Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

click to enlarge screen_shot_2019-07-06_at_6.04.36_pm.png

Photo by Rob Bartlett

Paddlefish chef Steven Richard makes a mean lobster roll, but secretly loves Coney dogs 

As a Massachusetts native, some of Steven Richard's earliest memories are of driving around with his grandfather sampling lobster rolls all over New England. No surprise that a career in the pharmaceutical industry eventually led to a career in culinary with stints at Wolfgang Puck Grand Café, Portobello Country Italian Trattoria and, now, as executive chef of Paddlefish.

How are you reducing food waste? The most impactful thing restaurants can do to reduce waste is to engineer menu items with a keen eye on portioning. Managing how things are executed on a daily basis is also a big part of this. A big part of our culture at Paddlefish is frugality and respect for the products that we use and the people who produce them. We feed our team every day, producing as many as 100 meals for our "internal guests." Our kitchen team is very careful and diligent to save and use all kinds of food products that cannot be used for menu items, including produce, poultry, fish and meat trim. All scratch kitchens produce a ton of this material. I have a group of cooks that are proud to use every viable item.

I'm consistently amazed by the creativity and care that I see as these folks cook for each other. As an example, I have a veteran cook who routinely makes delicious flavored waters from vegetable and fruit trim – material that in most kitchens would end up in the garbage can. I'm proud to work with these people.

What are you doing to make the restaurant more sustainable? Paddlefish sources seafood products with sustainability in mind using the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Program as a guidepost. We are also converting our disposable items to greener options. As an example, we have eliminated plastic straws from our operation.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY ROB BARTLETT
  • Photo by Rob Bartlett

What was your first food addiction? When I was a kid, my dad would take me to a hot dog place where they only served "Coney dogs" and nothing else. The dogs were done on a flat-top grill and served on a steamed bun with yellow mustard, diced onion and "sauce." The sauce was nearly chili, but not exactly, and the recipe was a closely guarded secret. I've done my best to reproduce it in my home kitchen and in the restaurant. We recently celebrated National Hot Dog day at Paddlefish with my version of the Coney dog. Not bad, but the mystery still eludes me. ( ▲


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

More in Bite


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation