by Nancy Stiles
The Crossing (7823 Forsyth Boulevard, Clayton; 314-721-7375) is the only restaurant in St. Louis and one of two in Missouri (the other is Jasper's Restaurant in Kansas City) to compete in the James Beard Foundation's Taste America Local Dish Challenge. Basically, you could help Operation Food Search win $10,000.
If you're at The Crossing and order the "Rain Crow Ranch Berkshire Bone-in Pork Chop," -- with roasted spaghetti squash, local crowder peas and corn and a grain mustard jus -- take a photo and post it to Instagram with the hashtags #clayton and #JBFTasteAmerica from now until October 31. The city with the most Instagrams wins a $10,000 donation to its charity of choice. Ours is Operation Food Search's Nutrition and Culinary Education Program, which provides evidence-based nutrition education and teaches people how to cook healthy meals on a budget and about getting proper nutrition, a big problem faced by those living below the poverty line.
In addition, The Crossing is donating $1 from each bone-in pork chop sold to the James Beard Foundation Taste America Education Drive, which supports the foundation's educational programs. "This is a great opportunity for us to call attention to all of our local food providers and to make more people aware of the James Beard Foundation," owner Jim Fiala said in a statement. "Our local farmers keep bringing us food that makes our diners and us happy. And the Beard Foundation provides great support for chefs and restaurants in St. Louis and across the U.S."