The annual Taste of St. Louis festival is upon us, and for the first time ever, it's out in Chesterfield. Some people are pretty pissed about that and some people are happy -- either way, you're still going to want to check it out. Tons of St. Louis restaurants are participating, top chefs are competing in a battle royale and there will even be big-time Food Network stars on hand. Check out our guide to this year's Taste of St. Louis after the jump.
Sauce Magazine's Restaurant Row is a huge draw for the fest, and it's one of the only events (besides, say, our own Iron Fork) that you're going to get all these restaurants in one place. You'll be able to vote for your favorite restaurant and favorite dish, too. You're definitely going to want to try a gourmet BLT taco from Naked Bacon, the Gorilla Mac & Cheese dog from Steve's Hot Dogs, pulled pork sandwiches from Sugarfire Smokehouse and duck confit bruschetta from the Scottish Arms. You can find all the menus here, and here's the full list of restaurants participating:
Anis Hyderabad Cafe Annie Gunn's Balaban's Basso Bayou Seasoning & Catering Bishop's Post Bogart's Smokehouse Callier's Cyrano's Cafe Dippin Dots Drunken Fish Edgewild Espinos Mexican Bar & Grill Frida's Deli Hank's Cheesecakes Hot Wok Joe Boccardi's Kakao Chocolate Lulu Seafood Mandalay Mandarin House Midland Wok Naked Bacon Oberweis Dairy Pearl Cafe PM BBQ Rearn Thai Red The Bar-B-Q Man Rib City Russo's Ruth's Chris Steakhouse Scottish Arms Sheridan's Frozen Custard St. Louis Biergarten Steve's Hot Dogs Strange Donuts Sugarfire Smokehouse Syberg's The Cup The Rice House Tivanov Tucanos Brazilian Grill Villa Faratto
All weekend, eight chefs will compete against each other in seven different categories to be named top chef. This year's competitors are Aaron Baggett of Edgewild, Eric Brenner of Fit Fuel 365, Carl Hazel of the Scottish Arms, Josh Norris of Triumph Grill, D. Scott Phillips of Balaban's, Dave Rook of Bishop's Post, Robert Trampier of St. Louis Country Club and Wil Pelly of Sanctuaria. In several rounds, they'll focus on specific ingredients: chicken and egg, pork, tomato, cheese, beef, mushroom and finally, seafood and Stella Artois.
As for Food Network stars, you'll have to shell out some money for tickets if you want to see them at the Bud Light Amphitheater (the rest of Taste is free). Chef Tyler Florence, host of The Great Food Truck Race and Tyler's Ultimate will hit the stage Friday night at 7:15 p.m. Saturday, Duff Goldman of Ace of Cakes starts at 7 p.m. and Sunday -- which is free -- will feature live music and fireworks. You can get amphitheater tickets here.
Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at Nancy.Stiles@RiverfrontTimes.com.
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