Steve Zurkey discovered his passion for cooking at a young age. As a kid growing up in the Midwest he would follow his grandmother around her kitchen helping her prepare dishes and giving suggestions on what to cook. His passion for the culinary arts only grew from there.
In 2001, Zurkey’s culinary career had humble beginnings with him working as a dishwasher in several local restaurants in Youngstown, Ohio. Eventually he decided to take his culinary interest to the next level and at 21 years old he graduated with a culinary degree from Johnson and Wales University in North Miami, Florida. Zurkey would spend the following years building his culinary skill set and gradually making his way up the kitchen food chain in various restaurants.
In 2007, Zurkey’s big break came when he was hired as an Executive Sous Chef at Havana Club Enterprises at the Miami City Club. After gaining experience at the Havana Club, Zurkey moved back to Youngtown, Ohio and became Executive Chef at Michael Alberini’s Restaurant and Wine Shop. Here he managed a team of 25 employees and was responsible for conceptualizing, designing and executing all menus.
In 2015, Zurkey’s career path led him to Southern California. Shortly after moving he joined the Cohn Restaurant Group as Executive Chef of 333 Pacific in Oceanside. “Once I saw the ocean view from 333’s dining room, I knew I was all in,” Zurkey declared. With his experience in French Fundamentals and modern day cooking techniques, Zurkey’s goal is to create dishes with a balance of contrasting flavors, textures and colors. He attributes his success to the sheer love he has for being in a kitchen. “I thrive on being in a constantly moving, high-stress, 90-degree environment. My passion is what drives me to keep doing what I do…that and many, many cups of light roast coffee.”