What made you get into the catering business instead of operating a restaurant?
Chef Steven Anderson:
I enjoy working in restaurant kitchens, but I love pulling inspiration from a lot of different culinary styles. I oversee both catering and a large-scale university operation, and it’s never a dull moment.

You can probably blame my upbringing for the large-scale preference. My grandmother was a great home cook – she could whip up anything. And, I spent a lot of time in my own high school cafeteria kitchen helping my Aunt, who introduced a lot of unique menu items into the daily lunches.

I like surprising people with a real experience, too. Last year, we did a gastronomy-based menu for Andrea Bocelli. I don’t want to just go for the design in the plating or the flavor profile – I want to make it a show for the guest, too. It’s all about giving the guest an exciting experience that’s different, something they not only enjoy in taste but haven’t seen before.

What did you prepare for Mr. Bocelli?
It was an 11:00 p.m. dinner after his concert, but he’s just getting off work, so we balanced to balance a hearty entrée – herb-crusted hanger steak with a Cabernet Demi-glace – with lighter sides.

What’s your latest favorite to cook?
Sous Vide Pork Belly. It’s like a chemistry experiment.

What are you changing up this year at OC Chef’s Table?
Last year was our first year, and we were in the foyer for the reception, so, we got to see the “main event” as observers. We figured we’d just poke our heads, but we didn’t want to leave. The energy in that room with all the chefs working together was something really cool to see.

OC Chef’s Table is one of those rare events where you’re not just serving guests who eat, listen to a couple presentations, and go their way. This is a collaboration of passion between high-level chefs, the extraordinary Illumination Foundation and truly interested patrons who are all committed to getting this homelessness issue handled.

I think I was the first to sign up for the 2019 event, this time IN the room with a table of patrons. It was such a great experience that we’re back again, no question! We’re really looking forward to it.

The top chefs in Orange County (along with a few surprise visiting chefs) are getting together again for the renowned OC Chef’s Table at Disneyland® Resort on March 1, 2020 to provide permanent housing and services for homeless adults and children. With OC’s most imaginative chefs creating one-of-a-kind magical menus, it’s no wonder OC Chef’s Table is one of the most coveted gala tickets of the year.
See all 40+ chefs participating and secure your ticket at OCChefsTable.com. And, get to know this year’s phenomenal chefs as Diane Armitage sits down with each, asking 5 questions in just 5 minutes … 

Get Laguna's Restaurant Updates!