Meet the Chef
We sat down with Chef Stefan Reynolds to ask him questions about his life and work career so we could all get to know him a little better.
Chef, where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Washington and have never left. I was born in Ellensburg, then spent my childhood in Yakima. I lived there until I came to Spokane in 2006.
How did you get started in the business? The Culinary school route or the more typical “I started as a dishwasher” route?
I started as a dishwasher. I needed a job and got one through a friend at a stir fry joint as a dishwasher. I worked my way up through bars and kitchens. I went through all the positions over time within the kitchen as well as increasingly nicer restaurants. I quickly realized how much I loved the service industry. I love creating something out of raw ingredients and then other people get it, like they understood my vision.
Where did you get your training? Who were some of your influences?
I learned a lot about what to do and what not to do through all the people I’ve worked with in the past. Some great teachers. I picked up my own style over those years. People like Josh Davidson, Ramiro Chavez, Dave Hill at Hill’s, Tina Luerson at Scout. Joe Morris, Deb Rillera, Eric Biandi, and Howard Bateman at Luna were heavily influential. Rest in Peace Anthony Bourdaine. Sleep well.
There were many places I learned from, but I have the greatest memories from the team at Luna. We created some great food back then. It was like a culinary think tank. I was offered a sous chef role and flourished. After that I realized I belonged in the kitchen, there is no other place for me.
I left Luna for the Double Tree hotel, to be Executive Sous for the hotel and then was promoted to the Chef at Spencer’s for Steaks & Chops. I was there for the last three years.
How would you describe your food style?
It’s hard to say. I appreciate traditions but love to experiment. I would say in general it’s contemporary American with some French and Mediterranean influences.
What’s the most exciting dish you can recall eating?
I was most proud of a scallop dish I made with a carrot and lemon emulsion, Romanesco, beet chip, and coral tuile. The dish I’ve eaten and can never get out of my mind was a lamb cassoulet that Eric had made at Luna; Also shout out to Howard and the yellow cheese pizza with the scorpion pepper bacon.
Duck anyway I can get it.
What do you do on your time away from the kitchen?
I try to spend time with my wife as much as I can. We love to travel, check out new breweries & restaurants, and take the dogs hiking. I also like to lift weights, play guitar & ukulele, garden, and play video games.
What cookbooks are on your shelf?
A few, but their not really cook-books so to speak. I have gained reassurance as a cook through medium raw and kitchen confidential by Anthony Bourdaine. I was told by one of my influences that I was too creative to be influenced in a linear way(via recipes). Eric Biondi suggested a book called ‘Ratios,’ and it is probably the best purchase I’ve made culinarily beside my knives.
Favorite way to cook an egg?
I love to be able to turn them into a sauce. No matter what you do just don’t overcook it.
What do you cook at home on your nights off?
I don’t. My wife cooks for me.
Stop in sometime and say hello and stay tuned for some new creations soon.