I have always loved food and art and growing up in Flushing, NY there was plenty of both! Cooking is the perfect marriage of both passions. It has allowed me to live in some great cities, Burlington, VT, New York City, New Orleans and Seattle before moving up to Juneau in 1997. I came ‘for the summer,’ and did leave, but only to pack up my car and belongings and hurry back!
I’ve had the pleasure of serving under three different Alaska governors as the Executive Residence Chef at the Governor’s House. While there i had the pleasure of representing the state of Alaska 3 times at the Great American Seafood Cook-off where I met some great chefs and made lifelong friends. Currently I am running the kitchen at the Capitol building during the legislative session feeding the Senators, Representatives and their staff. I love being the bridge that brings folks who don’t agree on things together with food.
Chef Stef’s began in 2009 and has become a staple in people’s homes and lives in and around Juneau, Alaska. My shortbread, toffee and granola have become a tradition for many at holiday time. Now my products are available all year round, for tourists and locals alike, through my website and in local retail shops.
It’s the most fun when my husband and our two boys help out. They are my source of inspiration and ultimately my toughest critics making me even better at what I do. I look forward to sharing more of products I have in mind and I want to thank my friends and family in advance for being my taste testers and sounding board for such ideas. Enjoy!
I worked for someone once who wanted granola for breakfast. I kept buying granola, but he didn't like any of them. One day he asked me to make it myself. I did and he loved it! He loved it so much he suggested that I should sell it. "But I have a job", I would reply. Well, one day I didn't have a job and I thought, why not. It already had a bit of a following, so I decided to take the plunge. That was the beginning of Chef Stef's as we know it today.
My husband's Grandma was born in Scotland. He grew up eating shortbread at every holiday and family gathering. It was a family tradition that when one of the children got married, the shortbread recipe would be given to them as a form of welcoming to the family. When we got married, the recipe was passed down to us. With the family's blessing, I changed the flavors of Grandma’s shortbread, expanding to lemon, ginger, almond and still more to come.
My husband LOVES almond toffee. When we were dating, I used to buy him some every week., that is until I started making it myself. There was no turning back after that! Almond toffee is a favorite with our kids too. When our son got braces, I made cookies with the toffee so he and his friends could still eat them.