Chef Andrew Simon : "Lets Grub Out" (pictured right)
From a small age Chef Andrew Simon knew he wanted to do two things. He wrote on a "what do you want to be when you grow up " paper in elementary school - play pro soccer or cook for people. A story he tells often when people ask how did he get into this industry. Now nearly 15 years later he is doing exactly that- Cooking For People.
His career has consisted of lots of hard work, dedication and multiple jobs in the kitchen, ranging from entry level positions as a teen, to Executive Chef of multiple well known restaurants in St.Louis area such as Table Three in Wildwood and Innsbrooke Country Club. Most recently he has finished two years as Executive Chef at Scape American Bistro where he led his team into creating well balanced, unique, fresh dishes that come to life with every bite. Scape was also where he met his now partner James Flemming . Andrew takes a lot of pride in the balance of dishes. He states "A charred almond might taste harsh by itself but when paired properly with correct acids and the right fats, it can be balanced and delicious .
Chef Andrew was married in 2016 . Andrew and his wife Crystal have a beautiful baby girl Lyla who you might see hanging around helping in the kitchen or serving you your salad. The desire to love his career, but also not miss out on life with his family has led him to take this leap of faith into owning his own restaurant with partner and friend James Flemming. Charred Crust is dream come true and he couldn't be more excited to share his love of food and family with downtown Clayton .
Andrew hopes that each patron will become more than another seat at the table, but family that can come to be together, laugh together and enjoy one of life's greatest gifts together.... FOOD!
James Flemming: (pictured left)
My restaurant passion started early, watching my father create his sensational dishes of flavors and heat at a young age. The older I grew the more I was taken in by the techniques, the process and skillset of not
only him but other family members and friends. Into my teens, I realized it wasn’t always about the food but about a machine as a whole with different aspects and levels. I understood a brigade system, business aspects, social environment and most of all, dedication. This life consumes us, but we love it.
As I went on in my career from mom and pop locations, hotels, wineries, private catering, fine dining, banquets, traveled the world, and culinary educator, I realized one thing. I am still hungry… no for real, I can’t stop eating and I love it. Whether your definition of hunger means food or something more as mine, I want to keep going. I want to make mistakes, learn from them, try disgusting food, great flavored food, meet people, see their (customers, guests, clients, family and friends) reactions. It’s entirely a world of its own because deep down inside no matter where life puts you… you like good food. A saying I typically have used throughout my journey is “you cannot eat good food and be mad”.
My next journey begins with a business partner, Andrew Simon. I couldn’t be more motivated with his passion, personality and his dedication for this industry. We hope to bring our ideas and knowledge to Charred Crust to provide excellent flavors and an experience that can make everyone day a little better. We want Charred Crust to be something more than just a restaurant. We want to play a role in our communities wherever this journey takes us. Until then we will stay the course and keep pushing. Enjoy!!!