SPICE KIT STORY
My vision for the spice kit arrived while working aboard luxury charter motor and sailing yachts as the chef. At the end of a charter, I would pack my knifes, my recipes, and a few spices then fly to the next exotic location to meet the next yacht. Part of the guessing game of being a freelance yacht chef is if the next yacht would have the necessary supplies and spices I would need for the next charter. Needless to say improvising became a major part of my job description. Trying to provision for 15 guests with a 10 crew, on small Caribbean islands can be a daunting tasks, especially with the food delivery and mail ship arriving only once a week.
Chef Steven gained a reputation in the yachting industry as being a healthy, gourmet chef and was featured in international yachting magazines and industry publications. Ten years later, he left yachting with the desire to discover more of the flavors of the world and went in search of new ingredients. He moved to India to continue his culinary education in Indian and Southeast Asian cuisine. For a year and a half, he traveled throughout India and S.E. Asia and cooked traditional meals with the locals in their homes .
While traveling the world, I discovered a passion to cook and share recipes with my guests. On my first night in the oceanfront village of Kampot, Cambodia, in a small wooden restaurant, I wanted to try the local dishes. The rough seas sprayed in as my first course arrived, a lime-infused peppercorn crab soup. The next course was green peppercorn curry with crab. The peppercorns were freshly picked and burst with multiple levels of flavor. This ignited my chef’s pallet and created the desire to source the best spices and share them with family, friends, and guests. I proceed down the red dirt road out into the countryside, where I found a prestigious peppercorn farm where I could import the fresh peppercorns back to the USA.
After ten years at sea in the Caribbean and living aboard, I moved back stateside, making the big transition from sea to land. My culinary journey leads me to the private chef industry in the USA.
From this, I founded Cooking with Chef Steven, a luxury personal chef service company based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Having a home base provided me with the opportunity to stock up on supplies and spices. I quickly noticed, after cooking for a few dinner parties around the valley, I was arriving with an entire bag of all my spices in a variety of sizes, jars, and quality. For the kitchen to be the most efficient during dinner service, I would display all the spices in a collective manner on the counter. However, this provided me with very limited space to work.
SPICES. SPICES. SPICES.
The kit's design has transformed quite a bit over the years. Initially, I had found a rugged plastic stand with 9 spots to perfectly fit thin glass test tubes. Running into several issues with the vials (test tubes roll off the counter when not placed back on the holder) and the eventual shattering of glass and spices spread across the floor. To solve this issue, the spices have been added into thick-cut French quartered glass bottles that are featured in spices kits.
CREATING THE KIT
SETTING UP IN SEDONA