opened its doors about a year ago in Downtown Kirkwood. Chef Chris Delgado sits down with us to discuss his journey to Kirkwood, where he finds inspiration and what's next at One 19.
Kirkwood Patch: Where were you born?
Chris Delgado: Tucson, AZ.
Patch: What is your favorite childhood food?
Delgado: My mom’s homemade flour tortillas. I really want to recreate them at home, but my waistline is safer if I don’t.
Patch: How did you get from Tucson to Kirkwood?
Delgado: I was living in Scottsdale, (AZ). I had no experience and no one in Scottsdale would hire me without experience. I moved to St. Louis and landed a job at Shitake in Clayton as a sushi chef. I didn’t know how to make sushi, but I learned very quickly. I made so much sushi during my first , I was an expert after that. Then I was at Jimmy’s on the Park for five years, the Saint Louis Club for two years and finally, . I have no formal training. Everything I know about cooking is from my mom and the chefs I worked with.
Patch: Who has been your biggest influence?
Delgado: My parents. We traveled when I was a kid, places like San Francisco. I can so distinctly remember being on Fisherman’s Wharf with my dad eating oysters for the first time. They always wanted me to try different foods, made me try things at least once. It really did expand my horizons.
Patch: What is your favorite dish to cook?
Delgado: My carnitas—it was an experiment that worked.
Patch: What is your least favorite task in the kitchen?
Delgado: Cleaning up.
Patch: What is your favorite cuisine?
Delgado: Fusion. I love the way a guy like Nobu (Matsuhisa) can use international influences to make delicious, unique dishes.
Patch: What is your favorite food trend?
Delgado: Food trucks. It would be cool to make just enough to sell daily. Growing up in the Southwest, food trucks have been around there as long as I can remember, but now, some of the trucks around here are really gourmet stuff.
Patch: One thing you would tell home chefs is…
Delgado: Season everything and have really good knives.
Patch: Every kitchen needs…
Delgado: A lot of mixing bowls.
Patch: What’s your next project?
Delgado: I’m working on a special menu for our Sept. 25 wine tasting. I like to come up with something different and off menu, something that evokes fall, like a soup or a stew. I’m also working on a new menu for fall which I plan to debut mid-October.
Patch: Who in the Kirkwood restaurant scene would you like to see featured next?
Delgado: Peppe Profeta from , or maybe the new chef at (Tony Nguyen).