Interview with Chef Chris Curtiss of Bourbon Steak Santa Clara
It’s not every day that you get to celebrate someone as important to the San Francisco Bay Area restaurant world as Chef Michael Mina. So you can imagine my excitement when I was invited to attend his recent Bourbon Steak Santa Clara (49er’s Stadium) 1st year Anniversary Picnic. See all of the amazing food, drinks and fun from the Aniversary party here…..
The pre BBQ excitement, I can barely contain myself!
As if attending the Bourbon Steak Santa Clara Birthday Party (that’s what I call it since it was celebrating it’s 1st year) wasn’t exciting enough, Executive Chef Chris Curtiss agreed to an interview with me!!! See below for more of the fun Chris and I had at the celebration and the interview.
I hope you enjoy getting to know Chef Chris as much as I did. I’ve already started looking at the 49ers Schedule to see which game I hope to attend (by game, I really mean eating, hanging out and watching from Bourbon Steak) with other fans, Chef Chris and his amazing team! I am a Big 10 girl so Bourbon Steak could not be more up my alley!!
Me and Chris enjoying some of the amazing St Louis style Ribs at the Anniversary celebration
How did you get into cooking? Where did you first learn to cook (at home, cooking school….)?I started cooking at home when I was in high school….
When did you first know you wanted to be a chef? When I flunked out of college and started working at a winery in Livermore, CA. I offered to help the chef whom was doing a wine dinner and needed an extra set of hands. I knew instantaneously I wanted to pursue a career working in kitchens.
What is your favorite dish on the Bourbon Steak Santa Clara menu? What would you like to see added in the future to the menu (if you can share)? I am extremely passionate about seafood and vegetables. I would like to make sure that we offer a balanced menu.
Please explain more about the “personally curated menu” you incorporated into the Bourbon Steak Santa Clara restaurant upon joining? This menu allows my team and I an opportunity to showcase what ingredients we are passionate about that day.
How have local farmer’s markets and California’s close proximity to growers and sourcers impacted the curated menu? Having the bounty of California’s growers, ranchers and artisans at our fingertips make this best place in the country to be a chef.
Explain to those who have not been into 49ers Stadium yet how it feels to be in one of the newest most exciting Stadiums in the country? What’s the experience like as a diner? Is it the same on game day vs. non-game day? You really can’t compare the vibe on game days to non-game days……The energy here on game days is electric. On non-game days the vibe is that of a beautiful restaurant anywhere in the bay area.
Tell us something about yourself that most of your customers wouldn’t know? I have five pet chickens and a small vegetable garden.
Who has been your biggest role model during your career as a chef? Chef Ron Siegel
What advice would you give to young aspiring chefs that you wish someone had told you? Travel to Europe and stage in as many restaurants as you can afford before you get settled in your career.
If you weren’t a Chef what else do you see yourself doing? A farmer or a butcher.