Best Chef

NIck Bognar

Staff Pick

Even in one of the most challenging stretches the restaurant industry has seen, Nick Bognar has still managed to hit several career-high notes that would be significant even in the best of times. In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, he earned several high-profile accolades, including being named a Food & Wine Best New Chef, seeing his restaurant, Indo (1641 D Tower Grove Avenue; 314-899-9333), be selected by GQ as one of its Best New Restaurants in America and earning two James Beard Foundation nominations for Best New Restaurant and Rising Star Chef. However spectacular these nods may be, what makes Bognar so special has less to do with the buzz and more to do with how you feel when you sit down across the pass from him at one of his glorious omakase dinners. Simultaneously masterful and warm and unassuming, Bognar serves with the same intentionality as a traditional Japanese tea ceremony — with food so magnificent, you understand that the accolades are not just buzz; he is truly one of the most significant culinary artists to ever grace this city. —Cheryl Baehr
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