Executive Chef and Owner
Crop Bistro & Bar, Cleveland, Ohio
Steve Schimoler, owner of Crop Bistro & Bar in Cleveland, Ohio, is a culinary innovator with a focus on flavor. His popular restaurant has been named as one of America’s top restaurants according to Zagat and is a 2012 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence winner. Schimoler, 54, has also been featured on Food Nation with Bobby Flay and PBS’ Master Chef series.
In addition to his visible role as an executive chef, Schimoler has an impressive business career in product innovation and development. His Rolling Fire Enterprises consulting firm serves a variety of leading consumer food, beverage and equipment companies. Much of this work is supported by a state-of-the-art research kitchen located in space below Crop Bistro.
Schimoler’s move to Cleveland in 2005 from Vermont came when he assumed the position of Director of Innovation and Development for Nestle North America. After serving in that role, he fell in love with Cleveland and decided to get back to running his own businesses.
A history of innovation
When he was just 23 years old, Schimoler launched his first Long Island restaurant. Within three years, he was running four businesses…a bakery and gourmet shop along with a café and his flagship restaurant, The Black Walnut. The Black Walnut received three stars from New York Newsday critics, and helped position him as an up-and-coming New York chef.
Other ventures have included the development of intensely flavored butter products for Cabot Creamery in Vermont and the launch of the firm Chef Stuff with several chef colleagues which created signature menu items produced in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. That venture was followed by the founding of the online firm Chefex.com which distributed artisan ingredients to chefs nationally—a business he eventually sold to SYSCO, the world’s largest food distributor. At that point, he assumed the position of General Manager of Culinary Business Development for SYSCO.
Schimoler has also been a regular contributor to industry publications and has served as two terms as president of the Research Chefs Association.
Steve Schimoler and Kinetico Water
Based on Steve’s passion for cooking, innovation and creating the best flavor in his recipes, he realizes that no ingredient is to be overlooked, including water. In 2012, Steve teamed with Kinetico to prove the notion that purified water is core to creating great-tasting dishes in his restaurant and in the home. Steve is a guest blogger on The Kinetico Better Water Blog exploring purified water’s impact on cooking and restaurant operations.