Stephen Stromberg: Executive Chef at Sapporo, Triathlete

Stephen Stromberg, executive chef at Sapporo in Scottsdale, photographed at Sapporo by Nicki Escudero

Stephen Stromberg, executive chef at Sapporo in Scottsdale, photographed at Sapporo by Nicki Escudero

Stephen Stromberg
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It’s impossible not to be drawn toward Sapporo in Scottsdale. The fire outside beckons you in, and the tasty sushi inside keeps you coming back. Executive chef Stephen Stromberg is at the helm in the kitchen, shaking up menus twice a year with innovative bites such as the Scottsdale roll, with crab, avocado, spicy scallops, and kaiware; and the Diamondback, with salmon, crab mix and sauteed onions, topped with shrimp.

While diners can expect classic favorites such as tempura, Stromberg’s a health-conscious chef who strives to integrate as much fresh produce as possible into his offerings. The 39-year-old Phoenix resident is a vegan and a triathlete, and worked as an executive chef in Boulder before working at the Valley’s Roy’s, Latitude 30, Pure, and Radio Milano. He’s now been at Sapporo for more than three years, with the restaurant going strong and open for more than 12 years. Check out his special holiday menu the weekend before New Year’s Eve, and read on for Stromberg’s plans in the Valley’s dining scene. Keep scrolling to watch him say his five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

I was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and my immediate family moved to Colorado when I was 11. I’ve been in the Valley for almost 15 years. My dad had moved out here, and I had come a couple times to visit and liked it. When I came in 1998, I was young and wanted to try it for a year or two – now here I am almost 15 years later. Continue reading