Stephen Collins is the chef at Sorrisi, the Italian restaurant located at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek. Collins will manage the daily culinary operations of the restaurant, overseeing a team of highly accomplished food service professionals.
Collins grew up on a black walnut and pecan orchard at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. He learned at a young age to trap, fish, clam, set crab pots, and hunt duck and deer. His mother and grandmother would pluck, shuck, and clean the game and seafood he brought home.
“My mother and grandmother did amazing things with food,” said Collins. They are both amazing bakers and country style Belles. From hand-painting chocolates, hosting cookie design parties with the kids in the family, baking cakes and pies and serving an elaborate dinner each day, these two ladies were definitely my very first culinary inspirations,” he said.
Collins began his culinary career at Arpinos Clam Bar, where he began as a dishwasher and, after 2 years, became lead chef by age 18. He then moved to the Washington, D.C., area for culinary school, and became a server at Copeland’s of New Orleans in Alexandria, Virginia. After four years at Copeland’s, he was promoted to regional executive chef, overseeing five locations.
Collins then moved to Great American Restaurants in northern Virginia and was a kitchen manager for Coastal Flats. Relocating to Miami, Collins became sous chef of Creative Taste Catering, which was named best café in Miami by New Times in 2007.He furthered his success in South Florida as Executive Pastry Chef of The Riverhouse Restaurant in downtown Fort Lauderdale, which, while he was there, was named one of the Top 20 restaurants in Florida. In the summertime, Collins would go to Southampton, Long Island and cook in a restaurant there where guests included celebrities from around the world.
With an interest in expanding his knowledge in international cuisine, Collins moved to China Grill, Inc., where he was sous chef, lead saucier, butcher and purchaser. While there, he received extensive training in Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Thai cuisine, with a background in sushi style.
Next he went to Tanzy in Boca Raton as a Sous Chef. There Collins worked alongside the Tanzy chefs to create innovative dishes. He eventually became a training chef for Tanzy’s parent company and opened a luxury movie theater and a fine dining Italian restaurant in Beverly Hills, CA.
Returning to Florida in 2014, Collins started as the sous chef of Sorrisi at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, working alongside some of his friends from Tanzy to create traditional and more unique Italian inspired dishes. In 2015, Collins became Chef at the newly revitalized Fresh Harvest, Seminole Casino Coconut Creek’s elevated variety dining experience, developing unique and interesting culinary offerings.
Collins is pleased to continue with Seminole Casino Coconut Creek in his new role as Sorrisi Restaurant Chef, where he and the Sorrisi team aim to provide guests with authentic Italian cuisine in an upscale yet warm and inviting ambiance.