Chef Steve Ferrell

Owner / Executive Chef of Firebox 55

Chef Steve brings the sophistication of fine dining to a charming West Virginia town.
“Combining my years growing up with down home food from their gardens and farms, I am simply incorporating the life of our past to the sophistication of today’s world still using our local food resources.”

Chef Steve Ferrell infront of his food station at 2019 VIP Event

Born in Silver Spring, Maryland, Steve Ferrell grew up in the small town of Brunswick, Maryland. Steve enjoys working at country inn resorts. As Head Chef at the Hillbrook Inn and Spa, Steve enjoys getting the best of both worlds by cooking sophisticated dishes in the quiet tranquil setting here in Charles Town, West Virginia.

Foodie Bites
My guilty pleasure snack is: Oreo cookies and Milk
My favorite meal growing up as a child – literally anything with mashed potatoes
Most essential item in the kitchen is: The blender
The one condiment I can’t live without is: All types of vinegar, very underrated for its ability to brighten up all sorts of recipes

summer vegetable salad from Chef Steve at Hillbrook InnMeet Chef Steve Ferrell

What sparked your interest to become a chef?
“I came back from my first year of college not really sure what to do with my life, I was working as a bar-back where my brother was working, I struck up a friendship with the chef and began helping him when he was busy, that is where I found out I was good at cooking and enjoyed it so I decided to go to culinary school to learn more about the profession.”

Chef’s Training
Culinary Institute of America, graduated 2008

Steve’s foodie passion has family connections

Chef Steve Ferrell speaking at the Bavarian Inn“I loved eating my grandparent’s food growing up, my mother’s father was Italian and would always make great spaghetti and meatballs, my father’s mother was from Tennessee and made great southern comfort food.

Who was your biggest inspiration?
“Chef Kris Greene inspired me to go to CIA. Chef Greene was a CIA grad and showed me what cooking professionally actually meant, and what great food could be, up until that point I was just recreating recipes from my family and friends’ moms.”

Food Styles and Food Flavors

Hillbrook Inn New Year’s Featured Beef Entrée

What are your food styles?
“My style has steadily changed over the years, beginning with exploring different cultures’ cuisine. Mexican was my first interest, then I moved into several different Asian cuisines. Now I like to focus more on treating great products with respect and simplicity, I tend to lean more towards Italian cuisine because it reminds me of growing up and comfort food.”

Do you have a favorite food flavor?
“Right now I love caramelized/ roasted flavors. I find it amazing how sweet and complex different vegetables can become when roasted or grilled. I love brown butter. Lately, I have been trying to substitute it in a variety of different recipes from savory to sweet with wonderful results.”

picture of head and pastry chef | Taste of Blue RidgeWhat type of staff do you look for?
“For me, I like down to earth hard-working people. I love to teach so I love curious people who love to learn. I am an introvert so I prefer not to do deal with big egos.”

What is your passion for living here in the Blue Ridge Shenandoah Valley?
“I love the visual beauty of the area, I love that we have four distinct seasons. I get tired of cooking the same things all the time. New seasons bring about new products and new cravings.

Chef Steve’s Firebox 55 is slated to open mid-Summer – watch this space for more details!