The unique life plan was to go to regulation faculty.
However after incomes his bachelor’s diploma in philosophy from the College of Utah, chef Ben Steigers stated “I took a tough pivot.”
“I had a part-time job in a restaurant and people folks weren’t solely my coworkers, however they have been my associates. They have been my household,” he stated.” “They have been the folks that I needed to spend my time with. In order that sort of made the selection straightforward for me.”
He by no means utilized for regulation faculty. After faculty commencement, Steigers stated he took a two-year sojourn around the globe working in kitchens from Europe to Asia and throughout the U.S.
These experiences — and rising up in a army household that moved quite a bit — provides the Clearfield native a superb likelihood to win “The Globe,” a brand new culinary competitors that started July 17 on the new discovery+ streaming service.
Steiger’s episode, “No Utensils Allowed” will launch July 24.
In every episode, hosted by Meals Community star Robert Irvine, 4 cooks are nearly transported to a few of the greatest meals locations across the globe with the assistance of a large LED display that stands 15 ft tall, is 180 ft large, weighs 20,000 kilos and has 20 million pixels.
The competitors components is acquainted: in every spherical contestants put together dishes utilizing the native substances and cooking strategies of every metropolis. Every spherical their work is critiqued by award-winning chef, Daniela Soto-Innes, and a visitor chef with ties to every area.
The winner of every of the 4 preliminary episodes earns a free journey to one among their vacation spot cities — and an opportunity to compete within the closing episode for an opportunity to win $25,000.
Steiger’s episode, entitled “No Utensils Allowed” begins in Mexico Metropolis with tacos, strikes to Maui for a plate lunch and at last lands in Ethiopia, the place the final two rivals create a vegan platter with out using forks and knives.
Throughout a latest phone interview, the 34-year-old Steigers — who at the moment is working as a non-public chef — talked about his travels, the affect of his Korean mom and what he has in frequent with Irvine. His feedback have been edited for area and readability.
The place have your travels taken you?
I began my culinary profession in Salt Lake Metropolis at (the now-closed) Bare Fish. I made plenty of good recollections there. However, I quickly realized that if I needed to pursue a severe profession within the culinary discipline, that I must broaden my repertoire. So I made a decision to guide a one-way ticket to Europe. I landed in Copenhagen, the place I labored at a restaurant referred to as Noma for some time. After leaving Noma, I labored for a fisherman in Norway. I additionally labored in a restaurant in Tokyo, for a chef that I had admired. I labored in Philadelphia and Boston and San Francisco — and opened eating places for Chef Michael Mina. I’ve additionally labored in Australia and I’ve been to South America.
Did these experiences allow you to on the present?
Sure, journey not solely gave me publicity to totally different nations, nevertheless it opened my eyes and actually helped me see that meals is a lot extra than simply sustenance, proper? There’s a narrative to it. There’s historical past. There’s a lot packed into every dish. So you may actually get to see and get to find out about a tradition, and a metropolis, simply by consuming the native meals.
Who or what had essentially the most affect in your culinary profession?
My mom is from Korea and that’s most likely one of many greatest influences in my life. It sort of pushed me in direction of selecting meals as an occupation. We truly spent a superb portion of my childhood residing in Korea so we might journey forwards and backwards. Simply seeing the love and the care that she would put into each dish that she made — it sort of ignited my ardour.
What was it wish to work with him Robert Irvine, the host of The Globe?
It was nice. We’ve got related backgrounds. He was raised in a army household and his spouse can be Korean, so we had quite a bit in frequent. I it was it was enjoyable to satisfy one other chef and speak about issues different than simply “What are you making?”
What was essentially the most troublesome half concerning the competitors?
After I’m within the kitchen, I’m very methodical about every dish that I placed on a menu. I’ve examined it 4 or 5 instances and tweaked it and adjusted the recipe and adjusted the sauce and it’s a really concerned course of.
With the present you’re proven the substances after which instantly you’ve half-hour to toss something collectively. It’s one factor to only say, oh, I believe these two substances will go collectively and so they’ll style good. However to inform a narrative with along with your meals and be culturally acceptable and have meals that celebrates the tradition of town, that’s an added layer that’s onerous to do in half-hour, That was essentially the most troublesome half, making an attempt to provide you with what’s the proper factor to make.
There are plenty of cooking competitors reveals, why ought to folks tune in to The Globe?
This present celebrates the issues that I really feel are vital in meals, and that’s tradition and telling a narrative and specializing in the pure substances. Persons are going to see substances that they’ve by no means seen earlier than. They’re going to journey to locations that they’ve by no means even heard of earlier than and get to see what the native tradition is. They’re going to get to satisfy the native visitor cooks from every of those cities. And I believe that’s actually cool — and that’s on high of a really enjoyable and thrilling competitors.
Have been there any objects that you simply had by no means seen earlier than?
Sure. At one level, I”m going via the pantry and I’m like, what is that this? Sticking it in my mouth and making an attempt to determine how one can use it. It was undoubtedly a problem and a brand new expertise.
Once you’re not within the kitchen, what do you love to do?
I’m a fairly typical Utahn. I journey mountain bikes and do plenty of snowboarding within the winter. I wish to go mountaineering and discover nature. I additionally like foraging — selecting wild herbs and mushrooms and produce them residence to cook dinner with.
When you win the grand prize, what is going to you do with $25,000?
I’d like to open a restaurant and produce a few of my worldly travels and people tales again to Utah. That $25,000 would go an extended option to serving to me understand that dream.