Simone Faure on Competing on Spring Baking Championship

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Courtesy of the Food Network
Simone Faure on Spring Baking Championship
Simone Faure wasn't just a fan of the Food Network's Holiday Baking Championship. She was a superfan.

So when she heard that casting agents were in St. Louis interviewing finalists for a spinoff called Spring Baking Championship, she did what any obsessed fan would do: Despite not being on the shortlist, she showed up with her dark chocolate croissant, a.k.a. the Darkness. "Once you embrace the Darkness, all bets are off," she says, laughing.

Faure, of course, isn't just any reality-TV fan. The acclaimed pastry chef behind the La Patisserie Chouquette, the French-inspired shop in the Botanical Heights neighborhood, she also makes the desserts served at Ben Poremba's Old Standard Fried Chicken, Olio and Elaia. (Poremba is also a partner in the patisserie.)

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Gerard Craft Talks His Sixth James Beard Foundation Award Nomination

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Gerard Craft at Niche. | Jennifer Silverberg

The James Beard Foundation Award finalists were announced last week, and out of several St. Louis semifinalists, only one will make it to Chicago this year: Gerard Craft. That should be no surprise -- it's his sixth nomination. We talked to Craft about what that means for him, his team and whether he thinks he's the Susan Lucci of the James Beard Awards.

See also: Nashan, Heath, Poremba and More Named James Beard Foundation Award Semifinalists

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The Precinct Makes USA Today's List of America's Spiciest Eating Challenges

Categories: Media

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Billy Sukoski takes the Hot Pursuit Challenge (after signing a waver). | Jennifer Silverberg

St. Louis has its fair share of eating challenges -- one Gut Checker attempted to best them all -- but the Hot Pursuit Challenge at the Precinct (1900 Locust Avenue; 314-588-8899) is definitely one of the spiciest. USA Today named it on its list of the spiciest eating challenges in America.

See also: The Precinct Launches Revamped Menu

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Why Sweetie Pie's Robbie Montgomery Didn't Want Her Son Protesting in Ferguson

Categories: Media

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Robbie Montgomery on an upcoming episode of Welcome to Sweetie Pie's. | OWN

Sweetie Pie's (4270 Manchester Avenue; 314-371-0304) was a neighborhood institution even before it got a reality show, Welcome to Sweetie Pie's, in 2011. Although a Ferguson location was eventually shuttered, the restaurant still has an interest in the community. In an upcoming episode, owner Robbie Montgomery deals with her son and business partner, Tim Norman, who protested in Ferguson last August.

See also: The 9 Best Southern Restaurants in St. Louis

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Anheuser-Busch Is Helping Frank Underwood Control the White House in "House of Cards"

Categories: Beer, Media

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Sneaky, guys. | Netflix

OK, sort of. If you've been watching the latest season of House of Cards on Netflix, which came out last Friday, you may have noticed a few choice Anheuser-Busch products. A-B InBev has signed a deal with Netflix, making it the "exclusive beer marketer" on the award-winning drama.

See also: House of Cards Producers Tap Local Firm to Film Scenes of Downtown St. Louis for Season 2

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Help Budweiser Find Its Lost Puppy for the Super Bowl

Categories: Beer, Media

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Help this handsome rancher and his majestic horse! | YouTube screenshot

Anheuser-Busch announced a few weeks ago that the iconic Clydesdales would be returning for Budweiser's 2015 Super Bowl ad. Last year, the commercial depicted a very cute friendship between horse and puppy, which will be back come game day. But alas, said puppy is "missing." We must find it.

See also: Anheuser-Busch is Keeping the Clydesdales for Super Bowl Commercial

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Gooey Butter Cake Represents Missouri in the New York Times' 50 States of Thanksgiving

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Gooey butter cake from Ann and Allen. | Crystal Rolfe

Ahead of Thanksgiving, the New York Times has put together a list of dishes from every state, plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. We don't usually think of this as a Thanksgiving food, but gooey butter cake represents Missouri, and we couldn't be more proud.

See also: Chef's Choice Recipe: Marilyn Scull's (Mom's) Gooey Butter Cake

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Thrillist Names Pastaria the Best Pizza in Missouri

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"Roman" pizza at Pastaria, with tomato, garlic, bacon, mozzarella, pecorino and chiles. | Jennifer Silverberg

Thrillist, a national food, drink and travel site which has given much love to St. Louis restaurants in the past, just put out a list of the top pizza place in each state. And nope, it didn't pick Imo's. Gerard Craft's Pastaria (7734 Forsyth Boulevard, Clayton; 314-862-6603) got the nod for the Show-Me State.

See also: At Pastaria in Clayton, Gerard Craft and crew use their noodles

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The 10 Best Food Instagrams in St. Louis This Week: September 4-10

Categories: Food Porn, Media

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Fried chicken at Juniper. | Instagram

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: Instagram was practically made for pictures of food. Gut Check has rounded up our favorite foodie accounts in St. Louis, but there are so many cool photos every week, we wanted to share what St. Louis' best chefs, bartenders and eaters are Instagramming. If you see a good one, send it to us!

See also: 9 More Local Food-Related Instagrams You Should Be Following

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Cork Dorks with Forks is a Website for St. Louis' New Generation of Foodies

Categories: Media

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Cork Dorks with Forks has been noodling around on social media for a while, and though we weren't sure what it was, it sounded like something we'd definitely enjoy. It turns out it's a website celebrating all the food and drink St. Louis and beyond has to offer. Helmed by Angela Ortmann, a.k.a. STL Wine Girl, and sommelier Matthew Dulle, Cork Dorks with Forks is launching a new "channel" every day this week.

See also: Nick Miller Talks the Future of Bissinger's and the Caramel Room

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