From New York back to the Midwest: One on One with Michael Gallina, Chef/Owner, Rooster and the Hen St. Louis
Michael chatted with Beyond the Plate, a blog chronicling food and beverage trends for Symrise, about his inspiration to become a chef, his journey to get there, and his philosophy for our future restaurant. Here are a few excerpts:
On Finding Inspiration: “I like to let what’s happening around me at that very moment dictate what I have available to cook with, and let the rest of the dish evolve from there. Having a relationship with local farmers practicing organically isn't just about cherry-picking their best ingredients, but creating a dialogue where you can let them tell you what they really need you to buy."
On His New Restaurant: "A lot of it goes back to where I find inspiration, and really letting the local farmers in Missouri and parts of Illinois shape our cuisine. We are very focused on flipping the idea of ‘meat and potatoes’ and taking a more vegetable-forward approach to our menu.
We celebrate meat and will not be vegetarian, but we plan to work with whole animals so that will frequently mean meat will take the form of vegetables cooked in animal fats, garnishes of braised off cuts, and charcuterie. That is definitely a departure from traditional restaurants in St. Louis, but we feel confident in the evolution of the food scene here and feel that many diners are excited for a more sustainable and delicious way of eating.
With a menu that changes as frequently as ours will, we will really be able to celebrate each ingredient to it's fullest and encourage people to keep coming back to see what's new"