A b o u t
Born and raised in New York, Chef Stephen relocated to Florida to begin his culinary journey, sharpening his skills and talent in this fast-paced industry for over 15 years. As a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, he has been fortunate enough to have worked with many reputable companies in the hospitality industry, including Radisson, Seminole Hard Rock Cafe, Hilton-Double Tree, and Westin.
Chef Stephen considers himself as a well-rounded chef. Not only does he focus on the food and menu development, but he prides himself in enhancing his restaurant business skills, such as purchasing and inventory management, negotiating with vendors, event planning, food cost containment and reduction, budgeting, marketing, business analysis, and various scopes of HR. Chef Stephen firmly believes being business savvy along with possessing culinary expertise is what makes a restaurant successful.
What Motivates Him
“I’ve been a cook all my life, but I am still learning to be a good chef. I’m always learning new techniques and improving beyond my own knowledge because there is always something new to learn and new horizons to discover.” – Jose Andrés
Great words to live by. As professionals, we often become complacent in our careers. As the great Chef Jose Andrés so eloquently put it, it’s important to keep building your skills. There is always something new to learn and something new to experience. Chef Stephen makes it a priority to live by that motto daily by “striving to be a better version of myself today than I was yesterday.”
Chef Montalvo’s specialties range across various cuisines, including French, Asian, Spanish, and American. But his true passion is Italian. Being raised in a predominantly Italian area in the Bronx, his love for Italian cuisine runs deep. Chef Stephen has been able to fuse his love for Italian food with other European cuisines to create a unique, Mediterranean-inspired menu for his catering company, Chef Montalvo Catering. By fusing these flavors together, Chef Stephen has been able to bring the best of the “Old World” to modern America.