23 to watch in 2023: Stéphane Saint Louis, chef/owner of Table Culture Provisions
Title: Executive chef/ owner of Table Culture Provisions
On the job since: 2005
Hometown: Born in New York, raised in Port au Prince, lived in Bay Area since 2003, Petaluma since 2014.
Why Saint Louis is someone to watch:
In 2020, Chefs Stéphane Saint Louis and his business partner Steven Vargas invested their pandemic stimulus checks in Tesla with their fingers crossed. That investment turned into a $17,000 windfall that helped them launch their pop-up restaurant and mobile kitchen. Operating out of a borrowed space in Petaluma, they mainly served takeout food and carved a niche in the local dining landscape with fried chicken, burgers and boozy brunch standards with panache rather than irony. A year ago, Saint Louis opened a tiny brick-and-mortar restaurant with just 10 tables, elevating his familiar comfort food into increasingly refined and ridiculously Instagrammable dishes like Delicata Squash Rings with Truffle Caviar Dip, Mushroom Rilette Tartelette with Sunchoke Chips and Fluffy Parker House Rolls with Beef Bone Marrow Butter. Their recently launched 10-course tasting menu gained the attention of the San Francisco Chronicle (who rarely praise Sonoma restaurants), landing it on its Top 25 Restaurants for Fall list. Saint Louis is a rising star in the local food scene with serious Michelin potential in its future.
What others are saying about Saint Louis:
“I found out about Stéphane and his restaurant during COVID. Before I even had a chance to try TC Provisions, I was intrigued with his story, his commitment to the Petaluma community and his willingness to take a risk during the pandemic. I invited him to launch his farm-to-table kitchen garden at Asombrosa, and it has proven to be a wonderful match,” Grace Belangia, owner of Asombrosa, a 63-acre multiuse property in Petaluma.
What Saint Louis says about 2023:
“I’m excited about the growth and direction that we've been accumulating up to this point. This year has been a year of finding ourselves and understanding the business and the industry we are in. Our a la carte menu wasn't financially sustainable, so we started doing a tasting menu exclusively — it's just what makes sense in the space. We can meet financial goals, and guests don't have to feel rushed. (My business partner) Steven and I like to do things extremely well and make our guests feel truly comfortable. Steven is currently going to the Culinary Institute of America in Napa, and I'm excited for him to see different aspects of the industry. We both like developing new techniques and watching our peers. Those are the waves we jump on. In 2023, we want to spread our wings as much as we can. Our ultimate goal is to get a Michelin mention. I've been programmed into this with my previous experiences at Michelin-rated restaurants, and I've been chasing it ever since.”
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