Stefan was born in Finland, but spent the majority of his childhood in Germany where he began culinary training in his early teens. He worked his way through various European and Asian kitchens. In 1998, he joined master chefs Grant McPherson, Sotta Kuhn, Jacques Torres, Jean Philip Maury, and Marc Poidevin as part of the creative team for the opening of the Bellagio Hotel, Resort & Spa in Las Vegas as Executive Sous Chef. Since then, Stefan has moved to Santa Monica where he has reimagined a local institution and given it new life, Stefan’s at LA Farm, an elegant restaurant that serves approachable yet innovative New American cuisine with European flair. Stefan has also opened the restaurant group, Stefan’s Restaurants, which includes three cafes in the surrounding Santa Monica neighborhood, a full-time catering and event company, and three steak houses in his native Finland. Stefan tries to enjoy spending his summers traveling from each of his European restaurants, maintaining a hands-on approach in the kitchen.