About Mike Randolph
If there’s a thread that’s carried Randolph through his career, it’s that he’s never been afraid to throw out a menu, a pop up dinner series or even an entire restaurant concept and run with something different – something better. This approach snagged him his first two James Beard nominations this year for Best Chef: Midwest and Best New Restaurant for his Central- and South American-inspired gastropub, Público. In early 2015, Randolph was running three successful restaurants in the St. Louis area – Público in the Delmar Loop; The Good Pie, a Neapolitan pizzeria located next door; and Half & Half, a breakfast and brunch spot in Clayton, Missouri. By late spring, he announced plans to close The Good Pie and reopen a new concept in the same space: Randolfi’s Italian Kitchen, inspired by the food and drink of southern Italy. In August, Randolfi’s opened for business, and within a month, Randolph was already announcing his next project:, the aptly named Diversions Dinner Series, which debuted in late September and will run through 2016. Pop ups aren’t anything new for Randolph; in some ways, they’ve guided him toward his current concepts. In 2012, he hosted two acclaimed pop ups inside Half & Half during its evening off-hours: Medianoche, focused on modern Mexican fare (which would eventually help inspire Público), followed eight months later by Little Country Gentleman, serving mostly Southern-influenced food. With Diversions, Randolph wants to carve out another creative outlet for himself and for the chefs de cuisine at his restaurants.