San Antonio is a place that offers so many great dining options; but with so many choices, how is one to decide? In 2011, the search got a bit easier when Chef Stefan Bowers and entrepreneur Andrew Goodman opened the doors to Feast. Located in San Antonio’s King William Historic District, Feast is in the heart of one of the city’s most captivating areas that locals and tourists alike will enjoy.
Offering “new American cuisine with a Mediterranean flair,” Feast is nothing short of a great time and even better food. The small plates give the guests an opportunity to share different items among the table and sample multiple plates, making the experience all the more memorable.
Start your meal with the Pernod Quick-Cured Salmon. This savory salmon is served with a lemon-sourdough cake, oak smoked pears and topped with fennel oil.
I enjoyed the Ahi Tuna Tartar, a fattoush salad topped with a sumac-lemon dressing. The ingredients combined create an absolutely delectable dish that will have you dreaming about it for weeks to come (maybe that’s just me).
The last outstanding dish I feasted on was the Grilled Lamb Belly. The lamb was prepared to perfection and served on a bed of leeks, topped with creamy Gorgonzola and a Meyer lemon and white Saba dressing drizzled throughout and left a taste that is sure to excite your palate.
Chef Stefan Bowers was gracious enough to answer a few questions for us:
Tell us about your background. Where did you train and how did you end up in San Antonio?
My first experience in a kitchen was when I lived in San Diego, under two sisters from Positano, Italy. I had just gotten out of the Navy and there were no culinary schools in San Diego. After being introduced to them I spent a year doing an unpaid apprenticeship, commonly called a stagier. Shortly after that, I ‘blindly’ moved to Houston to attend the Alain and Marie LeNotre French Culinary School. It’s an excellent school as far as culinary schools go.
What is your food philosophy?
It’s very simple. That food should always be honest. I try not to make comparisons to other people’s approaches as to what they think is best on the plate. For me, flavor should always be the most important aspect about the plate and should never be sacrificed for any other aspect.
What was the inspiration behind Feast?
The inspiration behind Feast is getting a group of people together and heightening their experience by suggesting they share. We believe the aspect of sharing and celebrating great food with your company, something that’s new and delicious, is an amazing aspect of dining. It heightens the experience. All in all we just encourage fun.
What is your favorite/signature dish or one you’re especially proud of at Feast?
I don’t necessarily have a “favorite” but I love the flavors of our Tuna Tartar Salad. It’s basically a Fattoush Salad and has a lot of brightness and freshness – the main characteristics we always shoot for.
What is your favorite ingredient you are using right now?
Guanicale. We’re getting in Bershire Pork cheeks, curing them for a few weeks and then slow roasting them. It’s a dynamic cut that can be used in so many ways.
What changes, if any, can we expect to see on the summer menu?
It’s hard to say because so many things become available during the summer in Texas. My cooks are doing a lot of the new dishes since I’m working on two different concepts. It’s great to work with them from the conceptualization of a dish to it reaching the guest. I see the pride in their faces and it makes all hard work beyond worth it.
By Lauren Curry
Photo Credit: Lauren Curry