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Meet the Chef

CHEF TYLER POWELL: STEAM RESTAURANT
WILMINGTON, NC

Chef Tyler Powell will admittedly tell you that he started cooking, because his mama couldn't. Born and raised in Memphis, TN, he legally started working in restaurants when he was just 15 years-old. He moved to Kentucky in 2004 to attend culinary school at Sullivan University. From there he cooked his way through various hotels and restaurants in Louisville, Kentucky and over the course of 12 years, before becoming Chef de Cuisine of Kimballs at the Sanderling Resort. In 2017 he made the Port City home and opened STEAM Restaurant at the Embassy Suites in downtown Wilmington.

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What makes Steam Restaurant unique?

The view and ambiance are the true keys to what make STEAM unique, the fact that we make the best food we can for every plate adds to that, but at the end of the day its the sunset view over the marina in downtown Wilmington.

 

How would you describe the type of food you like to cook?

I love to cook comfort food, good ole, rib-stickin' comfort food. But the deciding factor is always taste, "You gotta eat, but life is too short for bad food." -MP

What motivates and inspires you as a chef?  

 

The ability to make people happy is my largest motivation as a chef. The ability to sometimes change peoples minds about certain food, dishes or cuisines, is what inspires me to do it.

What might diners NOT know you about you?

 

Diners at Steam do NOT know, outside of work I'm doing my very best to adopt a plant-based lifestyle, and I love cheap and domestic beer.

Current favorite dish on the STEAM menu.

 

My favorite dish on the steam menu is the Burger Burger. Two griddled smashed patties, American cheese, house pickles, secret sauce, brioche bun and hand cut fries. Cheese burgers are my favorite food, and trying to be vegan/vegetarian SUCKS in that regard.

 

Favorite local produce and how do you use it? 

 

Silver Spoon apiaries Wild Flower Honey - I use it everywhere I can.

 

Best foodie city? 

  It's a toss up between Chicago and Nashville, both are great food cities, with each doing certain things better than the other.

 

What’s your all-time best comfort food? 

 

Mashed potatoes with the vegetables and jus from a pot roast. Grandmas recipe.

Describe the best meal you’ve ever eaten. 

Thats a really hard one. Everything on the menu in one sitting at Avec in Chicago before it burned down. Most of the items on the menu at Momofuku Ssam Bar in NYC, and BBQ and pimento cheese from Peg Leg Porker in Nashville are my top 3. I cant say which was best though.

 

What's on your current playlist?  

I dont have a current playlist, but all of the CDs in my truck currently are Marilyn Manson.

If there’s one important piece of advice you might have for cooks, what might that be? 

 

My biggest piece of advice for young cooks is, dont get in a hurry chasing a title, put your head down, keep your mouth shut, perfect what you can, practice what you can't, just keep grinding, and the title will come to you. 

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STEAM RESTAURANT OFFERS AMERICAN-STYLE CUISINE TO WILMINGTON DINERS USING LOCALLY SOURCED GOOD INGREDIENTS. WITH AN EXTENSIVE WINE & BEER SELECTION, PLENTY OF COCKTAILS & BEAUTIFUL VIEWS OF THE CAPE FEAR RIVER.

9 Estell Lee Pl. | Wilmington, NC 

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