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Smokin’ in the Kitchen with Chef Steve

Finn Town Tavern is thrilled to announce their new Executive Chef, Steve Dustin! Prior to starting at Finn Town, Chef Steve rose from Chef de Cuisine at The Cavalier, a James Beard Foundation semi-finalist for “Best New Restaurant in America,” to the Culinary Director of San Francisco’s award-winning Big Night Restaurant Group (Park Tavern, Marlowe, Petit Marlowe, The Cavalier, Marianne’s and Leo’s Oyster Bar).


Before making the move to California, Chef Steve gained experience working at renowned restaurants across the US, where he explored culinary techniques and the multitude of cuisines found around the world. He entered the fine dining scene at Canoe in Atlanta before moving to New York City to work at some of the City’s top restaurants including Bouley, The Harrison, and Monument Lane. Originally from Michigan, Steve was raised with a deep appreciation for the environment and sustainable foods, which continues to be at the heart of his culinary approach in the Finn Town kitchen.


Chef Steve brings innovative seasonality to Finn Town, offering a diverse selection of New American tavern fare featuring fresh ingredients and bright flavors along with his take on several of Finn Town’s signature dishes.



What made you decide to join Finn Town?

I have always loved working in a neighborhood tavern setting. I previously worked as the chef at The Harrison and Monument Lane in New York City and these restaurants were exactly that – neighborhood restaurants/taverns cooking food on an elevated level. I love the feeling of cooking really exciting, fresh food for everyday people and I am happy to have found this in San Francisco at Finn Town. 

You’ve lived and worked in quite a few cities including Grand Rapids, New York City, Atlanta, Boulder, and now San Francisco. Which city has had the most influence on your recipes?

I grew up in South Haven, Michigan, which is a little beach town on the west coast of Michigan. I then moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan where I began my culinary career in fine dining. However, New York City was definitely the city that had the most influence on my way of cooking and my recipes. 

Any upcoming changes we can look forward to seeing at Finn Town?

Although I am sad to see summer coming to an end, I am very excited for all the fall vegetables. I love hard squashes and have a lot of fun working with them so you can expect them to make an appearance on the menu. I am also excited to bring a little bit of BBQ to the Castro with a weekly special called “What’s the Chef Smoking.” This will be a weekly rotating plate of BBQ with all the fixin’s (think housemade cornbread, baked beans, and poppyseed coleslaw). The meat will change every week to keep it exciting, hence the name “What’s the Chef Smoking.” I guess you will just have to come and see for yourself each week! 


Follow him on Instagram @chefstevedustin for special behind-the-scenes shots.

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