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Restaurant: Barcelona Wine Bar
Chef: Steven Brand

When did you first know you wanted to be a chef?
Shortly after college. I always had food service jobs and liked the restaurant culture: the hours, the fast pace, bonding with co-workers...and the late hours never bothered me.

What are you most proud of in your culinary career?
I truly take pride in everything I do at every moment. I think being a chef is very similar to being an artist — I produce art for consumption, and my reputation rides on every piece.

How would you describe working in your kitchen?
It’s really a balance — everything is well-thought out and planned, but chaos and unpredictability are part of the business.

On a typical night at home, what do you cook for yourself?
I make a lot of grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches with basil. It’s simple and delicious.

What type of food do you dislike?
Any food not prepared with love.

What are your guilty pleasures? terms of food, of course!
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Ruffles Cheddar & Sour Cream potato chips.

With all the trends coming and going, what do you think will be the next big thing in the food world?
I think what we do here at Barcelona is going to be the next big thing. Chefs from high end, boundary-pushing kitchens have learned the solid fundamental techniques as well as some new technological tricks, and using these skills to create great cuisine in a neighborhood restaurant is wonderful. Great skills and food don’t necessarily need to be found in the big city anymore — some neighborhood restaurants operate at the same level. The ingredients we use are of the same quality found in fine dining restaurants.

Which dish will follow you wherever you go?
I would rather move forward than back.

What would your last meal on earth be, and where would you have it?
Cheese pizza and Champagne with my family.

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