Gerard Craft

Gerard Craft
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Facebook: @BrasseriebyNiche

Instagram: @gerardfcraft

Most chefs don’t make the leap to owning their own space until they’ve established themselves working in a series of kitchens, and it usually takes until their thirties to do so. Not so with Gerard Craft. Gerard opened his first restaurant Niche at the age of 25, and it was such a successful effort that he has since opened six other restaurants, all before most chefs would open their first space. More impressive, Gerard did this after a career switch.

Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Gerard originally worked as a snowboard photographer, and it was on assignment in Salt Lake City that he discovered his true calling as a chef. Jumping headfirst into the culinary world, Gerard first worked at Bistro Toujours in Park City, Utah, then at Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles. In addition to catapulting him towards his own space before his 25th birthday, Gerard’s work also earned him numerous accolades, including “Best New Chef” from Food & Wine magazine, Inc. magazine’s “Star Entrepreneurs Under 30” award, and a coveted James Beard Foundation award for “Best Chef: Midwest.” Gerard’s restaurants are now popular St. Louis staples, and if his fast start is any indication, we’re sure to see him pop up on lists like this one for a long time.

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Gerard’s focus is representative of a larger culinary trend towards making even his most creative efforts appear simple and understated. Though his original space has since closed, Gerard has applied the same simplicity to his creations at his new locations. At Taste, menu offerings include cured olives with citrus and fennel; bacon fat-fried cornbread; fried okra with buttermilk aioli and hot sauce; garlic chili potatoes with lemon, parsley and parmesan; gnudi with oyster mushrooms, currants, arugula and brown butter; mussels with coconut milk, cilantro, chili and lime; barramundi with red beet, fennel, olive, pistachio and orange; and brick chicken with kale, croutons, capers and lemon.

At Brasserie, the focus lends itself more towards French cuisine. Items include frisee salad with bacon lardons, poached egg and bacon vinaigrette; spinach & endive salad with hard-boiled egg, celery, pickled red onion, croutons and mustard vinaigrette; pumpkin soup with salted grapes, pumpkin seed granola and oil; wild burgundy escargot with herbs, garlic and butter; beer-braised chicken legs with polenta, oyster mushrooms, bacon and sage; skate wing with parsley potatoes, beets, brown butter and sherry; and quail with bacon and truffle farce, fondant potatoes, braised leeks and cider jus.