Best New Chef 2008: Gerard Craft
Best New Chef 2008: Gerard Craft

Gerard Craft

Why he won Because, in a historic St. Louis neighborhood, he prepares a deceptively simple, drop-dead-delicious pork-oriented menu. Born Burlington, VT; 1979. Experience Bistro Toujours, Park City, UT; Ryland Inn, Whitehouse, NJ; Chateau Marmont, Los Angeles. How he got into cooking “I dropped out of college in Salt Lake City and was washing cars. That wasn’t fun, so I started washing dishes at Fats Grill & Pool, and they let me cook.” Early food experiences “My family is full of food lovers—my brother has wanted to eat at every Michelin three-star restaurant since he was 14. On my 13th birthday I had my first mussels in Normandy, France, right after chocolate crêpes. But I hated food until I went to boarding school in Idaho and saw how bad it could be.” Favorite thing about St. Louis “It’s more food-oriented than anyone thinks. There are a million food blogs, and even a food magazine, Sauce.”
St. Louis chef Gerard Craft tosses spicy marinated tofu into his pasta with tomato sauce to make a hearty and flavorful vegetarian meal. He tops the dish with chopped pistachios, adding a tasty and unexpected crunch. Slideshow: More Pasta Recipes 
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Roasted Carrot Puree
Rating: Unrated
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This sweet, silky sauce is great on pasta, chicken or grilled fish. Slideshow:  More Carrot Recipes 
Salsa Verde
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In a simple sauce like this, be sure to use great-tasting olive oil—the flavor really comes through. Slideshow:  More Salsa Recipes 
Chef Gerard Craft’s lasagna is a bit of a project, but the result is over-the-top delicious. The delicate, egg-enriched pasta turns silken when baked with béchamel, Fontina and Grana Padano. Craft likes to dress it up with seasonal toppings like wild mushrooms, salsa verde or carrot puree. Slideshow:  How to Make Perfect Lasagna 
Gerard Craft tops spring's first strawberries with batter and bakes them until the fruit is warm and jammy and the cake is airy, with a wonderful, crisp crust. Fruit Crisp and Cobbler Recipes
Smoky Pork Pappardelle
Rating: Unrated
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For the luscious meat sauce here, Gerard Craft braises pork with apples and honey, which adds some unexpected sweetness. Another surprise: He finishes the pasta with a sprinkling of smoked salt. More Pasta Recipes
Gerard Craft came up with this clever recipe one year when his local farmer had an abundance of radishes. Craft tried roasting them. The result: warm, crisp-tender radishes with delightfully bitter greens, which he finishes with butter and lemon.Plus: F&W's Guide to Fresh Spring Produce More Healthy Salads
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Crab and Avocado Toasts
Rating: Unrated
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Gerard Craft grew up in Washington, DC, eating lots of Maryland blue crab. Here, he creates a very simple and delicious starter by tossing sweet crabmeat with fresh mint and lime juice, then spooning it over mashed avocado on toast. You can make the toasts or buy store-bought ones to save time.
Gerard Craft came up with this clever recipe one year when his local farmer had an abundance of radishes. Craft tried roasting them. The result: warm, crisp-tender radishes with delightfully bitter greens, which he finishes with butter and lemon.Plus: F&W's Guide to Fresh Spring Produce More Healthy Salads
Crab and Avocado Toasts
Rating: Unrated
1
Gerard Craft grew up in Washington, DC, eating lots of Maryland blue crab. Here, he creates a very simple and delicious starter by tossing sweet crabmeat with fresh mint and lime juice, then spooning it over mashed avocado on toast. You can make the toasts or buy store-bought ones to save time.