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Meet Chef Jarrett Stieber

 

Meet Chef Jarrett Stieber, of Eat Me Speak Me and Little Bear fame! Chef Jarrett operated his Eat Me Speak Me pop up out of Gato in Candler Park, and then out of SOS Tiki Bar in Decatur. Now, his restaurant Little Bear offers a dining experience in Summerhill that is unlike any other–the creativity in his dishes is mesmerizing, the atmosphere is comfortable yet elevated, the drink program would be a tough match to beat, and everyone you encounter at the restaurant is as friendly and helpful as can be. It's simply a wonderful place to dine. We are very lucky to boast that Chef Jarrett has been writing G&G meal kit recipes for years, and his creativity certainly shines through in those, as well. Keep reading to learn more about Jarrett and Little Bear! 

 

 

How did you get started in the food world? 

I started cooking in restaurants when I was fifteen years old after watching Yan Can Cook as a child and Emeril Live and Iron Chef in high school. Food started to fascinate me so I asked the owner of Alon's in Morningside, where my dad and I would go for breakfast every Saturday, if I could shadow their chef one weekend and I just kept getting put back on the schedule every week... and never really looked back haha.

 

Did you always know that you wanted to be a chef? What would you be doing if you weren’t a chef?

It was always either cooking or music for me but cooking was always a steady (albeit it crappy) paycheck so that became the main career trajectory. Ever since I started in restaurants in high school, I knew I loved cooking and could make a living doing it but finally settled in 100% over music a few years into running Eat Me Speak Me, my pop up restaurant before opening Little Bear. 

 

 

How would you describe your culinary style?

I would describe my culinary style as 'locavore satirical gastronomica' but nobody ever takes that seriously haha... so I'd say it's playful and creative, focused on local seasonal ingredients first and foremost. Assertive and confident without being overbearing or too strong. 

 

 

Dishes served at Little Bear. Photo credit: @gingerandcarrotprod

 

 

What’s your favorite ingredient to use?

Salt, 100% :-) As far as produce goes, honestly I can't possibly pick. Whatever is in season! Anything at all, there's beauty to found in every single item

 

What’s the menu like at Little Bear, and what does the restaurant mean to you?

The menu is fun and creative, small and focused. We keep about 8 or 9 savory dishes plus three desserts on at a time, all featuring exclusively locally sourced fresh products. Nothing stays on the menu for long since we change things up constantly to reflect seasonality. The same goes for the beverage list: cocktails utilizing seasonal ingredients, small production wine, etc. The restaurant, quite simply, means the world to me. It is the livelihood my wife and I have built our life on, what provides for my employees, but it's also a genuinely warm and love filled place to host guests in which, I think, makes people extremely happy overall. Especially these days, that's as important as ever, even if only for a few hours at a time. 

 

 

Chattahooche Copperheard cocktail served at Little Bear. Photo credit: @gingerandcarrotprod

 

What’s your number one piece of advice for at-home cooks?

Don't cook with fear. Cooking is like a wild animal, it senses fear. Go in with full confidence! Whatever you're doing, you'll make it good. Trust your gut, take some chances, be adventurous and don't be shy to season things adequately. 

 

Why is cooking and eating local important to you?

Sourcing and eating locally is the best way to ensure you're spending your money in a way that actually benefits other people in your community. You can spend your money knowing that every dollar went to a farmer that takes care of the land, that takes care of their staff, that gives a shit about the quality of what they're growing - and that's a great way to utilize your resources. On top of that, you get to create genuine relationships with the people you source from and have the freshest, highest quality ingredients so it's a win win.

 

 

 

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