By: Ashley Winters
It’s all about the food, and if you are a true foodie like me, then our Eat + Drink issue is right up your alley. St. Louis is full of specialty chefs, adding their own personal spin of flavors and seasoning to each dish they prepare. Well we got our hands-on Chef Justyn, and he is spilling it all on being a chef in St. Louis, his take on the culinary industry, and more!
DELUX Magazine: When you were a new comer on the culinary scene how did you get your name out there?
Chef Justyn: Well even though I’ve been cooking professionally in this industry for eight years now, I still consider myself a newcomer. I am still growing as a culinary professional. I will say the best way I got my name out there was following my own ambition, my work ethic followed by my talent. I have cooked in kitchens throughout St. Louis, but I came up in the St. Louis nightlife scene. I got one of my first major opportunities at Soho Restaurant and Lounge, under Chef Ceaira Jackson and Brandon Storman. At 26, I accepted my 1st head chef opportunity at the Marquee Restaurant and Lounge under Andre and Melanie Stith. From there, I went on to be the chef at Mood Ultra Lounge and Blue Dine + Lounge located in Delmar working with Cornell Boone. This year, I’ll be launching my first food concept Bravado Taste Company, focusing on catering, private dining, dinner parties and special events.
DELUX Magazine: As a chef what dish has had a major influence on you and why?
Chef Justyn: I would say family meals, Sunday dinners with family or holiday BBQs with family. It’s always cool to see how food brings people together and what kind of memories you get sitting down for a meal with your friends and loved ones.
DELUX Magazine: St. Louis is filled with upcoming this and upcoming that, a new chef seems to pop up every other day. What skills do you use to stay relevant?
Chef Justyn: I like to play around with different marinades and flavor profiles that enhance the flavor of foods. The kind of flavors most diners may not be expecting in certain dishes. Also, taking classic dishes and recipes and presenting them with a new spin and modern inspiration.
DELUX Magazine: Creatively what recipe was the hardest and why?
Chef Justyn: I would say Gnocchi it’s one of those things where you must be spot on or you can expect a terrible dish (laughs).
DM: Living in a such melting pot as St. Louis, how has this city influenced how you cook?
Chef Justyn: The cool thing about St. Louis is originally we pulled inspiration from German, Irish, French, and Italian influences. So, when I’m cooking to cater to those dishes, I keep home in mind. Pizza is my all-time favorite food and I always preach that the only way to enjoy thin crust pizza is with Provel Cheese!
For more of this interview, click here to download our Eat +Drink Issue.