Executive Chef / Owner: Jim Fiala

Jim honors his classical French and Italian training at both of his restaurants and is always looking for ways to incorporate this with farm fresh ingredients into simple, beautifully-prepared food. A St. Louis native and graduate of Parkway West Senior High, Jim received a B.B.A. from Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University in 1987.  His love for cooking began while he worked in the kitchen on the Clipper Cruise Line.  He went to San Francisco and attended the California Culinary Academy and then graduated in 1992.  In 1997 after working in restaurants in San Francisco, Chicago, New York City and Puerto Rico, he returned to St. Louis. In 1998, Jim opened The Crossing Restaurant, followed by Acero’s opening in 2007. Jim and his wife Melissa, another St. Louis native, have three children – Lily, Luke and Sam.

Chef: Brad Watts

Brad began his studies in 2002 working under Chef John Bogacki CEC at Westwood Country Club in Creve Coeur, MO. He decided to leave after being offered an entry-level position working with Jim Fiala at The Crossing in 2003. Brad quickly adopted Jim’s cooking philosophy of “Simple But Perfect” and has never looked back. Within a year he was running The Crossing and has since been involved with all of Jim’s past and present restaurants: The Crossing, Liluma, Acero and The Terrace View. Having worked as Front of the House Manager and now currently working as Chef gives Brad a unique perspective, which creates a smooth flow between the front and back of the house. Brad brings a passion for excellence to the cuisine, service, guest satisfaction and hospitality. Brad was born and raised in St. Louis and currently resides in South County with his two children.