Our Next Beard House Fellow Wants a Sustainable Future
Learn more about Steve GutierrezMorgan Carter
March 02, 2022
For decades, cooking at the James Beard House has been an aspiration for many chefs and is considered a career milestone. In May 2021, we launched the Beard House Fellows program, presented by Capital One, which re-envisions the potential of this historic space into a hub of training and professional development for talented emerging chefs.
The program’s pilot, beginning in May 2021 and running through March 2022, launched in partnership with the Food Education Fund (FEF). Our initial class of Fellows will all be alumni of FEF’s New York-based partner high schools.
Each Fellow will have a one-month residency at the Beard House, and will receive training in financial and legal matters, public relations, policy and advocacy, social media, and more. Fellows will also develop a Beard Box meal kit in collaboration with Great Performances, available for purchasing and shipping across the continental U.S., and will also include a special gift for Capital One cardholders. Sign up for the waitlist to get your Beard Box.
Meet our March Beard House Fellow: Steve Gutierrez. At the age of 12, Steve tagged along to his brother's restaurant job, helping to peel vegetables and make mise en place kits As a teenager, he enrolled in Food and Finance High School and he also began working at Cafe Boulud on the weekends. There, he realized his passion could become a career. After competing in Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) competition for scholarships, Steve received a full-tuition scholarship to the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). Set to graduate in 2022, Steve has gone on to work at fine dining establishments during his college career including Boulud Sud, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and most recently, COTE Korean Steakhouse in New York. Passionate about sustainability, Steve hopes to continue to work in fine dining while being mindful of food waste and the environmental impact of the restaurant industry.
We asked each Fellow a few questions about their culinary dreams and signature dishes. Read on to learn more about how Steve’s favorite food trend is connected to sustainability.
James Beard Foundation: Do you have a signature dish?
Steve Gutierrez: My signature dish is braised octopus with sweet pimentón, a bright herb chermoula sauce, candied lemons, and bitter greens; it is essentially a dish that involves all my past experiences and flavors in the restaurant industry up to now.
JBF: What is your earliest food memory?
SG: My love for Colombian cuisine was solidified for me through my mom's cooking. The earliest memory [I have is] her beef and potato empanadas. My brother and I would stand next to her as she was frying them in order to taste freshly made empanadas that hadn't had any time to cool down.
JBF: What is an item you think everyone should have in their pantry?
SG: I think everyone should have a really delicious extra virgin olive oil in their pantry. Whether it be for drizzling over a dish to [putting] your own finishing touch, or on a plate with some slices of garlic to pair with bread.
JBF: What is one culinary destination you hope to go to one day?
SG: No question about it, I would love to visit Spain one day—the land of tapas, seafood, and Jamón ibérico. I have always loved Spanish cuisine and its Mediterranean influences. [Located] only less than ten miles away from Northern Africa and sharing a border with France makes it the trip I have always wanted to dive right into!
JBF: What is your favorite or least favorite current food trend?
SG: My favorite food trend has to be the move to sustainable food and agriculture and the need by today's consumers to be more informed regarding their food choices. Whether it be through shopping at a local farmer's market or eating more vegetable-driven meals, this food trend really describes the need for change.