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Gerard Craft names Pastaria's Ashley Shelton as Sardella executive chef

Gerard Craft names Pastaria's Ashley Shelton as Sardella executive chef

Ashley Shelton

Ashley Shelton, executive chef at Pastaria and Sardella. Handout photo

Ashley Shelton, the executive chef of Gerard Craft's Pastaria, is adding another restaurant to her résumé.

Craft tells Off the Menu that Shelton is taking over the role of executive chef at Sardella, which Craft opened six months ago in place of his flagship Niche.

Shelton replaces Sardella's inaugural executive chef Blue, who was let go this weekend. Shelton will also retain the title of executive chef at Pastaria.

“She's an awesome manager,” Craft says. “She's a great chef. Selfishly, it makes a lot of sense.”

Shelton has received national attention over the past year. She was a finalist in 2016 for the Young Guns award from the influential dining site Eater and she was a semifinalist for “Rising Star Chef of the Year” nationwide for this year's James Beard Awards.

Craft and Shelton will work together on Sardella's menu, but Craft says Sardella, which serves more creative fare than the pizza- and pasta-focused Pastaria, should give Shelton even more of a chance “to shine on her own.”

Sardella received a 3½-star review from this restaurant critic and is No. 6 in the Top 25 of the 2017 STL 100.

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