Chef Heather Stevens Bio
Date: November 17, 2009
To my great joy, it seems as if I have been in the food industry, one way or another, for my entire life. I grew up on a large, operating farm in the heartland of Missouri. My family raised cattle, pigs, chickens, and had an enormous garden that grew every kind of vegetable one could imagine. I was fortunate to be taught, from a very early age, respect for the land and animals that give us our food and continue to carry that attitude with me today in my culinary career.
After being interested in food and a self-taught chef for years, I sought professional training at the French Culinary Institute in New York. During my ten years since then, I have had many mentors and fellow culinarians that have molded and guided my career path. All mentors and chefs throughout my career have inspired me with their vision and passion, and taught me how to see and taste everything through the eyes of my guest and to focus on the total dining experience. Cooking is a very complicated, yet satisfying profession. I enjoy being able to think creatively, relying upon the knowledge that I have gained over the years, and working with my hands to nurture and please my guests with my creations.
My approach to food is seasonal, fresh, and light to let the inherent flavors of the food stand out. Living in Manhattan, and having an abundance of fresh products and food artisans from the surrounding areas, that love and respect food as much as I do, is very special and allows me to truly bring the concept of "farm to table" to the family. I am continually inspired by the variety and quality of the organic, seasonal produce and fresh seafood found locally and my style of cuisine embraces this sense of place that reflects not only the highest quality ingredients, but expresses the spirit and many cultures of New York. As a chef, I am very excited to have access to these products, and my menus emphasize simplicity, allowing for the freshness and quality of the food to speak for itself.
Seasonal cuisine and natural cuisine are the pillars of my culinary philosophy. As a chef, I love the idea of each day beginning as a blank canvas for my creations. My passion, dedication, and quest for excellence is defined by the smiles on my guest's faces. These things are what make me love my career as a chef.