next 10.

“Not just simple careers,” he says. “But great careers where people can have families and lives in this industry.”

Here’s the Niche Food Group team’s favorite memories throughout the years:

Gerard Craft, Owner and Executive Chef, Niche Food Group: So many memories, but sharing the Beard Award with the team has to be a big one.

Nate Hereford, Executive Chef at Niche: The time that we killed a pig on a farm and then made blood sausage on site.

Sarah Osborn, Executive Pastry Chef at Niche: There have been so many! I would say that my favorite would be the first time I came into eat with my family at the old space. I had been working for the restaurant for a month, and the experience was perfect. We we’re all made to feel so welcome and so taken care of.

Michael Petres, Corporate Chef for Pastaria (and the upcoming Porano Pasta): It’s hard to pick, but I wanted to work for the group for a while so being hired and getting my first job at Brasserie was a very fond memory.

Nick Blue, Executive Chef of Brasserie by Niche: The day I moved from Taste to the Niche kitchen. I remember I was so nervous!

Ashley Shelton, Executive Chef at Pastaria: Soft opening at Pastaria—teamwork at its finest! It was such an exhilarating moment to actually start cooking the food and getting feedback. It was a great moment when we all toasted at the end, ready to open the doors.

Anne Croy, Executive Pastry Chef at Pastaria: The night the crew at Pastaria made it through a 470 cover night, thinking that it was an anomaly … only to become the norm!

Get a taste from this extraordinary team tomorrow for a course from each chef showcasing their culinary skills. The evening will kick-off at 6:30pm with champagne and passed appetizers of Niche favorites like charcuterie. The dinner begins at 7pm and tickets are available for $150 per person, with an optional $90 per person for wine pairings (gratuity is included).

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