Around the Kitchen in 3 Questions: Chef Kevin Nashan

The Sidney Street Café chef discusses the influence of his travels on his creative process

Sidney Street Cafe is in St. Louis.

Continuing our series that investigates the travel inspirations of chefs, we caught up with St. Louis’s chef Kevin Nashan. Chef Nashan heads Sidney Street Café and is a four-time semi-finalist for the James Beard Award for “Best Chef: Midwest.” Here’s what he has to say about exploring news places and how it affects his time in the kitchen:

The Daily Meal: What has been your most inspirational food experience while traveling?

Kevin Nashan: Living in Spain and working at Martin Berasategui in Lesarte. Highlights were eating at Akelarre, Arzak, El Raco de Can Fabes, oh and this place called elBulli, where I got to stage for a few days!

TDM: What’s your favorite kitchen souvenir from your travels?

KN: My sauce spoon from Le Français in Wheeling, Ill. (Illinois is pretty local, but I consider working and traveling the same), where I worked under chef Roland Liccioni. The spoon itself was made in Spain and had a sexy little lip to it that was perfect for plating dishes and saucing. It's missing right now though, hmmm…

I would have to say a close second is my signed elBulli book that has been out of print for 10 years. It was one of his first. Amazing!

TDM: If you could eat your way through one country, which one would it be and why?


KN: Vietnam, due to the amazing ingredients, people, culture, and history.