You may recognize her from her win on this season’s Top Chef, but Chef Stephanie Izard has been cultivating culinary success since her early years. Stephanie was kind enough to sit down to answer a few questions on where she’s been and where’s she’s headed. Heck, she’s even joined the blogging ranks these days!
Q: You originally graduated from University of Michigan with a degree in Sociology. How did you end up in the culinary world?
A: Grew up loving to cook and when I did not find anything I loved better in college I decided to become a chef.
Q: Who would you consider to be your culinary inspirations?
A: So many really. Growing up was a mix of my mom, “Yan Can Cook” and Julia Child. Now some of my favorite chefs are [Mario] Batali and Jose Andres.
Q: What are your favorite ingredients to cook with?
A: I most often use various nuts, fruits and olives. Great flavors and textures.
Q: Where are your favorite spots for a good meal?
A: San Soo Gab San is my favorite Korean BBQ. Just tasty and fun which is what I like in a restaurant.
Q: Who’s your dream sous chef?
A: Not in a cocky way, but a mini me so I knew that we had the same taste and the same vision. Though I would probably fire myself for my bad taste in music in the kitchen.
Q: What can people expect to find at your new restaurant?
A: Great food and a fun beer and wine list. And of course, bacon.
Q: What have you learned about running a successful restaurant that you hope to incorporate into your new restaurant?
A: The importance of a fun and enthusiastic staff. Make a fun environment so they want to come to work and want to work hard for you. And show them the respect that you want from them.
Q: Would you consider hiring any of your Top Chef-mates?
A: I think we will all go on to do great things on our own. A lot of talent but very different styles.
Q: Will you be making an appearance on Top Chef Junior?
A: Not sure. They may get me confused with the kids since I am probably the same height.
~ Jennifer Heigl
A big thanks to Chef Stephanie and the folks at Bravo!
*Photo courtesy of Bravo Television