James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour Hits St. Louis

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       Kevin Willman's blackened mahi with spoonbread, best stop andouille, pickled shrimp and        hot sauce butter emulsion at Farmhaus. | Jennifer Silverberg
  •        Kevin Willman's blackened mahi with spoonbread, best stop andouille, pickled shrimp and        hot sauce butter emulsion at Farmhaus. | Jennifer Silverberg

The James Beard Foundation is kind of a big deal. The annual awards go to chefs across the country that are the best-of-the-best, and even being named a finalist is pretty prestigious. Gerard Craft (from Niche, Pastaria, Taste and Brasserie, but you knew that) lost out to Colby Garrelts of Bluestem in Kansas City for Best Chef: Midwest earlier this year. The James Beard House in New York invites upper echeleon chefs to prepare five course meals -- New York called it the Carnegie Hall for chefs. So what does that have to do with us? Well, it's coming here.

See also: The Crossing Competes in James Beard Foundation Taste America Challenge

Cielo (999 North Second Street; 314-881-5800) is hosting the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour on Thursday, September 19, with some of St. Louis' top chefs as well as those from around the country. Collaborating with Cielo's own Fabrizio Schenardi will be Kevin Nashan of Sideny Street Cafe, Lou Rook of Annie Gunn's, Kevin Willmann of Farmhaus, Eric Heath and Jennifer Cleveland of Cleveland-Heath, Mark Richardson from the Four Seasons in San Francisco, Jeff Wurtz, pastry chef at Le Cirque in New York, Ethan Stowell from Ethan Stowell Restaurants in Seattle and Michael Sullivan from Blackberry Farm in Wallard, Tennessee.

The five-course meal will be paired with wine and Belgian beers. Tickets are $160 each, available here.

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. Email the author at nancy.stiles@riverfronttimes.com or follow her on Twitter.


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