A recent press released announced that Jimmy Voss has returned to the CWE as “Executive Consigliere” at West End Grill & Pub, 354 N. Euclid. Voss was executive chef at Duff’s for many years until the beloved restaurant closed in 2013.
Stories about Duff’s and memories of favorite dishes linger in the minds of many who patronized it over its long history. Now you can experience some of Voss’s favorite recipes at WEGAP, such as the pepper steak, above, French-onion soup or Creole-crab & crawfish cakes.
There’s so much more to the Voss story however. When he was at Duff’s, the chef would occasionally take time off and hit the road to cook for the Grateful Dead.
I reached out to West End Grill’s co-founder William Roth, who is also an actor, and founder of St. Louis Actors’ Studio, and whom I was sure would have much more to say about his new hire. As is often the case, I got so much more than I asked for.
In Roth’s words:
“We all grew up at Duff’s. I’ve known Jimmy (Voss) since the mid ’70’s. I worked at Duffs from ’84 to the mid ’90s.
We both love the Grateful Dead and once he became their road chef I would work as many cities as I could. I eventually worked West Coast shows, designed t-shirts and apparel for the band.
He catered my wedding and when I rehabbed the buildings on Boyle I designed a private kitchen (now Blue Strawberry’s kitchen) for him. He would come and fix lunch for me and my clients.
Once he moved to Texas, he would come home for a couple of weeks here and there, and I would hire him to work at WEGAP to do something special while he was in town.
Now he is here for an extended time (until Spring at least) and is working as our Executive Consigliere with Chef Raven.
We all miss 392 N Euclid (where Duff’s was located, now Salt ‘n Smoke) and so many are happy to see Jimmy and come and eat the favorites that he and (Duff’s owners) Karen Duffy and Tim Kirby cooked up for so many years.
The day West End Grill & Pub opened (14 years ago) I hung a Duff’s menu on the wall. Karen Duffy and Duff’s taught us all so much about love and relationships and civil responsibility
and the arts. We pay homage to that as best we can.
Who says you cannot go home again?”