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Profile 1 – Stev George

Stev George

By Christine Hamelin
with photography by Bernard Clark

As Stev George sees it, “you have to be passionate about being a chef; you have to love it, because it isn’t an easy job.” It’s been over 20 years since he bought his first restaurant, and despite some challenges — the COVID years being the worst of all — Stev still loves food and his exciting, high-adrenalin lifestyle.

The oldest of three brothers, he was born in Kingston. His Glasgow-born father, Stevan, of Serbian descent, was a physician; his mother, Ruth, was a homemaker and potter. Originally from South Africa, Ruth, a trained nurse, came to Kingston for a short stay in her youth. She and her sister, a physiotherapist, and some girlfriends worked at Kingston General Hospital and they lived in an apartment near the Kingston Yacht Club; and Stevan and his friend, young doctors just starting out, lived across the street. “There were lots of parties, and they’d have each other over for dinner,” says Stev, which is short for Stevitza, a diminutive form of Stevan. His parents married and his mother remained in Kingston.

The Georges loved entertaining. Ruth had always made home-cooked meals — “We never ate packaged food or fast food, except for ordering pizza.” She and Stevan took turns hosting Sunday-night dinner and bridge evenings with an Italian couple, the Paloschis; the kids would eat beforehand. “But I smelled the food,” Stev recalls. . . .