Steven Bianchini started Stevie B’s Deli March 1 of this year, but he said his experience goes back a lot farther than that.
“I was involved with restaurants all my life,” he said.
Bianchini said he first started in his uncle’s restaurant when his about 13, called Conrad’s.
“It was roast chicken family style in Central Falls,” he said.
Bianchini said he’s mainly self-taught in cooking.
“I dream about food,” he said. “I had to be about 15 years old when I started cooking [professionally]. I starte don the grill. My uncle had a pretty good business. I would cook hamburgers, hotdogs, fish and chips, and then he started catering. My dad also had a restaurant, and while I was learning at my uncles place, I went to my dad’s place and took over the kitchen.”
Bianchini said he worked in his dad’s restaurant, the Friendly Tap in Pawtucket, for many years, but moved on.
“I’ve worked with some great chefs,” he said.
He said some of his most interesting experiences were working at the Marriott Hotel opening new locations. He would supervise the kitchen and teach them how to make the standards of food the chain desired.
“I was with Marriot Corp for about 13 years,” he said. “I opened up ten different locations across the country. It was definitely a lot of fun, but it was a lot of work too. You work 12 to 15 hour days all the time.”
He said later he helped Al Castiglioni open up the first Chardonnay restaurant on Oaklawn Avenue.
Now he works his own shop and he said it gives him a lot more freedom to do what he loves, which is experiment.
“I figured good sandwiches and prepared food was something good,” he said. “You know, something quick and nice so people who don’t really want to cook that night can take home something good, like a take and bake pizza.”
He said he’s worked with some strange foods over the years, but none stranger than ostrich.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “But after eating it, tasting it and cooking it, it was really good. When you cook it, it’s kind of like steak, but more lean. It doesn’t have as many bad fats on it and it’s good for you, but it’s really expensive too. I tried it as a special at Chardonnay and people liked it, but you know I kind of had to sell it.”
Bianchini said though he’s got a young business at the moment, he’s already looking into donating to local charities and sponsoring a youth baseball team.
“We’re going to have Stevie B’s hats on the field pretty soon,” he said.
Stevie B’s is located on 184 Taunton Ave. and is open everyday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.