Long Island native to head UWP dining services
PLATTEVILLE-Bringing a fresh flavor to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville campus, Steve Monteferrante was recently promoted to head chef of UWP Dining Services, following the resignation of former chef Scott Finley, who accepted a teaching position at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton.
Before coming to UWP in February 2002 as the University's sous chef, the Long Island, N.Y., native graduated from the Culinary Institute of American in Hyde Park, N.Y. with an associate's degree. Since receiving his degree, he has traveled throughout the country learning about regional foods and cooking techniques.
"In Colorado, I learned how to prepare wild game and the sauces that complement those dishes," Monteferrante said. "In Hawaii, I learned how to cook Polynesian and Asian food. In Florida, I learned food infusion, preparing foods that combine the flavors of the Caribbean and Florida. Learning the foods indigenous to each area has made me a more well-rounded chef."
With his strong Italian background, Monteferrante's passion for food and cooking developed at an early age and is a love that has continued throughout his life.
"When I was 4 years old, I remember my grandmother (both of my grandmothers are from Italy) would set me on the counter to stir marinara sauce," Monteferrante said. "I loved stirring the sauce and dipping the bread in the sauce and eating it. I always wanted to be a chef and never wanted to be anything else."
Monteferrante's favorite toy growing up was a Pillsbury Doughboy doll, a bit of childhood memorabilia he shares with his wife, Jessie, who is a native of Potosi. The couple met at the Culinary Institute of America and discovered they both had the doughboy dolls growing up. Jessie is now the culinary manager at the Olive Garden in Dubuque, Iowa and the couple have two children, Landon and Stefan.
As the new head chef at UWP, Monteferrante will be responsible for all food on campus, including Glenview Commons, the Pioneer Student Center and all campus functions.
"Any function on campus, from wedding receptions and departmental luncheons to the Chancellor's dinners and other social events, I'll be in charge of catering," Monteferrante said. "I'll oversee a staff of about 25 chefs and numerous student employees."
As the new head chef, Monteferrante said he looks forward to developing new recipes and offering more authentic ethnic foods, in particular Italian.
"What I really enjoy cooking is Italian Mediterranian food and it's great to be here where I can express myself and introduce my cooking style," Monteferrante said. "I look forward to sharing my love of food with the campus and expanding the palates of people in southwest Wisconsin."