Steve Gellas, a trained chef and master culinary phenomenon, has traveled the country learning, teaching and experiencing the best-of-the-best in regards to restaurants. Steve always loved the beach. As a child, the feeling of sand under his feet, the saltiness of the ocean, and mostly, the waves was the instant draw. Steve’s attraction to the ocean spawned interest to body surf, then riding a canvass mat… finally and ultimately… standing and riding a surfboard.
“That feeling of paddling, catching a wave, standing, turning, and trimming, has me stoked to this day”, says Gellas. “The feeling of walking towards the surf, board under your arm, and leaving land and its problems as you float away can never be replicated.”
Steve’s off-kitchen passion is surfing. Since his early days on the Jersey Shore, he has always found peace on the water.
In his own words…
“Growing up in the restaurant industry cuts two ways. My father and his brother owned a fine dining restaurant in New Jersey for 50 years. I grew up always in that light. Going out to eat was always an experience, a full critique, both positive and negative of each restaurant. It provided me with a great deal of insight into properly running a restaurant.
When graduating from Georgetown University my father had me promise not to go into the business. But, I found I liked it and was also proficient in it. So, into it I went.
Over the course over 40 years I continued to work in the industry as both an independent owner/operator and as a general manager of several national chains.
In 2002 my wife and I opened three Hampton Roads restaurants where I shifted my focus entirely to the kitchen. As an industry trained chef, I spent every day honing my craft.
That hard work garnered many awards including the 2010 March of Dimes Signature Chefs “Dish of Hampton Roads” and “Chef’s Choice Award”. I also garnered The Hampton Roads Magazine’s “Top 10 Hottest Chefs” award, and multiple “Platinum Plate Awards” for our restaurants.
Currently, I am the Director of Operations for Off The Hook Seafood and Chophouse.”
The Surfing Chef
Steve has combined both passions in what he hopes will be a fun reality TV series called The Surfing Chef. The idea for this show spawned from his two passions and his desire to share his joy with those around him. Each episode will take Steve to a new surf destination where he will find good waves and good food. While at each destination, Steve will connect with a local chef to cook the areas favorite dishes.
The Surfing Chef will be a TV show dedicated to promoting restaurants, supporting tourism, surfing and enjoying life.
Steve loves his surfboards. One might say, it’s like a closet full of shoes for a high school teenage girl, but who’s listening anyway?
Engineer one’s own future. Cognitive thinking coupled with sensory experiences initiate flavor and texture levels in developmental cooking. Ego is not a recipe ingredient. Mastering and understanding cooking fundamentals coupled with great execution are what will validate a new dish. Always, always, take written notes as you design a dish. It will take a couple of generations to get it right. Redundancy is the ugly reality of a cook. It is a way of life. Wish you can see what’s in my heart.