Chef Stephen Owens
Chef Stephen Owens is the Executive Chef and owner of the Buffalo Diner in Buffalo, West Virginia. He was graduated from Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte, North Carolina, and describes his approach to cooking as “simplicity”.
He says that “Cooking is about bringing to the plate flavorful ingredients while balancing textures, tastes, and aromas. When you have great ingredients that are fresh and locally grown, I prefer to let them speak for themselves. I’ve seen, all too often, dishes falling flat or key ingredients getting buried on a cluttered plate. I enjoy the satisfaction of creating a meal that others can taste and see the fresh ingredients I’ve used.”
Stephen describes how one of the main influences on him as a chef was a high school teacher – Chef Thomas Grant, at Kanawha County’s, Carver Career and Technical Center, who was his coach during high school culinary competitions who always found time to mentor him and other students.
Owens observed that “Chef Grant’s attention to detail and technique really made me focus on not only what I was doing in the kitchen but what everyone else around me was doing, too. In order to lead a staff, or kitchen, or group of students, you have to look past what you are doing and think about the group as a whole.”