"Contemporary American cuisine, redefined by my most inspiring experiences from around the world"
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Gillanders became fascinated with food at a young age. He spent much of his childhood in the kitchen alongside his Filipino grandmother and enjoyed observing and helping prepare authentic home dishes like lumpia. As a teen, he attended a summer program at the Culinary Arts Institute of Los Angeles that his mother insisted he try...and after his first culinary class, Stephen discovered his love for cooking. After completing the Culinary Arts Management program at Los Angeles Mission College, he went on to earn his B.S. from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada (UNLV). As a student at UNLV, Gillanders won the title of the San Pellegrino's Almost Famous Chef competition.
He then worked under Chef Jean Georges Vongerichten for 10 years and opened several restaurants domestically and abroad as Corporate Chef for the group. To pursue his dream of opening his own restaurant, Chef Stephen joined Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ INTRO, for a chef-in-residence position, preparing him for his first solo venture. Now Chef Gillanders has set off on his own, with the debut of S.K.Y.