Dickie contacted me earlier this week saying that he worked at a Clayton restaurant and would like to connect. We decided that I would come to the restaurant, Little Country Gentleman, a little before opening so we could meet. I arrived around 5:30pm and Dickie came over and introduced himself. Unfortunately with them opening at 6pm and he being the Sous Chef, we weren't able to talk too long. I did get to learn that the restaurant has been open for about 7 months now and things are going really well. Dickie, if I remember correctly, studied culinary arts in California before moving back home to St. Louis. This was about the extent of our conversation, but I hope we're able to get together again to chat more because he seems to have a lot of unique experience that it would be fun to learn more about.
Dickie then sent over the owner Mike and the manager Bettina. We were able to talk a little about the project I'm embarking on, as well as the restaurant before they had to begin helping their guests.
I had a free evening after this as my boyfriend had previous plans so I decided to stick around and have dinner. Their menu is a tasting menu, but you can order a la carte at the bar, where I ordered the Veal and was recommended a wine by their wine steward (sommelier?). Everything was absolutely incredible. The Veal was tender and flavorful and the wine paired excellently. This was also my first experience with molecular gastronomy which was interesting and delicious. I wish I could tell you more, but I think I would get it wrong if I tried to describe my meal in more detail. Suffice it to say, it was excellent.
While I was eating I conversed with Jeff at the bar. We talked a little about his interest in illustration and a study that was done by Getzels and Csikszentmihalyi where they noticed that some art students would quickly grab an object and begin drawing, where others would take their time examining every object available, observe it in different lighting, settings and positions before beginning to draw it. What they decided was that the first students were solving a problem, draw the object, while the second group was looking for a unique problem to solve, how can I draw this accurately, or how can I draw this differently, or how can I adjust the lighting to make this look a certain way. When they followed up 10 years later the artists who were looking for a problem to solve (the second group) were more successful in their field.
So, Jeff and I discussed this idea in one or two different contexts.
Later in the evening I was joined by a friend of mine who just got a job in her field and we left to go celebrate with a dessert at Cyrano's.
I had such a unique and memorable experience meeting the variety of people at The Little Country Gentleman and would love to go back for more outstanding food and conversation.