Friday, October 4, 2013

Chef McConnell at Stone Soup Cottage

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Stone Soup Cottage is booked solid a month in advance, which means, once you score a spot, you've got a month to think about nothing else other than eating there. Chef McConnell serves guests a six-course tasting menu that features drool worthy dishes inspired by France and Northern Italy and sourced from farms right here in Missouri. 

What do you guys source locally?
All of my ingredients are coming from my farm that we’re moving to next week. It’s just a ¼ mile from my current location, which is my past location now since we finished up dinner service. It comes from the Wiese farm and nursery. Our new restaurant will be located on that property there. Norma Wiese is the farmer that I work directly with that grows all of my produce for the restaurant.

What’s your most popular dish?
This summer it was definitely my pistou, which is a chilled basil soup with tomato and black walnut relish.

Which one of your dishes is underrated but is secretly a must-order?
Well I don’t really work that way because my menu changes every month so I barely repeat any menu items. But I would say one of the more popular requested dishes I have is my duck cannelloni with lavender brown butter.

Will you bring that back?
I will do a rerun of that every now and then. My apple and taleggio cheese soufflé is another popular one and I use local apples in that. But my smoked duck cannelonni has beautiful ducks from Ben Roberts in Columbia, MO.

He’s great.
He’s an awesome guy, yea. He gives me just absolutely beautiful fresh ducks. And, of course, we add fresh lavender from the farm.

Why do you believe in sourcing locally?
For a number of reasons. We are named “Stone Soup” so we want to keep it in line with that story of keeping it within a community and supporting local business. That’s one. Two, there’s nothing better than farm fresh and ingredients that are literally picked out of my backyard and used. Not that I’m completely against using items that don’t come from here: bananas and pineapples and all that kind of stuff. Good stuff has its place. So we would never claim to be a completely locavorian restaurant. But as far as produce is concerned, we do mostly. And any protein we use, we want to use local.

Image: J. Pollack Photography courtesy of Feast Magazine

1 comment:

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