Chef Bernard Pilon's heart is bigger than a mountain lion and you can taste that in his food. He's got passion and personality to spare. The dining room at Norwood Hills Country Club is members-only so we highly suggest befriending some of them and scoring yourself an invite. You'll agree once you read the description of his poutine below.
What do you guys source locally?
Almost everything that is fruit or vegetable. Everything from asparagus to kale to tomatoes, all of our mushrooms. I would say 75-80% of our product that is vegetable matter.
Why do you think sourcing locally is important?
The most important thing is the quality of the product. When I know that I can get something that is legitimacy local, the product seems much better. The other obvious reasons are reducing the carbon footprint and supporting local businesses.
What’s your most popular dish?
Wow tough one. I think right now we have an Amish chicken that is on top of mash potatoes—and all of those potatoes are local—with local crispy kale on top. It’s very simple but people love it.
Which one of your dishes is underrated but is secretly a must-order?
My poutine. Of course, absolutely. I finally decided, being from Montreal, to put poutine on the menu. I should’ve done it ten years ago. And ours is different. We make our own fries with local potatoes and then we do a milk-jowl gravy and the jowls come from Jones’ Heritage Farm in Cape Gerardo and then the cheese comes from Marcoot Jersey Creamery. It’s as local as you can get and it’s our most underrated because it doesn’t sell as well as I think it should but when everybody buys it they’re like: “oh my god this is the best thing ever.”
What’s your favorite MO grown ingredient?
Mushrooms. I’ve got oyster mushrooms and shitake mushrooms that I’ve been using for almost 20 years.
What’s your favorite thing about St. Louis?
I think for me it’s the family lifestyle that it allows me to have. I can really do a lot with my family without having to pay a lot of exorbitant prices. It’s a big-city feel with a small-town feel at the same time.