Chef Q & A: Getting to Know Okeechobee Steakhouse Executive Chef Jamie Steinbrecher

Chef Q & A: Getting to Know Okeechobee Steakhouse Executive Chef Jamie Steinbrecher Slideshow
Jamie Steinbrecher

Okeechobee Steakhouse Executive Chef Jamie Steinbrecher

Chef’s Name: Jamie Steinbrecher

Title: Executive Chef

Hometown: Iron Mountain

Favorite hidden gem in The Palm Beaches: Hullabaloo

Favorite band/musician: Social Distortion

Current restaurant: Okeechobee Steakhouse

Brief description about restaurant:
The Okeechobee Steakhouse is known for its classic steakhouse décor and stellar steaks. The sophisticated crowd enjoys excellent service while dining in this historic restaurant. Head Chef Jamie Steinbrecher ensures that the traditions of the restaurant are executed flawlessly, making everything in house -- just like the old days. This includes everything from dry aging and cutting their own steaks and portioning their own fish filets, to making each sauce and dessert from scratch. The menu, inspired by 68 years of tradition, is focused around their meticulous in house dry aging process and personalized hand cutting of each steak, along with seasonally fresh produce and seafood which never disappoints. As Curtis Lewis, owner of Okeechobee Steakhouse, says, “If you haven’t had a steak here, you don’t know what a great steak tastes like.”

Hours of operation:
Monday through Friday: 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday: 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Address: 2854 Okeechobee Boulevard, West Palm Beach, FL 33409

Steak and Lobster at Okeechobee Steakhouse
Steak and Lobster at Okeechobee Steakhouse

Tell us about yourself. How did you shape your culinary career, starting from your first job in the F&B industry to where you are now?
I began working in the culinary field after high school, working for a couple different corporate restaurants.  I received the opportunity to open a new concept with a totally scratch kitchen for Don Kowalski and after that I was hooked.  

Who was your greatest cooking influence?
Don Kowalski. He was one of the first chef’s I worked with starting in Northeast Wisconsin. It was the first from scratch kitchen I worked in. We made everything in house, such as our bread, fresh pasta and pizza dough with beer and honey.  

What is your favorite ingredient to cook with?
Pork. There are so many great preparations, like curing, braising, smoking-- you name it!  

Tell us about your restaurant. What was the inspiration behind both the restaurant and its menu?
Okeechobee Steakhouse is an upscale, Classic American Steakhouse where we do Classic American dishes done well. We purchase from anywhere we can; however, buying local is great. We source out products with very tight specifications, so we work with several different suppliers, whether its beef, seafood, produce to ensure the product is what we are looking for. Currently my favorite dish is our Brussel Sprouts with creamy artisan bleu cheese, candied bacon and red chili vinaigrette.  It’s sweet, spicy, smoky and salty all mixed together with Maytag bleu cheese, so what’s not to love?  

What is your culinary “philosophy,” and how are you expressing that at this restaurant?
I like to get the most out of every ingredient, and we try to coax the most flavor from everything we use.  

When dining at your restaurant, what type of guest experience do you hope to evoke?
I would like guests to leave knowing they just had the best meal they ever ate. At the very least, walking with the feeling that we have exceeded their expectations. We provide a 5-star experience in a very inviting, laid back, classically comfortable atmosphere.  

If a chef colleague visited your restaurant, what’s your idea of the perfect meal to recommend to him/her?
Whatever the appetizer feature is that night, Gorgonzola Salad, Dry Aged Bone-In Ribeye and the House made Cheesecake along with a Grand Marnier.  

Why is your restaurant a “must-try” restaurant for visitors of The Palm Beaches?
We’re a long-standing staple in the county dedicated to being our best every day.  

How is the culinary scene across The Palm Beaches thriving? Do you think the cuisine across The Palm Beaches has its own signature flavor?
There are definitely a lot of independent chef driven concepts opening and thriving. It’s great to see a lot of chefs sourcing and using all different ingredients in so many different ways.  

What are some of your favorite restaurants in The Palm Beaches?
Meat Market and Hullabaloo.

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