Chef Stefen is wearing ChefUniforms Bold Stripe Apron style #300BOL
Happy New Year, we hope you celebrated the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017 with loved ones and great food! All of us at ChefUniforms are excited for another year of awesome chefs, great recipes, and exciting news coming your way.
We’re starting 2017 off with a bang and are very excited to introduce our January 2017 Chef of the Month, Stefen Dobrec! Read more about his life and journey as a chef below.
1. Where were you born?
I am from a little town called Danville in California.
2. Where do you work and where are you based?
I run my own website called BigChefLittleKitchen.com. The inspiration for the name came from me being almost 6’4” and cooking in my small Manhattan apartment kitchen. The name was one of those “ah-ha” moments that just came to me, I checked the domain and it was available so that’s how it all started.
3. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?
My chef knife. Honestly, I use it the most, it is the tool I have invested the most money in. So much chopping goes on in the kitchen. I always say to invest in two things, your shoes and your bed. My third is a good chef knife.
4. What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?
Probably my taste. I am not a big recipe guy. I visualize it first and hope that through trial and error it turns out tasting the way I want it. Then after I taste it and perfect it, I go back and figure out the measurements for a recipe.
5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?
The main advice I would offer aspiring chefs is to cook every day. Doesn’t matter if it’s one meal, three meals, or five meals. Cook something every day. I try to cook something new but even if I don’t and I end up cooking one of my staple dishes, every time I cook it I try to make the dish better.
6. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?
Make and master scrambled eggs. It is the simplest thing, but it goes a long way. I’m sure most people feel the same way. There is an ongoing joke with my girlfriend’s side of the family that you have to “make Stefen eggs.” My only secret to delicious eggs is season them before hand and whip them with a form to make them light and fluffy.
7. What does good food mean to you?
Good food means a lot of things to me. It’s almost an event. It’s sight, the smell, the taste, the sounds, and the people you are with. Good food is just being around a table with family and friends and enjoying a variety of things.
8. What features are important to you when selecting your Chef outfit?
I am pretty standard; I like to wear business casual. The biggest thing is the apron for me. My go-to is my apron over the top of a collared shirt with rolled up sleeves. I like my apron to have one or two pockets in the front, with sturdy material that I know will last after multiple washes. I also keep a towel because I am constantly washing my hands and need a place for my phone just in case I get sudden inspiration and want to add it to my notes.
9. Favorite ingredient to work with?
My favorite ingredient to work with is beets. They are so versatile. My signature dish is my beet sliders. They are a very underutilized vegetable. You can roast, grill, shred them; they can be sweet or savory. To me, the possibilities are endless.
10. Favorite City to dine out in?
I have to say New York City. It is the culinary capital for a reason. There is a great mixture of 5-star restaurants as well as mom and pop places. Both have high quality and equally delicious foods. Plus, you can find whatever you are craving during any time of the day or night.
11. Best Dish you have ever made?
Honestly my breakfast mac and cheese, it’s not as healthy as most of the other stuff I make, but honestly, it is ridiculous. The mac itself has sweet potatoes and jalapeño, and the whole thing topped with a sunny-side egg. I personally like to add Sriracha too. It’s even better served with mimosas.
12. Place you eat most often on your days off?
My dining room table. I said my best advice is to cook every day and I try my best to abide by it. I cook breakfast and dinner almost every single day. And lunch most days as well. I am big on preparing my groceries the day I get them so it is easier to come home and throw something together.
13. Who is the person you would most like to cook for?
Honestly Bobby Flay. My love for food and cooking came when I was young and would come home after various practices and watch Boy Meets Grill or Iron Chef America. Just to be able to cook for him and get his input and just talk to him about food and cooking would be insane.
14. What is new on your DVR?
I was all in on Westworld; So on my DVR I would say I’m most looking forward to starting the new show by Donald Glover, Atlanta.
Stay tuned and check back for some amazing recipes from Chef Stefen that will be shared throughout the month. Make sure to check out his website BigChefLittleKitchen.com and follow him on Instagram @bigcheflittlekitchen.