Crispy Edge is edging closer to opening. Tori Foster has been tapped to fill the executive chef role at the pot sticker eatery, which is set to open at 4168 Juniata St. in Tower Grove later this spring.
Owner David Dresner said Foster’s academic credentials and passion for all types of food made her the outstanding candidate for the position.
“Crispy Edge aims to explore global cuisines in a traditional Chinese vehicle,” he said. “(Tori) is half-Filipino. She’s lived in Hawaii. She’s very high energy at large. Her enthusiasm to try other flavors and ideas is awesome, and it resonated with me.”
Crispy Edge is Foster’s first executive chef gig, but food has been part of her life from the beginning. She comes from a military family and traveled widely growing up, all the while absorbing the cuisines of the places she lived, and she said her Filipino heritage exposed her to a wide array of influences, as well.
Eventually, Foster attended culinary school at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, where she got her associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. Then she made her way to St. Louis to attend the master’s program in nutrition and dietetics at Saint Louis University.
Foster said Dresner’s enthusiasm sold her on the job. “Just hearing how David loved it and what his philosophy on pot stickers was really what drew me in,” she said. “And we’re on the same wavelength on what food should be and what it does, how it creates community and how we can experience it. Everyone is familiar with pot stickers, but we’re doing something completely different with it, and were able to be so creative and inclusive of different cuisines.“
Foster, who is involved in recipe development for the company’s wholesale pot sticker business as well, said her goal is to be a well-rounded leader behind the stoves.
“I want to be the executive chef I’ve always wanted,” she said. “I want to run this (kitchen) in the way I’d want a kitchen run that I was working in. I want to be the executive chef who’s hands-on and communicates well with their employees, but also striving to do new things and try new flavors.”