Chef Steve Phelps
Indigenous, Sarasota, FL
Owner and Executive Chef
Chef Steve Phelps opened Indigenous in 2011, and since then has honed his reputation as one of the region’s most inspirational and educational chefs, earning a James Beard Foundation semi-finalist nomination for Best Chef South in 2014 and 2015. Indigenous has helped to put Sarasota, FL, boldly on the map as a wonderful city in which to live, visit and dine.
Originally from Cleveland, Phelps was fortunate to begin working in the kitchen at a young age under the guidance of his uncle, a military chef. Classically trained in France and Germany, his uncle passed on his techniques to the young Phelps, teaching him about every aspect of being a restaurateur. This turned out to be both fulfilling and fun for the rising chef and his talents quickly blossomed. He came to run kitchens at the prestigious Hyde Park Steakhouse entities as well as other top Cleveland spots.
After moving to Sarasota more than ten years ago, Phelps fell in love with the ocean’s bounty. He is known to either be out fishing or cooking fish, and his concerns and involvement in sustainability have earned him praise from conservation organizations nationwide. In 2014, he was chosen to be on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon Task Force. The Task Force is a group of 50 chefs from around the country who meet with specialists to help our fisheries and create awareness.
Chef Steve Phelps is a constant educator of his guests, staff and the community. His mission is simple: good sourcing and respect for the planet. His respect for humanely raised animals and proper practices of farming prove his care for the land as well. We’re honored to have him celebrate our chefs in Iowa later this month!