20 Must-Visit Spots for St. Louis Food Lovers

Nathaniel Reid Bakery
11243 Manchester Road, Kirkwood; 314-858-1019
Nathaniel Reid was supposed to be a biologist, not a baker, but thank goodness he had an existential crisis during his science studies at Mizzou or else we might not have Nathaniel Reid Bakery in our lives. After an internship made him realize that biology was not his calling, the eponymous baker took a suggestion from his mom and got into cooking. It may have seemed like an idea out of left field, but after he changed his major to hospitality and restaurant management and began making desserts in a professional kitchen, he understood there was no other job for him. Reid’s days of wondering what his life’s work should be will seem like a million years ago when you walk into his Kirkwood bakery and see his handiwork. Reid is a master, internationally recognized not only for beautiful-looking desserts, but beautiful-tasting ones as well. Delicacies that look like they should grace the cover of a food magazine (which some of them actually have) make you wonder if they are half as good as they look; taste them and you’ll realize they are somehow even more so. His amber cake is one of those signatures, a shiny dome of salted caramel mousse and pecan caramel that rests atop buttery shortbread and caramelized pecans. The dessert is so spectacular, it was included in a compilation cookbook of the world’s top pastry chefs. Short of winning a Nobel prize, it’s hard to see how Reid could have scaled such heights as a scientist.