Chef's Choice, Part 2: Leanna Russo of BitterSweet Bakery



This is part two of Robin Wheeler's Chef's Choice interview with Leanna Russo of BitterSweet Bakery; to read part one, click here. To read part three, click here.

  • Robin Wheeler

What do you eat? This is a really hard question for me. I get really excited when I think of all my favorite foods. I love cassoulet with duck confit. I eat like a man. I love meats - all kinds - and cheeses. The stinkier the better. I love anything rich and bold with flavor. I love carbs.

We'd be most surprised that you eat _____. I think you would be most surprised at what I don't eat - sugar and sweets!

What do you cook at home? I love to cook so I do all the cooking at home. I do not believe in low-fat foods. We are very active so I make meals that will take us the distance. We eat meat and dairy. We also eat a ton of veggies and greens. We don't really stray to far from this.

Most essential ingredient in your kitchen? Salt.

Five words to describe your food? Classic, tasteful, memorable, rustic, simple.

One food you dislike. Anchovies.

3 favorite restaurants in St. Louis (besides yours)? Oh, gosh, this is an impossible question. I don't get out much, but I am a repeat offender at Frazier's.

  • Robin Wheeler

Favorite restaurants elsewhere? I can go on for years. I have had so many wonderful meals. I can sum this question up with a general answer: California. I could eat pork buns in Oakland's Chinatown for years straight. I know it is not a restaurant, but I like them so much. I could eat at Pere Jeanty in St. Helena almost every day. Thurman's -- they have the biggest, best burgers -- in Columbus, Ohio. I am always changing my mind, and though the restaurant list never fully changes for me, I categorize it numerically by my cravings for the day.

Your favorite food city? St. Helena, California.

Culinarily speaking, St. Louis needs more ... Cheesemongers.

Your best tip for home cooks? Relax. Never second-guess yourself, and always have a good taste-tester.

Your favorite after-work hangout? My house. It is a lame answer, but I am a homebody. It's where I meet up with some of my most favorite people and my loving creatures.

Favorite kitchen tool. My extra-long Mac paring knife.

What's next for you? I am a new mother with a new business; I am just trying to get through the day. But I can see myself living on a farm, delivering mint and flowers to the back door of restaurants.

What inspires you? A really good garden. Books. I love reading about food.

Favorite music to have in the kitchen? We actually do not play music in the kitchen.

What's on your pizza? Every kind of cheese in the house, herbs, no sauce, but garlic.

What are you drinking? Tejava.

BitterSweet Bakery 2200 Gravios Avenue 314-771-3500

This is part two of Robin Wheeler's Chef's Choice interview with Leanna Russo of BitterSweet Bakery; to read part one, click here. To read part three, click here.

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