News for Glenview "The Glen"
Daily Herald – October 28, 2009
During his college years Jon Steinberg couldn’t make mac and cheese, but he could scramble eggs. That skill serves him well as executive chef at Egg Harbor Cafe in Glenview.
Fourteen years ago you’d find Jon Steinberg on the offensive line as a member of the Stevenson High School football team. Today, he works a line of another sort. Instead of shoulder pads and a helmet, he suits up in chef whites and a toque as he directs the action at Egg Harbor Cafe in Glenview.
Steinberg grew up in Buffalo Grove and bounced from Southern Illinois University to Northern Illinois University before deciding to take culinary classes at Harper College in Palatine.
He spent his rookie year at Buona Sera in Wheeling and then signed with Don Roth’s, a Wheeling dining institution. A little over six years ago he joined Egg Harbor Cafe and led expansion teams in Rockford and Wheaton. He’s returned to his roots in Buffalo Grove, where he and his wife, Ruthie, are raising three kids, two cats and a dog.
Who influenced your decision to become a chef? My wife. When we began dating we ate out a lot. That sparked my interest and I started playing around in the kitchen and experimenting. Ruthie encouraged me to cook delicious food every night and I pushed myself to take culinary classes at Harper College.
What was your first kitchen job? Buona Sera. I was given a lot of responsibility as a rookie and had no choice but to perform fast and efficiently.
Describe your culinary approach. Feel good food with a flare
What was a typical “training” meal; how does that compare with what you eat these days? Thursday nights before the game we had a huge potluck with pasta, tacos, chicken … now all my meals are lighter and usually kid friendly.
What was the last meal you cooked at home? Barbecue chopped rib roll up with aged white cheddar in a jalapeno cheddar tortilla.
What three ingredients should no home kitchen be without? Onions, garlic and butter, because everything good starts with these ingredients.
What’s your favorite ingredient and how do you like to use it? Beef. Any way possible.
You have three kids, any tips for getting kids to open themselves up to trying new foods? The book “Deceptively Delicious” by Jessica Seinfeld.
What’s your favorite place to eat out? With Ruthie, Carlos Restaurant in Highwood. With the family, Biaggi’s (Deer Park) for service, atmosphere and a great kids menu.
What do you do in your spare time? Play Daddy to Emily, 1; Tyler, 2; and Grace, 5.
Tell us about this recipe: Pumpkin Pancakes. Lightly toast the pecans; it keeps them crisp yet chewy.