gas·tron·o·my (gaˈstränəmē): Noun
- The art or science of good eating
- Culinary customs or style
Chef Steve Saelg, passionately believes there is a true art to cooking and eating, and the gallery where diners can sample his talent is at the Crooked Spoon Gastropub in Clermont, Florida. A small-town New Jersey native, Chef Saelg (pronounced: sëlg) comes from a large Italian family and reflects on many great hometown memories, of which many involved wonderful dining experiences with his family.
After years in the finance industry on New York’s Wall Street as well as in Central Florida, Chef Saelg made the decision to explore his passion in the culinary arts. A 2005 graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, he honed his skills by working alongside notable chefs in restaurants such as the Tavern on the Green in New York city, and then in Orlando’s K Restaurant and Wine Bar, and the Citrus Club.
THE FOOD TRUCK REVOLUTION
In 2010 Chef Saelg made the decision to steer his skills into the food truck race and pioneered the Orlando food truck scene by creating The Crooked Spoon. Along with a handful of other Orlando food trucks, they transformed the food truck industry in Central Florida with creative gourmet dishes and other unique food options. The buzz for Chef Saelg’s menu swept through Orlando, and word on the street quickly grew for his Crooked Spoon Burger, the 420 Burger, and the Six Cheese Mac & Cheese dishes.
The buzz for The Crooked Spoon food truck was so great, Chef Saelg was approached by the Cooking Channel’s Eat Street to showcase a couple of his dishes on one of their episodes. This appearance not only increased The Crooked Spoon’s local fan base, but also created the truck as a must-visit for out of town visitors. His recipe for Swordfish and Grits can be found in the Eat Street cookbook.
A GASTROPUB IS BORN
After three years on the road Chef Saelg decided to hang up his truck keys and fulfill a long-time dream and new era for The Crooked Spoon brand. August 2013 marks a significant date for both Chef and his resident community, when he opened the doors to a full-service gastropub in Clermont, Florida. Located adjacent to Clermont’s historic Citrus Tower, the Crooked Spoon’s thousands of Facebook followers and the residents of Lake County finally have their very own neighborhood restaurant to gather and enjoy Chef Saleg’s foodie favorites as well as an expanded bill of fare.
He wants The Crooked Spoon Gastropub to be a place where locals, young and old, will gather, enjoy good food, and create memories. Chef Steve commits to supporting local farms and ranches whenever possible by purchasing their products for his restaurant.
A resident of Clermont, Chef Saelg is married, with 4 children, and is an active member of the community.