Ben Steigers

Ben Steigers

Freelance Chef

I am inspired by two things every day: first, my insatiable curiosity - I love being in an environment where I am able to learn and grow every day. Second, the amazing people I have the pleasure of working alongside with. It takes so much dedication at all levels in order to operate a successful restaurant and I am grateful to be surrounded by the best.

Set your own standards. A great chef and mentor of mine once asked me why I had served a dish in a particular way. When my response was that the dish had always been served that way, his look of disappointment told me that was the wrong answer. If you only follow the path of those that have come before you, you are likely to repeat their mistakes. The only way to truly succeed is to set your own standards, and use those to guide you throughout your career.
Cooking technique can be taught. Knife skills can be taught. Recipes can be taught. The most important thing I look for in an aspiring professional is a good attitude, and the drive to learn.
Too many cooks make the mistake of spending a lot of their hard earned money on an expensive knife without ever learning how to properly sharpen it. Invest in a good sharpening stone, learn how to properly use it, and you will never have to worry about a sharp knife again!
I think as a chef it is so important to understand not only how to cook something a certain way, but also why you should use certain techniques. I’ve always been fascinated by the science of cooking and I think Harold McGee’s, "On Food and Cooking", is an essential read for any chef.

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