Chef Steve is the perfect example of a Chef who rose through the culinary ranks by the sweat of his brow and supplementing his new-found calling with restaurant management education. Starting as a dishwasher at Asheboro Country Club while in college for graphic design, Steve’s keen eye of how design influences the end result, tied into his natural sense of recipes and presentation. The Head Chef at the Country Club – Mike D’Arte, recognized Steve’s talent and encouraged him to consider restaurant management as a career path.
Steve wholeheartedly embraced the idea. Not only did he work for a number of fine restaurants in different capacities to cull his craft, he spent time working for a commercial kitchen equipment company learning the mechanics of the tools. The breakdown of one piece of equipment in a high-volume kitchen results in fixing it on the spot in Nano seconds or improvising a creative alternative. The diner, of course will never realize the chaos occurring behind the scenes, in the Chef’s effort to serve the perfect dish that delivers that moment to contemplate – this is what it’s all about, a moment of peace, relaxation and savory enjoyment. Yum, take me away to the Islands.
Chef Steve moved on to my favorite Sports Bar in Atlanta, Jocks & Jills, where I spent the entire 1995 baseball season watching the Atlanta Braves going from worst to first. Exciting times! Sports bar’s were trucking in drive-in theatre screens to their parking lots to accommodate the enthusiastic, not to mention somewhat tipsy and starving crowds. Jocks & Jills’ exploded.
Behind the scenes, Jocks & Jills’ was capitalizing on the opportunity. Elevating bar food to a memorable dining experience served at the pace of rabid sport’s fans demands. And Chef Steve continued this tradition when hired to open, conceive menus and train Jocks & Jills’ kitchen staff in numerous locations across the South.
Now as Guy Harvey Island Grill’s Executive Chef in Orange Beach, Alabama, he continues his enthusiasm for creating new dishes and managing the dance of a restaurant kitchen.
Chef Steve’s favorite entrée at Guy Harvey Island Grill is Blackened Red Fish topped with Jumbo Lump Crab and Orange Sherry Cream Sauce. Can you say delish? Start the experience with a Fried Calamari Parmesan appetizer. And when his special’s are running – oh, the thought of this one has me running for my grits – Low Country Shrimp & Grits sautéed with Andoiulle Sausage, Vidalia onions, and seasonal peppers.
Being an Executive Chef at Guy Harvey’s Island Grill is also about serving sustainable seafood. You won’t find endangered species on the menu but you will find plenty to get your mouth watering. Thanks for Chef Steve for the special recipes he’s chosen to share with Guy Harvey Magazine readers this issue.