Dining With The Stars

By Ettie Berneking
In Feature, Food

STL’s five James Beard nominees share a kitchen with national celebrity chefs to prepare a meal fit for the king of foodies.

For the first time ever, the traveling Celebrity Chef Tour will swing by St. Louis on April 16 for a dinner benefiting the James Beard Foundation at Sidney Street Café. These nationally renowned dinners always have guests salivating before the first entrée arrives, but this year, all of St. Louis is hungry with excitement as four local chefs have received nominations for prestigious 2012 James Beard Awards. All four will work with a host of celebrity chefs from across the country in preparing the eight-course Celebrity Chef Tour dinner, complete with wine pairings.

Cookbook author and teacher James Beard is more than a household name in kitchens across the country. The man has vaulted the image of American cuisine over the last century, highlighting the intrigue and unique palate of American culinary culture. His famous dinners and collaborations with celebrity chef friends, including Julia Child, were the talk of the foodie nation for decades, and his work now continues through his foundation, which has become one the most prestigious in the cooking world.

This year, Wes Johnson’s Salt is a semifinalist for the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant, and four St. Louis chefs received nominations for Best Midwest Chef, including Niche’s Gerard Craft, the former Monarch’s Josh Galliano, Sidney Street Café’s Kevin Nashan and Farmhaus’ Kevin Willmann.

The celebrity chefinfused dinner also brings with it some of the most talked-about names in the culinary world, including John B. Shields (named Best New Chef by Food and Wine Magazine), Martin Rios (featured on PBS, Food TV and in Bon Appétit), Debbie Gold, Alex Lee, Michael Sullivan and Randy Lewis.

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