At the age of 18, Chef Steve Brown made a bold decision to move from California to Garmisch, Germany to see what Europe had to offer. During his trip, he found a job working at a hotel cleaning their suites. They soon found he had been sleeping on the job and relinquished him to the kitchen where he became a dishwasher and prep cook. Soon after joining the kitchen staff, he was peeling potatoes, cutting vegetables, making mirepoix, straining veal stock, pureeing soups and blanching vegetables. As Steve continued to work in the kitchen he fell in love with food and the life of a chef, and he knew there was nothing he would rather do. After two and a half years living in Europe, he returned to Los Angeles to attend Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School.
The Recent Years
After working for many restaurants, Chef Brown become a competitor at the KAABOO Rock’n’Chef Competition where he took the title of Rock’N’Chef 2016. This introduced him to A5 Satsuma Wagyu and inspired him to take this sought-after meat to his private course dinners, CosechaSD. These dinners gained momentum and the Japanese Wagyu Committee took notice. They invited him on the Japanese Wagyu Tour 2017 along side many prestigious chefs and butchers including: Guy Crims, Jared Montarbo, David Barzelay, and Michelin Starred Jackson Yu. Alongside these Chefs he decided it was time to import the first ever A5 Satsuma Japanese Wagyu Whole Steer to the United States. With the help of Pape Meat Co. and TREX Corp., they held multiple sold-out Wagyu dinners with the steer in San Francisco and San Diego. Shortly after, Chef Brown was nominated by EATER as San Diego Chef of the Year 2017.
The Wagyu Tour combined the best of the wagyu world in one place to create a team like no other. These friendships continued years after and in 2018, the Omakase Restaurant Group decided it was time to build a Wagyu empire, NIKU Steakhouse. Over the course of 2018, NIKU was perfecting the architecture, design, and state of the art kitchen incorporating the top-of-the-line Hestan setup, custom Binchotan + woodfire grill located at the chef’s counter where Chef Steve brown was found, surrounded by masculine, black-studded chairs, a transparent wine bookcase that leads into the private dining room, and so much more! NIKU graciously hosted their friends and family for a soft opening and media night in the beginning of February 2019. NIKU steakhouse was a success! After setting up the menu and concept behind NIKU, Chef Brown felt it was time to return to his family and newborn son in San Diego to create his own concepts and make his dreams a reality.
Chef Brown has worked in many restaurants including, but not limited to: The Parker Hotel (Palm Springs), Brockton Villa (La Jolla), Inn of The Seventh Ray (Topanga Canyon), Monsieur Marcel Restaurants (Los Angeles). Chef Brown also owned his own catering company called Purely Professional Chef and then opened his own restaurant, Gardiner Junction on Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles.