We, in St. Louis, take our food seriously.  Our independent restaurant culture is a force to be reckoned with. Living in mid-America, we have access to locally grown produce and locally raised livestock.  Our artisanal bakers keep raising the standards of excellence.

To heck with all the platitudes, food in St. Louis is just plain good and the food scene itself  is vibrant.

When you love something as much as we love food, why not throw a party (or two) to celebrate it?*

On Sunday, June 26, foodies can get up-close and personal with many of their favorite restaurants at Sauce Magazine’s reader’s choice party, Saucy Soiree.  This fabulous mix-and-mingle lets the average Joe (that’s us) chat-and-chew with the dashing trendsetters of our beloved restaurant scene.

For just $25 (in advance, $30 cash-only at the door) you’ll be treated to divine nosh from Farmhaus, Salume Beddu, Annie Gunn’s, Niche, Sidney Street, Bridge, Pappy’s BBQ, Salt, Modesto, Bailey’s Choc. Bar, Schlafly, Mike Shannon’s, Harvest, Chaumette Vineyards, Prime 1000, Kakao Chocolate, Eleven Eleven Mississippi, Molly’s in Soulard, and many more.

What’s more, you get to indulge in this lovely little feast at the super swanky Four Seasons Hotel (I love this venue and Trisha D., who makes every event perfection). Trust me when I tell you that the ticket is worth the price of admission!

As an aside, when you attend this event you’ll affirm your position as a foodie “insider.” The results of Sauce Magazine’s Reader’s Choice poll will be revealed here – and only here – ahead of publication.

Perhaps, though, you’re looking for something a bit more intimate? Check out A Feast in The Field at Claverach Vineyard and Organic Farm, hosted by Slow Food St. Louis, also on June 26.

This deluxe and elegant celebration of the bounty grown at Claverach will feature luminaries from many of the St. Louis area’s premiere eateries. The super-star slow-food-supporter chefs who’ve developed the evening’s meal – which includes dishes such as fried squash blossoms stuffed with duck confit and served with a savory sabayon and petite beet terrine, and barbequed glazed Heath Putnam Farm mangalista pork belly over Hodgson Mills yellow corn cake and bacon jam with a mélange of Overlook Farm pickled carrots, Ozark Forest shitake mushrooms, radish “shards, and Claverach Farm shoots – are:

On any given evening, I’d be over the moon to have a meal prepared by any one of these chefs. To have all of these talented, passionate artists working together for one night is almost too much for my little head and heart to process. This is the All-Star Game for any serious foodie.

Tickets for Feast in The Field are on sale now. If you’re a member of St. Louis Slow Food, tickets are $100 each. For non-members, tickets are $125.  This unique experience will begin at 3:00 pm and go until the last bit of deliciousness is had.

From the bottom of my happy foodie heart, thank you to all of the wonderful publications and organizations that support eating well and living well in St. Louis. More and more, our region is defined by the excellence found in our restaurants, our farmer’s markets, and on the tables of terrific home cooks. It is a true benefit of our St. Louis community that we can experience all of this passion and creativity in so many different ways … and at different price points. There truly is something for everyone.

A lovely summer Sunday night demands plans. Decide which event whets your appetite, buy a ticket, and Eat It, St. Louis!

*I love the independence of my blog, so I never accept “free” tickets in exchange for a blog post like this. I happen to really believe in what is going on here and I’m delighted to be able to support great efforts. Just thought you’d like to know …