Stephen began his career out of college by developing a chain of casual Italian restaurants called “The Best Italian Restaurant”. He sold them and returned to his native New York, spending a year at Petaluma, bing hired by Chef Daniel Boulud at Le Cirque, where he worked his way up from entremetier to Chef Saucier. He would leave to become Chef de Cuisine at Arcadia under Chef Ann Rosenzweig. Chef Kalt would also go on to create what would become a successful hospitality consulting business with partner Andrew Zimmern of “Bizarre Foods” fame. New York Magazine put him on their “Hot List” of people to watch in New York Hospitality. At that same time, Stephen also developed and taught for two years at a cooking school for a population of ex-addicts and homeless called Emmaus House in Harlem, New York.
In 1994, Kalt became the Chef / Partner of the acclaimed Mediterranean trailblazer, Spartina. Food and Wine Magazine voted Spartina one of the “Top Five Neighborhood Restaurants in New York”. Kalt’s Georgian Short Ribs were voted “Best Dish of the Year” by Gael Greene of New York Magazine. Spartina was also featured in Wine Spectator, Esquire Magazine, Restaurants and Institutions, and Food and Wine Magazine. Kalt was a featured guest on Martha Stewart Living and on a regular basis in the early days of the Food Network.
In 2004, Stephen agreed to become one of the opening Chefs at Wynn Las Vegas, where he became Chef/ Operator of Corsa Cucina, a 190 seat modern Italian restaurant. Stephen successfully operated Corsa Cucina until Fall of 2007 when he left to create FoodThink, his Las Vegas based development and consulting company. Under the FoodThink umbrella, Stephen developed and became operating partner of two Italian restaurants at Borgata Resort and Casino in Atlantic City with Boyd Gaming and MGM. Stephen has staged in the kitchens of Thomas Keller, Dean Fearing, Jean George Vongerichten, Jean Louis Paladin, Martin Berasategui, and at La Mammounia in Marakesh, Morocco. Stephen recently competed on Iron Chef in Kitchen Stadium and was victorious in “Battle Jerky”. Chef Kalt opened and continues to operate his Cal-Ital restaurant, Spartina, in Los Angeles in January of 2016.