DeWayne Schaaf has quietly become something of a mainstay in the culinary scene in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. He’s been with the fine-dining destination Celebrations Restaurant since 1998, working his way up from pantry chef. Schaaf originally studied film in school, but he has been cooking all his life with his family, who are of German heritage; he says Celebrations guests can find many of those influences and flavors on the menu. As the restaurant’s executive chef, Schaaf is currently serving a winter lineup featuring classic root vegetables, winter squash, a rich and hearty duck breast and grilled pork belly. (Schaaf’s longest-running item on the Celebrations menu is the bacon-wrapped pork loin, a house favorite.) Other standouts include sticky toffee-carrot cake and escargot with white wine and shallots. Schaaf praises the new energy pulsing through Cape Girardeau’s dining scene – from new specialty food shops, food trucks and breweries – and describes it as the most vibrant he’s seen in recent memory. When asked where he sees himself in the next few years, Schaaf says he plans to keep making great food for the city he loves. (Photo by Elaine Rohde)
You’re on the road, heading south to Memphis or New Orleans—or maybe just taking a leisurely weekend drive. Either way, you should make a stop at Cape Girardeau’s Celebrations Restaurant. The eatery boasts a diverse menu that’s rich with local products, a massive wine list filled with treasures, a classic dining room, and service to match. Knowing that Celebrations comes at the end of your drive makes the two-hour jaunt nothing short of a “Let’s go!”
Cape Girardeau can claim more than being the hometown of Rush Limbaugh. It’s also where you can dine at James and Pat Allen’s art-filled restaurant, Celebrations Restaurant & Bar in Cape Girardeau —albeit one that should be enjoyed in moderation while on the way to Memphis. 615
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