Mike Stevenson keeps the Washington Redskins happy and healthy.
Photo by DuHon Photography
The Washington Redskins are always looking for fresh talent, whether on the field or in the kitchen. In 2009, the team picked up 42-year-old Fredericksburg-based Chef Mike Stevenson after he wowed them in a tryout.
“I was just called in to do a tasting for Redskins owner Daniel Snyder at a preseason game against the Patriots,” says the man they call Chef Mike, who was working at D.C.’s Capital Grille steakhouse at the time. Stevenson was hired after his chicken gumbo and spicy bison bean-less chili impressed, and he’s been the stadium chef ever since, serving up dishes like Kobe sirloin and, for midday games, creole-style brunches for Snyder and guests in the owner’s personal suite at FedExField.
Stevenson’s influence can also be seen on the field—he is personal chef to four Redskins players: Trent Williams, Santana Moss, Fred Davis and DeAngelo Hall. “I try to use a regimen of lean proteins and vegetables,” says Stevenson, who served in the U.S. Navy from 1989 to 1993, and says cooking something nutritious and tasty for professional athletes requires imagination and innovation. “Ground bison instead of beef or steak, dry rubs, pan-seared, no gravies, and all the sauces are made from stock that I make myself ... I have to make it tasty, because otherwise these guys are going to be tempted to cheat at a fast food store!”
Not that cooking for celebrities is anything new to Stevenson, who has created dishes for luminaries from Ludacris to Hillary Clinton. And there is still plenty left on this gastronomical go-getter’s to-do list. In February he published a cookbook, A Way to a Woman’s Heart, which is “designed to bring men and women to the table together,” and is currently “looking at quaint areas between Fredericksburg and Ashburn” to open a restaurant serving “farm to table food, home-cooked from scratch.” Now that’s what we call a spread offense. ChefMike.tv