Gerard Craft Instagram Location: St. Louis, Missouri Gerard Craft is the executive chef and CEO of Niche Food Group in St. Louis, Missouri, operating a string of successful restaurants in St. Louis and one in Nashville. A 2008 Food & Wine Best New Chef, Craft was the first St. Louis chef honored with a James Beard Award for Best Chef: Midwest in 2015. He has been an influential figure in the Midwestern culinary scene since he launched his first restaurant Niche at the age of 25 in 2005. Experience After dropping out of college in Salt Lake City, Gerard Craft landed his first kitchen job at a local joint before securing cook positions at Bistro Toujours in Park City, Utah; Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles; and later staging at the Ryland Inn in Whitehouse, New Jersey. Having grown up in a family of food lovers, he decided to pursue his dream of opening his own restaurant when he settled in St. Louis. He garnered national recognition with his first venture Niche — named one of Inc. magazine’s “Star Entrepreneurs under 30." His Niche Food Group has expanded to include such concepts as Brasserie by Niche, Taste by Niche, Pastaria, Cinder House, brassWell, and Kitchen Bar. Craft has been widely praised for his innovative interpretations of what he calls “humble” Midwest ingredients and for sourcing his ingredients through relationships with area farmers. Education Craft studied at Salt Lake Community College’s Culinary Institute. About Food & Wine Food & Wine, a Dotdash Meredith Brand, is an award-winning online resource for anyone passionate about the culinary world. With rigorously tested recipes and the most trusted restaurant, drinks, culinary travel and home coverage, we inspire and empower people everywhere to discover, create, and devour the best in food and wine. Learn more about us and our editorial process.