Chef Walter Mayen knows first hand what it means to “work your way up”. 13 years ago he started as a cook at Mastro’s Steakhouse in Beverly Hills and is still there today – although he’s climbed the kitchen ladder about as far as it goes.
Growing up in the kitchen, trailing his mother around until she thought he was old enough to handle a knife, Chef Mayen knew he was headed for a career in the kitchen. He graduated from high school and headed straight for Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena. After a few jobs in other kitchens, he began his tenure with Mastro’s and has been there ever since.
Now that he’s the Executive Chef at Mastro’s, Chef Mayen has the chance to share everything he’s learned with the team he now leads. “When you grow into a promotion you get the opportunity to help other people reach their goals,” he told us. “Mastro’s believes in promoting from within and I appreciate the chance to be a mentor to others. Everybody wins in that situation.”
One of the lessons Chef Mayen teaches his cooks is patience. And being patient pays off when you’re waiting on seasonal seafood – which Mastro’s customers are quite fond of. “Our guests love our seasonal seafood options like halibut and troll king salmon – which is really popular right now.” Chef Mayen keeps his guests happy with an ever changing selection of seasonal seafood prepared with a discriminating touch. “We keep our seasonal seafood dishes simple and really work to let the flavor of the fish shine through.”
When he has time to cook at home, Chef Mayen is partial to shellfish and crustaceans. “I love them all – clams, mussels, lobsters and especially scallops. Scallops are amazing; the way their flavor changes as you work with them. Sweet when they are raw, developing a different savory flavor as you grill them, just so unique and fun to work with.”
During his years at Mastro’s, Chef Mayen has really seen a change in the public’s approach to food and dining out. “People know so much more about the culinary world. Our customers are very educated and curious about food; where ingredients come from, sustainability issues. I am always asking myself ‘how can we evolve? What’s next?’ We’re always on the lookout for new ingredients, and working to keep our customers happy by innovating.”
We all know that staying on top of current seafood industry issues isn’t easy! “My Santa Monica Seafood rep, Chance, is great about keeping me up to date on new products and I really appreciate that.”
And we really appreciate the chance to work with Chef Mayen and the entire Mastro’s team. They’ve been a great resource for us, hosting a wonderful Chef’s Luncheon for us in 2013 and more – we look forward to what’s next!
246 North Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210