Best Restaurant to Close

Local Chef Kitchen

Staff Pick

The passing of chef Robert Uyemura in February was a devastating loss to the St. Louis food community. Beloved to all that encountered him, Uyemura was a trailblazer in the world of local, farm-to-table cooking, this philosophy infusing everything he touched well before it was en vogue. Though his wife Mitzi and loyal kitchen staff kept his west-county restaurant Local Chef Kitchen going until June, doing so indefinitely proved too difficult. Mitzi decided to close the restaurant with a heavy heart, knowing that by saying goodbye to a place that was her husband, through and through, she was saying goodbye to him all over again. There will never be another place like this unassuming bastion of local cooking, because there will never be another Robert Uyemura. — Cheryl Baehr

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