Chef Gerard Craft is the executive chef and owner of Niche Food Group in St. Louis and Nashville. As a Food & Wine Best New Chef, Food & Wine Innovator of the Year, and 2015 James Beard Foundation Award winner for Best Chef: Midwest, Craft has been a pioneer for the Midwest dining scene. While Chef Craft operates multiple restaurants in St. Louis, he open Pastaria Nashville, his approachable, family-friendly Italian concept, at 8 C1TY Blvd., Nashville, TN 37209 in 2017. Pastaria draws inspiration from the pasta factories and lively osterias of Chef’s Craft’s travels throughout Italy. With a mantra of “La Verità,” the menu of appetizers, salads, organic pastas, Neapolitan-style pizzas, wood-oven entrées, and gelato represents Chef Craft’s focus on “the truth” of Italian cuisine, celebrating the simplicity and quality of great Italian food.
Pastaria Nashville joins the James Beard winner’s restaurant group with his St. Louis concepts of: Pastaria’s St. Louis location; creative cocktails at Taste by Niche; French bistro fare at Brasserie by Niche; fun, seasonal fare with a nod to Italy at Sardella; and his latest restaurant, Cinder House, a wood-fired, South American-inspired restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis. A native of Washington, D.C., Chef Craft became addicted to the restaurant life while living in Salt Lake City as a snowboard photographer. Chef Craft went on to cook at Bistro Toujours in Park City, Utah and Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, California as well as a stage at Ryland Inn in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey before making the leap to open a restaurant of his own.
Always a believer in following intuition, Chef Craft settled on the boarded-up building in the Benton Park neighborhood of St. Louis, a Midwestern city that he had never visited, to open his first restaurant, Niche, at the age of 25 in 2005. Niche moved locations and has since evolved to Sardella, but one thing remains constant: his dedication to “The Truth” for his growing restaurant group – the drive to deliver authentic, thoughtful hospitality.
Craft and his wife, Suzie, live in St. Louis with their two daughters.