Chef Josh Steiner
Strano's Chef Josh Steiner grew up in a predominately Sicilian and Moroccan kitchen under the watchful eye of his two grandmothers. This upbringing has inspired him to create dishes that are based on very old and authentic family recipes with a modern Sicilian twist. Josh was raised in Memphis, TN. and he graduated from Lausanne Collegiate School. As a teen, he grew up in his family's local Germantown Italian restaurant. He started as a bus boy and dishwasher and worked his way up to server then eventually manager and cook. After getting a taste of the restaurant world, Josh decided to make it his life and enrolled in L'ecole Culinaire. During his studies he decided he wanted follow his passions to Italy to learn traditional cooking techniques from the kitchens of the Sicilian masters.
While in Sicily, Josh trained his palate in classes featuring tastings of olive oil, chocolates as well as wine. He frequented the local bustling food market in Palermo then worked side by side with Chef Vincenzo to create the traditional Sicilian dishes. Josh spent time in a local Modica restaurant working in the kitchen to help create their regional specialties. In Taormina, not far from Mt. Etna, Josh learned true Sicilian cooking from true Sicilians.
Sicilian cuisine is perhaps the most celebrated in all of Italy because of the exceptionally fresh ingredients that are readily available thanks to the gloriously mild Mediterranean climate. It is also a confluence of the people's that inhabited the island over the ages including the Greeks, Romans, Normans, Arabs and Spanish. This fits in well with Josh's own fused Moroccan and Italian roots. On this journey, Chef Josh learned the value of using natural ingredients to create delicious and delicate cuisine. The cuisine of Sicily, from cannoli to couscous is as complex as its history and beauty that also include the island's world famous wines. Chef Josh's cuisine is both genuine and elegant as he strives to use only local seasonal ingredients and products to ensure your experience at Strano! is as fresh and authentic as possible.
Upon his return from Sicily, Chef Josh took an apprenticeship with the very accomplished, award winning Karen Carrier of Beauty Shop, DKDC, Another Roadside Attraction, and Molly Fontaines. Chef Karen Carrier taught Josh not only about cooking, but also about the business of cooking including kitchen organization and discipline. They worked side by side and she reinforced the importance of tasting as you cook. During this time Josh also developed a solid understanding of main ingredients and fundamental techniques alongside an uncompromising attention to detail. Josh continued to work for Karen until he was ready to open Strano!
Let Chef Josh introduce you to the world of Sicilian cuisine which is based on fresh ingredients with a light touch at Strano! Sicilian Kitchen and Bar on the corner of Cooper and Young!