Jordan Buendia, Rococo Steak’s Executive Chef, has been with Rococo since the very beginning. In 2013, Chef Jordan moved from the Florida Panhandle to Saint Petersburg. Starting as line cook, he worked his way up to sous chef and then was promoted to executive chef. Having been in the restaurant industry for over 20 years, Jordan is continually refining his skills and techniques to innovate the recipes that are prepared. His attention to detail, open-mindedness to new ideas and passion for cooking shine through in the decadent, unique dishes offered at Rococo Steak.
- When did your love for cooking begin?
“I was born in the Philippines and came to the United States at age five. I started cooking at a very young age to help my mom cook for my six siblings. All my love and inspiration for cooking comes from my mom.”
- Which dish that is currently on your menu are you most proud of at Rococo?
“I am most proud of the lobster bisque. It’s soup, seems like a simple recipe, but it’s not. I have spent countless hours perfecting this soup. It is very delicate and takes patience and precise timing. It’s one of the most popular items on the menu and we consistently receive accolades for our lobster bisque.”
- What do you love most about being a Chef?
“It’s hard to pin this to just one thing because I am so passionate about the entire process. It’s receiving fresh food in the morning, the controlled chaos, the sound fish makes when its being seared in a hot sauté pan and the beautiful aroma of an aged piece of meat cooking in the broiler. Every night you test your limits with your team, you become uniquely bonded to them. I love learning from my team and sharing my passion for cooking with them. This industry, more than others, has an amazing sense of community.”
- Is there a chef you admire most? Who and why?
“I would have to say Martin Yan. I remember as a kid watching his show, Yan Can Cook. As he was cooking, he would tell stories about the dish he was making and always made his audience laugh. He made cooking fun. His fast and skillful knife cuts with a cleaver always amazed me. His motto was, “If Yan can cook, so can you”.”