Wine & Food Festival Chef Spotlight: Keith Stich

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Having previously worked as executive chef for Wildfish and Mastro’s Ocean Club in Newport Beach, Keith Stich is undeniably a master of seafood and steak. Now as the corporate chef at Fashion Island’s Red O, he’s put a Mexican spin on his skills in the kitchen and it’s proven to be a great fit for the chef, who’s been with Red O since it first opened in late 2013.

The always-crowded restaurant will be serving at the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival this October. Stitch is waiting until the event to reveal the dishes Red O will be preparing for attendees, but he promises “a mix between our take on traditional Mexican dishes that we prepare in a modern interpretation using fresh ingredients.”

Here, he opens up about his family, motivations and indulgences.





Who or what influenced you to begin cooking?

The hospitality industry itself ultimately influenced me to start cooking. I started washing dishes as a teenager and after watching the cooks work all day long, I knew I wanted to try. It was kind of a perfect fit because I did grow up with my mom cooking great food all the time.


What would you eat for your last meal?

My mom’s fried breakfast potatoes with her biscuits and gravy. She grew up in Oklahoma so she is really good at making Southern food from that part of America.


First thought that comes to mind when you hear “TV cooking shows”?

I think these have been great for our industry, especially for the chefs that have always been a “secretive” part of the restaurant.


Name one famous figure you’d most like to cook for.

Not famous but would love to have been able to cook for my grandpa one more time before he passed


Biggest culinary guilty pleasure?

Anything that I barbecue in my smoker at home with some cheesy mac and cheese. I love smoked ribs, pork butt, brisket—basically anything barbecue.




143 Newport Center Dr.





—Written by Kirsti Correa




Newport Beach Magazine is a sponsor of the 2015 Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival.


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