Chef Eric Kelly of Scape in St. Louis, Mo., allowed us to “steal” this week’s recipe for shrimp and grits — a unique recipe from an unusual restaurant; Scape is an eclectic blend of classic and contemporary. Overlooking the beautiful estates of the historic yet hip Maryland Plaza, the American bistro offers comfort food infused with subtle European influences and engaging presentations. From the floor-to-ceiling windows and copper-topped tables to the fine china and whimsical bubble chandeliers, the atmosphere is warm and sophisticated and the menu is creative, yet approachable.
The shrimp and grits and onion soup gratinée have proved to be some of the most popular dishes on the menu along with the pan-roasted Pacific mahi mahi and the tender marinated skirt steak.
Scape features three levels of dining options; the first-floor Wine Room, the second-floor 6,000-square-foot Fountain Room private banquet area or the Rear Courtyard, which can be opened up to seat nearly 500 guests for outdoor dining.
About the chef
With an insatiable appetite for knowledge and passion for culturally diverse cuisine, chef Eric Kelly has set himself apart from the crowd — Italian, French, American and Asian cuisine have become the benchmarks of Eric’s continued success.
Eric’s early professional experiences in California enabled him to hone his skills working in a variety of independently owned restaurants. In 1990, he expanded his repertoire by learning the fine art of French pastry, which was only the beginning of his interest in different native cuisines. Next Eric enrolled in the California Sushi Academy and what he learned there took him to Scottsdale, Ariz., where he partnered with restaurateur Michael McDermott and founded the extremely successful sushi restaurant Kona Grill.
In 1996, Eric joined Hyatt Hotels and in 2001, he moved to Levy Restaurants as the executive chef at Wolfgang Puck Grand Café, Orlando. There, his diverse background made him the perfect fit for the high-volume restaurant, which is home to four distinctive concepts: the dining room, which showcases fine dining; the café, where more casual fare is the focus; the sushi bar and Wolfgang Puck Express.
As Eric’s culinary talents grew, so did the fun. “I’ve had the great honor and pleasure of cooking at celebrity-studded private events for the likes of Margaret Thatcher, John Travolta, Hillary Clinton and the 2006 Grammy Awards," he said.
Some of the conceptual developments that Eric contributed to include the Harley-Davidson Museum’s restaurant concepts, Eat Up Buffet at Harrah’s Casino, American Girl Place bistros in Atlanta and Dallas and culinary operations at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York City.
Today, Eric has come to St. Louis to stay and focus all of his time on Scape and Crepes Etc., which he describes as his favorite projects to date.
48 Maryland Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63108
Shrimp and grits is served at Scape for $11.95.
Shrimp and gritsEric Kelly, Scape restaurant
For cheddar grits:
Bring the cream and stock to a simmer. Slowly add the grits to the simmering liquid, whisking constantly. Lower the heat and let cook 12-15 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cheese. Hold hot until ready to serve.
Place the shrimp on a plate and season with salt, pepper and Cajun spice. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over moderate heat. Carefully place the shrimp in the sauté pan and cook on one side for 1-2 minutes, then turn over and cook for another minute or two.
Remove and place on a paper towel-lined platter. Degrease the pan.
Place the pan back over heat and add the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and beer. Reduce heat by 85 percent, then whisk in the butter and turn off heat.
Add the shrimp to butter sauce and let coat for a minute.
Place 2 ounces of cooked grits in center of a service dish. Place 3 shrimp on top of each portion of grits. Spoon the butter sauce from the pan on top of each portion of shrimp and serve.
254828006048139804quick cooking grits0.5cup1/2 cup quick-cooking gritschicken stock1.25cup1 1/4 cups chicken stockheavy cream1.25cup1 1/4 cups heavy creamshredded cheddar cheese4ounce4 ounces shredded Cheddar cheesepinch of kosher saltpinch of fresh black peppershrimp, raw1212 shrimp, rawpinch of kosher saltpinch of fresh black pepperpinch of Cajun spiceolive oil1tablespoon1 tablespoon olive oillemon juice0.5ounce1/2 ounce lemon juiceworcestershire sauce0.5ounce1/2 ounce Worcestershire saucehot sauce1ounce1 ounce hot sauceamber beer4ounce4 ounces amber beerdiced butter4ounce4 ounces diced butter
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