St. Louis, Missouri is a city that is home to a vibrant culinary scene, with chefs from all over the world bringing their unique flavors and techniques to the city. From confectionary decorators to personal chefs, there is something for everyone in St. Louis.
In this article, we will explore some of the chefs and culinary experts who are making their mark in St. Melanie Armbrecht is a teenage confectionary decorator with a passion for cakes and cupcakes. She focuses on both presentation and taste in all her creations, incorporating different flavors, elements and current trends to enhance her designs, and she loves to share them with others. Melanie discovered her love for baking at age 11 and her technique has only improved since then.
Outside of the kitchen, Melanie is a full-time student and athlete at the Cor Jesu Academy, finding time to share her enthusiasm for the art of decorating cakes and muffins at the Kitchen Conservatory. Dara Boxer is a native of Washington, DC, where she ran a personal chef company that helped other busy families solve the age-old question: “What's for dinner?” As a mother of two young children, she fully understands the importance of having an established meal plan. She loves providing practical and simple solutions to help her dinner routine work smoothly and efficiently. Jacob Couture found his artistic medium in the kitchen. Growing up it seemed that everyone in his family had artistic talents, except for him. But he soon discovered his love for cooking with different methods, techniques and ingredients, using his family as guinea pigs.
Since then, Jacob has been an avid home cook and food explorer, especially enjoying cooking with new and unusual ingredients and traveling on an empty stomach. Chef Zach grew up in Missouri's Bootheel surrounded by corn and soy. While there, his parents fed him with the 2,000-square-foot garden and modest orchard they tended to on their small poultry farm. The first gastronomic memories were reinforced by both grandmothers, one consummate Southern cook in her own right and the other an avid sweet tooth. Upon moving to Cape Girardeau for high school, Zach found work cleaning tables and washing dishes at the best Chinese restaurant in the area. While there, he worked his way up until he was under the tutelage of the owner and his assistant, who taught him Chinese and Thai cuisine.
More importantly, they instilled in him the work ethic and passion to thrive in the culinary industry. Ericka Frank is the owner of Cakery Bakery in Dogtown. Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, she made her first wedding cake at age 14 and has been passionate about pleasing the eye and the palate ever since. Her enthusiasm for everything related to cooking led her to St. Louis will complete his master's degree in dietetics. Joshua Galliano grew up in South Louisiana where he developed a great appreciation for city life and country customs.
After working at several restaurants in Baton Rouge, Josh was fortunate to find two mentors who fostered his passion for food. The search for knowledge and experience in the kitchen led to Josh completing a master's degree in Political Science and obtaining a Grand Diploma at Le Cordon Bleu in London. Josh has worked at Commander's Palace and Brennan's in New Orleans, as well as with Daniel Boulud in New York. After evacuating New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, Josh and his wife have started a new life in the Midwest. Josh was the executive chef at Monarch where he highlighted local farmers' abundance of produce as well as modern interpretations of regional American cuisine; executive chef at Libertine in Clayton; and is now part of the Companion Baking family. Jon Lowe is chef at Ibby's at the University of Washington.
Born and raised in central Kentucky, Jon has been working towards becoming an executive chef since he was eleven years old. After graduating from Johnson University & Wales in 1998, Jon accepted a position as a subchef at a catering company in Charleston, South Carolina where he entertained celebrities such as Vanna White and Bill Murray with his artistic cooking skills. Soon after Jon got a position at The Charleston Grill with renowned chef Bob Waggoner where he experimented with what locals call country cuisine combined with French influences. Julie Malloy is a well-known face at Kitchen Conservatory teaching decorating classes as well as classes for date nights. Julie is from Alabama but moved to St. Louis when she got married; she is now mother of three children including a pair of twins -and considers her children to be her harshest critics when it comes to her kitchen creations. Liz McClure is owner of Liz McClure Macarons -a macaroni pastry chef with a passion for creating desserts that look beautiful and taste even better.
With a background in science education she's excited to share her love for macarons with Kitchen Conservatory. Lou Rook has been executive chef at Annie Gunn's in Chesterfield for 18 years transforming Annie Gunn's from a little known local spot with good pub food to a nationally recognized -and Zagat Award-winning restaurant with an excellent wine list -and consistently excellent food. Maria Sakellariou is passionate about original Mediterranean cuisine that expresses culture through food -believing that food can be an incredible vehicle for overcoming differences -and discovering similarities in society. Tal Stein is dance teacher at our popular gastronomy -and dance classes specializing in tango lindy hop jitterbug -and swing Tal is also dance instructor at COCA. Christy Wynne is certified wellness coach -and personal trainer with Inspire Wellness STL She believes that healthy food can taste amazing -and that food is our best medicine She loves helping people reach their health goals through nutrition -and exercise.