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.