Recieved an email this evening from a reader who picked up a copy of Inc.com Magazine October issue in his MD office’s waiting room…and what do you know!?!…..Gerard Craft was touted as Cool, Determined and Under 30!
Current Venture: Niche, a St. Louis restaurant that will gross $2.6 million this year
Why He’s One to Watch: Craft’s penchant for experimentation can be seen in the menu, which features fried pig’s head and lamb with white chocolate hummus. “He’s a pioneer in terms of both food and location,” says Dana Cowin, editor of Food & Wine magazine. “Niche has a minimal, modern feel, which might have been a risk in a historic St. Louis neighborhood. Its success is a tribute to how good the food is.”
The Backstory: Craft dropped out of culinary school (“I never did well in the classroom — I got bored”) to work at a car wash and a pool hall. He eventually returned to the kitchen, first working a series of restaurant jobs and then raising Niche’s seed money from his brother and parents.
What’s Next: Craft, 29, recently opened Veruca, a café and bakeshop, as a creative outlet for his pastry chef. He hopes to expand the business further: “I would love to see a brand of Niche with talented chefs that put out good food and make fine dining more approachable.”
A Confession: “I’m dying to be on Iron Chef.”
I know I would love to see Gerard and Mathew go against an Iron Chef!