This Week's Dish: Chef Ivy Magruder Jumps From Gamlin Restaurant Group, Local Mixologists Toast St. Louis' 250th At Eclipse Restaurant

By Molly Rippinger
In Food

Ivy Magruder, the former executive chef of Vin de Set and current head of the kitchen for the Gamlin Restaurant Group (Sub Zero Vodka Bar, Gamlin Whiskey House, Taha’s Twisted Tiki), has announced plans to take the culinary reins at the Saint Louis Art Museum. The new role puts Magruder in charge of SLAM’s art-inspired restaurant, Panorama, along with the museum’s cafe and catering events – all of which are operated by Bon Appétit Management Co. Magruder will officially begin on Monday, June 9 and will be replaced by two interim chefs until the Gamlin Restaurant Group conducts a search for a new corporate executive chef. Gilberto Espinosa, the current chef de cuisine at Gamlin Whiskey House, and Sub Zero’s kitchen manager, Jaime Gomez Ortiz will keep things running smoothly in the meantime.

Image courtesy of Saint Louis Art Museum

Image courtesy of Saint Louis Art Museum

In other chef-swapping news, Nelson Padilla has recently become the executive chef at Phuc Loi Vietnamese after an unpleasant departure from Mi Lihn earlier this year. During the transitional period, Padilla did a short stint with the Central West End’s Goody Cafe before the opportunity to take over Phuc Loi appeared. Since May 9, Padilla has been making his famous pho and other authentic Vietnamese dishes at 3723 Gravois Ave.

In the midst of their landmark 20th anniversary year, Kaldi’s Coffee Roasting Co. announced Chris Reimer as their new marketing director. Reimer will spearhead the communication side of Kaldi’s, sharing with the community everything from Kaldi’s newest beans to the star dishes of their latest coffee-inspired dinner. In a statement released on Kaldi’s website, Reimer summed up his plans for the new position by stating, “We’re going to be intentionally expressive, not quietly successful.” Given all that Kaldi’s is rolling out this year – a new roasting facility and the rebranding of their cafes in St. Louis, Columbia and Kansas City – an increased media presence will help keep their customers in the loop.

As we reported in The Dish last week, Maplewood made history when they were declared the first Green Dining District in the country. Now, the Green Dining Alliance (GDA) recognizes that 25 percent of restaurants between Southwest Avenue and Sutton Boulevard along Manchester Avenue are environmentally friendly eateries. According to the GDA website, a “green” restaurant emphasizes “reducing, recycling and composting restaurant waste; operating facilities with efficiency; and sourcing sustainable food, to-go ware and cleaning supplies.”  Schlafly Bottleworks was the first to enter the program back in 2012, but they have since been joined by Traveling Tea, Kakao Chocolate,Foundation Grounds, The Post Sports Bar & Grill, Great Harvest Bread Co., Water Street and Pie Oh My!.

Cocktail connoisseurs won’t want to miss out on the upcoming birthday bash for St. Louis’ 250th, which will be hosted by Eclipse Restaurant and the Moonrise Hotel on Saturday, May 25. The evening will bring together the best mixologists from across the city to showcase a specific era of cocktails, such as drinks that date back prior to the outlaw of alcohol in the Prohibition era made by Ted and Jaime Kilgore of Planter’s House. Other mixologists include The Good Pie’s Jeff Moll, who will be on hand mixing up speakeasy classics or Justin Cardwell of BC Kitchen who will showcase modern molecular mixology. Juniper’s Joey Duepner will be with Beth Sorrel of Cocktails Are Go! to shake up Gaslight Square sippers. Also, Kyle Mathis of Taste and Matthew Obermark of The U.S. Bartender’s Guild will nod to the cocktail party that took place during the St. Louis World’s Fair. VIP drink tickets are $45 per person and can be purchased online. The party goes from 6pm to 12am.

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