Stephens Samantha 350x350 - Stephens, Samantha

Samantha Stephens

Biography

Samantha “Sam” Stephens is the chef and founder of OatMeals, the word’s first all-oatmeal cafe in Greenwich Village, NYC. She is also the Creative Oatmeal Officer for Quaker Oats and was recently featured on ABC’s Shark Tank.

Sam’s obsession with oatmeal began when she moved to NYC to attend college in 2000 and quickly gained much more than the “freshman fifteen” pounds. Reading about the numerous health benefits of oats, Sam decided to make oatmeal an important part of her life. She created countless recipes to jazz up a basic bowl of oatmeal and identified... READ MORE

Samantha “Sam” Stephens is the chef and founder of OatMeals, the word’s first all-oatmeal cafe in Greenwich Village, NYC. She is also the Creative Oatmeal Officer for Quaker Oats and was recently featured on ABC’s Shark Tank.

Sam’s obsession with oatmeal began when she moved to NYC to attend college in 2000 and quickly gained much more than the “freshman fifteen” pounds. Reading about the numerous health benefits of oats, Sam decided to make oatmeal an important part of her life. She created countless recipes to jazz up a basic bowl of oatmeal and identified a need in the fast casual restaurant market for a specialty oatmeal cafe.

It was a 12-year journey to get OatMeals off the ground. After college, Sam worked in the investment banking world. While working full time she attended The International Culinary Center, where she became a pastry chef in 2010.

Sam finally took the leap and opened OatMeals in 2012, offering nearly 30 signature sweet and savory oatmeal bowls and various oat-based pastries. She has revolutionized typical assumptions about oatmeal by showing people that it is anything but old-fashioned and can be enjoyed for lunch and dinner, not just for breakfast!

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What is your favorite NYC restaurant? And what is your go-to dish? Vic's in Noho. The Borse Ricotta Pasta or Roasted Chicken with chilies.
What is your ultimate meal? Tuna crudo or tuna tataki with citrus vinaigrette or ponzu, grilled octopus with chorizo and potatoes, steak tartare with capers and lots of mustard and pepper, crispy fries with garlic-lemon mayo, a super oaky California Chardonnay and/or an extra dirty Tito's martini!
What three things are always in your pantry? Balsamic vinegar, Parmesan cheese, and fresh lemons.
If you weren't a chef, what would you be? I would work in research & development for a large foods company or do product marketing/sales in the food world. If you could cook with anyone, who would that be? Missy Robbins.
What's your favorite NYCWFF memory? Years ago I attended the NYCWFF Roast of Anthony Bourdain event with Rachel Ray and Eric Ripert, which was hilarious. Many years ago I also attended a NYCWFF event where I met Marcus Samuelsson and got him to sign one of his cookbooks for me, which was very exciting.