When the Glass Knife opened in late 2017, the plush patisserie brought some high-class swank to South Orlando Avenue, thanks to the deep pockets and haute tastes of owner-founder-tech CEO Steve Brown. But beyond the 2,100-pound gold-hued light fixture, the diamond-patterned terrazzo floors, the 18-seat table carved from American walnut and the pricey porcelain cups from New Zealand, the Glass Knife is meant to evoke memories of familial comfort.
"It's a place that's intended to feel like home," says Brown. "Our recipes ... remind you of a favorite memory, taste or flavor." Executive chef Stuart Whitfield echoes that sentiment: "Part of being a chef is storytelling," Whitfield says. "I wanted to re-create time-honored recipes reminiscent of dishes from a family gathering or the fun sweet treats packed in childhood lunches. It's more than a cake, a chicken pot pie or an oatmeal cream pie. It's all about honoring the past while creating new memories, with every offering."
The sense of home and family infuses all facets of the Glass Knife's operation. Inclusivity, says Brown, is at the forefront. "We subscribe to the belief that diversity is the common thread that makes us one. It's even woven into the design details, like our communal table, which encourages customers to come together to break bread."
No surprise that Brown cites his parents for inspiring him. "They exemplified what it meant to work hard, how to bring creative solutions to problem solving, the importance of treating everyone with respect, and approaching each and every task with your absolute best," he says. It's clear Brown has done just that with the Glass Knife.
– This story appears in our BITE 2018 special print issue of Orlando Weekly. Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly Headlines newsletter.