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Stone Soup Cottage

Carl McConnellCarl McConnell is a well known Executive Chef, Entrepreneur, Travel Consultant and a Food Lover. He and his wife, Nancy, own Stone Soup Cottage, an intimate, French fine dining establishment. Nestled in the heart of historic Cottleville, Missouri, Stone Soup Cottage, a restored 1850s farmhouse, is open to the public a few nights a week, offering a six-course tasting menu. Within the first year, their restaurant got featured on television and won countless awards, which includes the international recognition “The Best of 2010 in Five Cities” by The Week. Carl also received many professional awards from the American Culinary Federation and the National Restaurant Association. Earlier he was an Executive Chef at Clipper Cruise Lines, American Orient Express and as Corporate Executive Chef on around-the-world jet excursions with TCS Expeditions.

Interviewed by Stephen M. Thompson, Ph.D.

Welcome and congratulations on your success. Could you introduce yourself briefly?

Thank you for showcasing us on OpenBeast. My name is Carl McConnell and I am the owner/operator of Stone Soup Cottage in Cottleville, Missouri.

At Stone Soup Cottage the guests are severed as if being inviting into a royal home for dinner? How do you bring out such an incredible experience each and every day?

I love what I do day in and day out. We treat our clients as if they were in our home.

Carl and Stephen at Calisa book event

But tell me how this all happened? During the time of so-called financial meltdown and massive layoffs you open up a one-of-kind cutlery foodie experience in a secluded location and today there is a three months reservation in advance.

In short, my career was at a dead end. I’d been laid-off of my corporate culinary position of ten years. Nancy and I had dreamed of owning and operating an intimate fine dining establishment for years. Our time-line was later in life but due to our circumstances, it was prioritized. Nancy and I believed in our concept and stuck with it through very challenging times early on.

What are you strengths and how did those help in your processional success?

My work ethic is a valuable asset. It allowed my lengthy tenure in the luxury travel business where I was exposed to brilliant hospitality and culinary minds.

Any plans for a second or third restaurant?

At the moment, no. My life is a personal and professional balance and that would tilt the scale.

I heard about your six-course vegetarian menu plans. Could you tell us more?

We are friendly to all dietary needs. With advanced notice, we will provide award-winning vegetarian tasting menus in leau of our advertised offerings.

Tell us about your cooking classes?

This is one of our services that make Stone Soup special. Private cooking lessons are available by appointment only and are one on one in your home or ours.

If not into cooking what would you have been?

A meteoroligist.

Any quick advice for want-to-be chefs?

Be humble, passionate and work hard.

Before to leave any “Chef Carl’s Cooking Tip”?

Add vinegar to your list of seasonings. A little goes a long way.

Thank you so much, Chef Carel!

Stone Soup Cottage’s website is www.stonesoupcottage.com. Keep checking Carl’s website for updates about his upcoming cutlery book.

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