Chef Q&A: Efstratios “Steve” Kontis of Frankie & Johnnie’s Steakhouse in Rye
He’s cooked for Joe Torre and the prince of Morocco, and if there’s one thing he’s learned that they don’t teach in culinary school, it’s staying cool under pressure.
photo by Tykischa Jacobs
Efstratios “Steve” Kontis
Frankie & Johnnie’s Steakhouse
77 Purchase St, Rye
Dish I Do the Best…Swordfish picante. Guests love that it’s moist and has a bite to it, but also that it’s not too spicy.
Favorite Cuisine…Greek. Being from Greece, it is my comfort food.
If Not a Chef, I’d Be a…boxer. It was my first interest when I came to America.
I Never Eat…oysters—the only thing from the sea I won’t eat. Not even sure why!
Favorite Place to Dine Out…A good Greek restaurant in Astoria.
I Hate It When a Diner at My Restaurant...requests their steak extra well done and then complains that their meal is taking too long.
Favorite TV Show…Antiques Roadshow. I wonder if some of my junk could be worth a fortune.
I Hate It When You’re Dining at a Restaurant and…a waiter hovers over the table. It’s important to give people privacy and space while still delivering great service.
What Waiters Should Never Do…Let guests over-order. They should advise on the size of sides and entrées.
Favorite Pain Reliever…Vodka.
Culinary School Can’t Teach…how to be consistent in your quality and how to stay calm, cool, and collected on a busy night.
Food Trend I Hate the Most…Food trends can be fun but I’m not crazy about small plates. Very little food for the prices.
My Favorite Movie Is…The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Most Famous People I Ever Cooked For…Joe Torre and the Prince of Morocco.