Edward Farrow has forsaken his executive chef-general manager position at The Café at MIM for a similar gig at SLAM -- the acronym for the St. Louis Art Museum. In fact, he's packing up his stuff and hitting the road for Missouri on Thursday.
But those of us who've come to love Farrow's inspired daily menus and locavore approach have nothing to worry about. Farrow has been replaced by his former chef de cuisine Chris Lenza, who has been named executive chef but not general manager. Here's what else you need to know:
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The Café at MIM is operated by Bon Appétit, a progressive onsite restaurant management company that provides cafe and catering services to corporations, colleges, universities, and specialty venues such as museums. Bon Appétit (BAMCO) is committed to local and sustainable ingredients, so much so that it instituted the Farm to Fork program in 1999, issuing a mandate that its chefs would buy at least 20 percent of their food from small farmers located within 150 miles of their restaurants. The Café at MIM buys much more local product than that, usually around 75 percent.
Lenza and Farrow worked together at Kai, so both were heavily steeped in the farm-to-table philosophy well before they started working for BAMCO. Lenza is one of the company's 14 foragers, enlisted to seek out small farmers and artisans and establish working relationships with them. He's as committed as any guy can be to farm-to-table. So nothing will change, given that Lenza has basically been running the food show at The Café at MIM all along. In fact, when I recently wrote a story about the talented chefs behind star chefs, Kevin Binkley chided me for not including Chris Lenza. My bad. Clearly, he deserved to be there.
And just so you know, Farrow is still in the BAMCO fold, given that SLAM is operated by Bon Appétit also.