Steele TJ - Steele, TJ

TJ Steele

Biography

A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, TJ Steele started his career at Danny Meyer’s award-winning restaurant, Union Square Café. Within three years was made Executive Sous Chef and at 25, he was the youngest Executive Sous Chef in the restaurant’s history.

A serendipitous trip in 2006 brought TJ to Oaxaca, Mexico where he was inspired to bring his version of Mexico to New York City. His first effort was founding El Buho Mezcal, working with the locally based Jimenez family to bring handmade, affordable mezcal to New York City. Eleven years later, El... READ MORE

A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, TJ Steele started his career at Danny Meyer’s award-winning restaurant, Union Square Café. Within three years was made Executive Sous Chef and at 25, he was the youngest Executive Sous Chef in the restaurant’s history.

A serendipitous trip in 2006 brought TJ to Oaxaca, Mexico where he was inspired to bring his version of Mexico to New York City. His first effort was founding El Buho Mezcal, working with the locally based Jimenez family to bring handmade, affordable mezcal to New York City. Eleven years later, El Buho is available in over 20 states, internationally, and still growing.

After a stint as Executive Chef of the acclaimed tapas restaurant Tia Pol, Steele’s attention again turned towards Mexico. He returned to Oaxaca in 2012, setting up a residence there to study, eat, and travel in hopes of marrying his loves of seasonal cooking and Mexican gastronomy.

In September 2017 in partnership with JT Stewart (Freek’s Mill) he opened Claro, a Oaxacan influenced restaurant in Gowanus, Brooklyn focused on corn, barbacoa, consommé and mezcal. He continues to source the mezcals for El Buho and his palate remains the standard for the brand.

READ LESS