A fresh and innovative hotel calls for a fresh and innovative Chef de Cuisine. And so The Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta Hotel could not be more pleased to have Nathan Sandknop in our kitchen. Nathan has recently entered the spotlight as a nominee for St. Louis’s “30 Under 30” professionals to watch in the Gateway City. Once you learn a bit more about him, you’ll understand why.

A native of St. Louis, the 26-year-old started in the restaurant business quite early at fast food places and mom-and-pop eateries. Eventually, he landed a line-cook position at River City Casino’s 1904 Steak House and later spent five months in Antarctica as the sous chef at McMurdo Station. Today, he enjoys ample creative license, devising dishes for The Preston restaurant alongside the Executive Chef. Just how creative is he? Stop by and try one of his foie gras donuts with cherry sauce to decide for yourself.

Here, he shares one of his favorite recipes, his take on a North African dish.


Chef de Cuisine Nathan Sandknop, The Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta Hotel

Beef & Lamb Meatballs:


  • ½ large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp garlic herb mix
  • goat cheese


  1. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent, then cool.
  2. Mix all other ingredients together and portion meatballs at 3 oz each.
  3. Stuff each with .4 oz of goat cheese

Shakshouka Sauce:


  • 1/2 julienned onion
  • 1/2 julienned red bell
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 28 oz can plum tomatoes (crushed by hand)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Salt to taste


  1. Sauté onions and peppers until onions are translucent
  2. Add garlic and spices
  3. Add tomatoes and reduce by half

Season with honey and salt