Friday, February 24, 2012

Meet the Chef: Jonathan Steenerson . Ciao Bella

I wanted to introduce you to the chef for our next gathering, Chef Jonathan Steenerson. When one thinks of Italian Cuizine, "healthy" isn't always the first adjective used to describe it. Well that is about to change my friends. Chef Steenerson was recently featured in an  article about how, and why he decided to make a "healthy" change to the menu at Ciao Bella.  Their new menu will feature a few vegetarian, gluten free, and even vegan friendly dishes. We are going to get to try a few of the healthy changes at our gathering next Tuesday. I for one can't wait.

In our series "Meet the Chef," I ask the hard hitting questions that others are afraid to ask...probably for fear of appearing foolish. With that being said, here is my interview with Eagle Scout Jonathan Steenerson...

What is your cooking or educational background?
It was hard knocks since I was 14. My dad and grandfather owned restaurants and my great grandfather was a butcher. I got it by osmosis.

What/who are your culinary or gastronomical influences?
James Gentry and Erling Jensen were great local influences.

Are you from Memphis or the area?

Yes. I went to high school at Houston. I was gone 7 years and now I've been back home for 2 years.

Fact or fiction: I heard your menu is going to take a more healthy turn, with even a few vegan items.
We are looking into putting some vegan items on the spring menu. For now, we are trying to accommodate life choices by request, including whole wheat, vegetarian, vegan and gluton free.

Tell us the story of how you decided to join CB.
I was CB original chef from 10 years ago. When I moved back to Memphis recently, I ran into Judd Tashie and he later approached me to come back. The Tashie's are a good family and they provide good food. I wanted to be a part of that again.. It's rare that you work for a family who truly care and appreciates their employees.

What is the best thing about running your own restaurant/kitchen?
Feeding people. Is there anything more noble?

What is your favorite thing to eat on the menu?

Cheese pizza, but I add peppercinnis.

What is your favorite thing to make on the menu?

Kobe Beef Gnocchi. That's fun.

What special events do you have throughout the week? On the menu?

Sunday thru Thursday happy hour 1/2 price drink and food menu in the bar 4-7PM; Monday night 1/2 price pizza dine in 5-7PM.

Tell us something that most people wouldn't know about you…non-restaurant related?
I'm an Eagle Scout.

Anything else you want to say about your business that I haven't asked?

Support the little guy…we are the backbone

Ciao Bella
565 Erin Drive (located behind Huey's on Poplar)

Hours of operation:
Sunday through Thursday
5 P.M. to 9:30 P.M.
Friday and Saturday
5 P.M. to 10:30 P.M.

No comments:

Post a Comment