Scott Davis, chef de cuisine at Three Flags Tavern (4940 Southwest Avenue; 314-669-9222), may have come in after the menu was already written, but that doesn't keep him from putting his personal stamp on the place. "Chef [John O'Brien] and I have a really collaborative relationship," Davis says. "He is open to letting me take the menu in the direction I want to go."
It's no wonder that O'Brien trusts his right hand man. Davis, who hails from Vancouver, honed his craft in Brooklyn where he attended culinary school at the Natural Gourmet Institute. There, he developed a comprehensive approach to food and health, as well as an appreciation for ingredient-driven cooking.
Davis met his wife, a St. Louis native, while in New York, and the two decided to try life back in her hometown. He quickly jumped into the St. Louis food scene, cooking at Brasserie by Niche, and is thrilled to be a part of the city's burgeoning culinary climate. "Vancouver and New York are already established food cities. St. Louis -- not that it's at the beginning -- is really becoming one," Davis says. "It's interesting to see things develop at such a rapid pace."
Davis and Three Flags Tavern are already an integral part of the city's robust food and beverage community -- the restaurant's overnight popularity seems to prove that. Read more about his thoughts on the culinary scene, his penchant for cold leftovers and why he likens himself to an oyster.
What is one thing people don't know about you that you wish they did? Nothing. Honestly. I let people know all they need, which isn't much.
What daily ritual is non-negotiable for you? I'm not one for rituals or superstitions, but coffee does improve most mornings.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be? These days the ability to be in two places at once would be helpful.
What is the most positive trend in food, wine or cocktails that you've noticed in St. Louis over the past year? There's a growing support for small farms and local producers. Its lessening our environmental impact and at the same time we're sourcing a better quality product.
Who is your St. Louis food crush? I guess it's not a crush exactly, but I do love all the old school doughnut shops in St. Louis.
Who's the one person to watch right now in the St. Louis dining scene? There are so many right now... This summer I'm eager to see what Andrew Jennrich and the people at the new Truffles butcher shop get up to.
Which ingredient is most representative of your personality? An oyster. They can be difficult to open, they're briny and they're better with wine.
If someone asked you to describe the current state of St. Louis' culinary climate, what would you say? It's a growing energetic community. It's friendly and very supportive.
Name an ingredient never allowed in your kitchen. Endangered seafoods.
What is your after work hangout? Lately it's been the bar at work. Usually I just take my pick of South City dives, I don't like going to the same place over and over.
What's your food or beverage guilty pleasure? I love eating cold leftovers. Pizza, pasta, fried chicken...
What would be your last meal on earth? It'd probably be more drinking than eating. I'd be back in Vancouver with friends and family eating fresh caught crab and drinking lots of wine.