Chef’s Corner with Steve Jayson of Mythos
Ever wish a theme park would offer more than your traditional greasy slice of pizza or stale hot dog? Wish no more! journeyPod had the pleasure to experience a true gourmet dinner within one of the world’s busiest theme parks. Mythos, located within The Lost Continent in Universal’s Islands Of Adventure theme park, has been voted, an impressive 6 years in a row, as the “Best Theme Park Restaurant in the World” by Theme Park Insider.
The success of Mythos is accredited to none other than Universal Studios Executive Chef, Steve Jayson. When asked what the idea was for Mythos, Jayson replied, “We wanted our food service program to be equal to that of anything that visitors would find anywhere in America.”
Jayson began his career as a dishwasher at a local restaurant at the age of 16. He worked his way up in the company and was soon creating menu items for the restaurant. In 1989, Universal offered him the job as the Executive Chef for all food operations at Universal Studios theme park.
In 2000, The American Culinary Federation awarded Jayson the “National Chef of the Year.”
journeyPod had a chance to chat with this culinary mastermind:
How did you get your start in cooking?
I was 16 years old and needed a job so I applied at a new local area restaurant and got hired as a dishwasher. I spent 3 months washing dishes and as the restaurant got more busy the chef started to give me simple kitchen tasks to do. Eventually I got moved into the kitchen full-time and the rest is history.
Congratulations on Mythos winning the award for “Best Theme Park Restaurant” – what other awards have you received within your career?
In 2000, I was selected to be the “National Chef of the Year” by the American Culinary Federation. I received a “Silver Plate” award by the International Food Service Manufacturers Association. These two were probably the biggest and most prestigious awards. I have also won over 100 culinary competition awards and was awarded a spot in the Orlando Magazine “Food Service Hall of Fame.”
If you were ever on Iron Chef, what ingredient would you hope would be the themed ingredient for the cooking battle?
Corn, Coffee or Potatoes would be fun to work with.
Coffee or Tea?
What would we find in your refrigerator at home?
Lots of juices, berries, and fruits. I like to make different juices with a juice machine I own. I also usually have a few heads of escarole that I like to cook with pasta.
Is there anything you won’t eat?
I pretty much enjoy most foods; however, I have never been a big fan of Cauliflower.
Do your friends ask you for cooking advice?
Yes sometimes my friends ask for cooking advice or where they can get a certain ingredient.
On your night off, where do you go to eat in Orlando?
When I am off I love to go out to eat! My favorite place is Ming Court. I go there almost every weekend for Dim Sum.
What is your favorite hotel in Orlando?
I have two that I really like: The Loews Portofino Bay Resort is my first pick and the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is a close second.
Best advice you can give to a cooking enthusiast?
You’re only as good as the last meal you cooked.
Voted “Best Theme Park Restaurant In The World” by Theme Park Insider, Mythos is a breath of fresh air in one of the world’s busiest theme parks. Housed in a large cave within Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Mythos serves contemporary style dishes. Favorites include the Cedar-smoked Salmon and the Chicken a’la Oscar. Make sure to ask your server about the daily risotto and “pastabilities” specials as they allow Chef Jayson to truly show off his talent! Here’s a tip: Call ahead to be put on the waiting list to avoid any more long lines. Tel: (407)-227-4534.
Stay tuned for our round-up article on Orlando!
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