St. Louis Chef Eric Kelly’s Tips for Going Local

 In Culture, Guide

Chef Eric Kelly of Scape American Bistro shares top picks for supporting local farms and businessesall items he offers in his two Central West End eateries.


According to Chef Eric Kelly of Scape American Bistro, we’re in a “new era of dining.” Diners are not only demanding more local ingredient-driven menu items, but also organic and vegetarian (and even gluten-free) options as well. What was once a niche market is now mainstream, with fine dining establishments from New York to L.A. adjusting their menus and embracing this sustainable movement. And it’s been happening locally as well, with chefs all over St. Louis committing to go organic. Recently, Chef Kelly debuted a new menu that focuses on vegetarian and organic food; here he shares his top picks—from wine to produce—for going local.

Tomatoes: Thies Farm and Greennhouse
Fresh tomatoes are used throughout Scape’s and Crepes: etc’s menus, and for locally grown tomatoes, Kelly calls on Thies Farm and Greenhouses. In their fifth generation of farming, the Thies family specializes in a variety of produce and has over an acre of greenhouses for annuals and perennials, including 27 varieties of the tomato plant. The farm has two locations and a third in the works in St. Louis, so going local has never been easier. For more info, log on to

Specialty Meats: Volpi Foods
When it comes to charcuterie, Chef Kelly goes to Volpi Foods on The Hill. This third generation, family-owned company handcrafts authentic Italian meats like salami, prosciutto and pancetta. The company, which began in 1902 and has now become a global corporation, is a beloved St. Louis staple known for its recipes, curing methods and distinct Old World flavor. At-home chefs can order or pick up items from Volpi Italian Deli on The Hill or online at (5250 Daggett Ave., 314.446.7950).

Wine: Norton
Whether it’s with a meal or unwinding after work, Chef Kelly’s pick for Missouri-grown grape is the Norton. He recommends the Norton from Mount Pleasant Winery in Augusta. The rich, full-bodied flavors of berries and oak pair well with steak or filet, such as the steak au poivre and hashed brown potatoes dish at Scape. Located about one hour outside of St. Louis, Augusta was the first appellation wine district in the U.S. and now boasts 16 grape varieties and international award winning Augusta Ports, as well as the Norton. For more info or to purchase wine, log on to or call 1.800.467.9463.

Honey: Creech Beekeeping Supply
Chef Kelly’s go-to honey is sourced from Creech Beekeeping Supply, a locally owned honey company that operates out of Chesterfield. Chef Kelly uses the 100% pure Missouri honey in vinaigrettes on Scape’s menu and sells it in Crepes: etc. Chef Kelly prefers local honey’s higher quality and says it’s better for the environment as well (314.283.7242).

Homegrown Veggies: R Pizza Farm
Ask Chef Kelly where he gets his haricot vert and other vegetables and he’ll smile and tell you it’s R Pizza Farm. This organic Illinois farm’s half-acre pizza-shaped land is divided into wedges that represent an ingredient for pizza; whole grains, tomatoes, cheese, meat and vegetables and even herbs. The produce is grown without pesticides and the livestock is free-range. You can buy R Pizza Farm products at outdoor markets in Ferguson and Ellisville, MO, or subscribe to receive in-season product through their community-supported agriculture program (618.466.5950).


221_100.jpgSpecialty Meats: Volpi Foods


Chef Eric Kelly

Homegrown veggies: R Pizza Farm

176_100.jpgTomatoes: Thies Farm & Greenhouse


Go organic

Homegrown veggies: R Pizza Farm

178_100.jpgWine: Norton


Photo credit: Honey photo by Katie Siddel; Wine photo courtesy of Mount Pleasant Winery; Salami photo courtesy Volpi Foods; Chef Kelly photo by Katherine Bish.

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