Jimmy Hippchen of The Crow's Nest
This is part one of Mabel Suen's Chef's Choice profile of Jimmy Hippchen of The Crow's Nest. Part two, a Q&A, will be posted tomorrow, and part three, a recipe from Hippchen, can be found here.
Jimmy Hippchen started his career as a chef in The Bleeding Deacon Public House's kitchen, and his relentless hard work has taken him far in only a few years. He now heads up the kitchen as executive chef of The Crow's Nest, Bleeding Deacon proprietor Mike McLaughlin's newest venture in downtown Maplewood, focusing on his current favorite cuisine: contemporary American cooking.
Mabel Suen Chef Jimmy Hippchen in The Crow's Nest's "prep dungeon."
"I'm really digging the new American movement. The food coming out of this country is incredible," says Hippchen, who cooked at the Deacon from September 2008 until February of 2010 under Jaxon Noon, the head chef at the time. Since then, Hippchen has worked at Harry's downtown under the direction of Noon's mentor Executive Chef Rene Cruz, staged at Niche, cooked for Mosaic and returned to the Deacon to fill in a gap between a shift in kitchen leadership there and the opening of The Crow's Nest.
Originally from Wendell, North Carolina, Hippchen has lived in the St. Louis area since he was fourteen years old and has helped out in the kitchen with his parents for as long as he can remember. When asked what he loves most about cooking, Hippchen says, "You can be as creative as you want and still never know everything."
In the Crow's Nest kitchen, he has concocted plenty of novel dishes for the debut menu, including an open-faced roasted veggie sandwich with house-made foccacia, baby carrots, local mushrooms, smoked onions, white bean-thyme hummus and mornay sauce, and a gorgonzola bread pudding with brown butter, caramel and basil. To see what else Hippchen brings to the table, check out The Crow's Nest (7336 Manchester Road) anytime 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. any day except for Sunday, when the restaurant closes at midnight. Food is served until 11 p.m. every night.