Get to know me better
Personal Chef for Home Cooking as well as Caterer for Small Dinner Parties
I am the owner of Odes of Food Personal Chef Business in McHenry County, Illinois. I have been a professional chef over 30 years now. I started when I was 14 part-time in hotel kitchens. I was lucky to begin training in the Old Schoolhouse Restaurant in North Dublin, Ireland under the brilliant Paul Lewis. During this time I was also sent to work/train in the Redbank Restaurant in Skerries, Ireland, under Terry McCoy.
By 19 I was a Sous Chef in a private club on Stephen’s Green Dublin City. I moved to Australia for a few years in my early 20s and worked with tv chef Ray Kerch in the then-famous Edna’s Table working with indigenous ingredients. I moved to Canada to work there in 2008 for a few years and now live north of Chicago. I have also worked in Galway west of Ireland and lived in San Francisco.
As a Chef with an enjoyable successful career, I have been lucky enough to have worked under some talented chefs like Shay McFadden, Neil McFadden, Ciaran Cunningham, Ray Kersh of Edna's Table in Sydney, Paul Lewis of The Old Schoolhouse and Michelin-star chef Ultan Cooke at Ballynahinch Castle, Galway, Ireland.
I have worked in international kitchens and cooked in Asian, French, Irish, Italian, and fusion restaurants
I have worked in Small restaurants, cafes, large restaurants, corporate catering, castles, festivals, private firms, and in 2015 I went freelance and worked for many people and places, strengthening my skills and food knowledge.
During this time I was also building my Personal Chef brand and experience. I moved to the US in 2017 to begin a personal chef business.
I am a food writer and am also in the process of developing small niche recipes and food science books.
For me, cooking is...
a path to a healthier way of living, a passion sculpturing a lifestyle
I learned to cook at...
the Old School House under the brilliant Paul Lewis on the North Side of Dublin. This place was a 90’s powerhouse.
A role model in the kitchen is...
anyone who can focus, keep calm and cool under pressure. I have a soft spot for April Bloomfield and Raymond Blanc.
A cooking secret...
is staying clear and focused, making sure every dish served is spectacular and like the last dish you will ever serve.
As a Private Chef, I can offer you:
Simply tell me what you're craving! I would love to create the perfect menu for your special occasion in McHenry.
I can do weddings, birthdays and corporate events in McHenry. You name it!
Because "sharing is caring". I would be happy to teach you all sorts of techniques and recipes in McHenry.
If you are looking for someone to keep your fridge full of incredible meals in McHenry, count me in.
Stephen's Food Gallery
We all eat with our eyes first! Below you can find a little demonstration of what I can bring to your table.
Book your experience with Chef Stephen
Specify the details of your requests and the chef will send you a custom menu just for you.