Being Happy While You Cook and Learning to Love Bourbon: A Q&A with Joseph Hemp V of Robust
Any time I can, even if it's just for a plate or two, I'll go in [Little Country Gentleman] and grab something. They did this kale soup over the winter, kale three ways: puréed kale, fried kale and braised kale, it was the greatest fucking thing I've had in forever.
Keeping it simple, I like to go to Mai Lee. Qui Tran is amazing. He's an awesome, awesome guy. He's such a humble, awesome guy. Last week, I was sick. I went there and got some pho. Everything's right as rain.
Which St. Louis chef most impresses you? Kevin Nashan over at Sidney Street Café. Mike Randolph. Gerard Craft. Gerard's crew, everyone in that family is great at what they do, and they're in their positions for that very reason. Brian Moxy [Pastaria] is a rock star. Nate Hereford [Niche] is phenomenal.
What Lou Rook [Annie Gunn's] taught me is what I've tried to keep as my mantra: simple food done well. There wasn't anything crazy about Lou's plates. It was all starch, veg, protein -- always the same so you could pump out 400 a night, no problems. But it was always quality food, the greatest things of the season. He taught me how to make pickles and chutneys to make that season last even longer.