After growing up in Sarasota, FL and a 25-year culinary career winding all throughout the Gulf Coast and American south, chef Stephanie Klos is bringing her coastal flair and deep seafood affinity with her all the way to Durham, North Carolina. With a degree in art history, her joining 21c Museum Hotel Durham’s Counting House restaurant is a natural fit; it is a serendipitous melding of artistry.
“We are beyond excited to have Stephanie leading the culinary team at 21c Durham and Counting House. We look forward to her amusing, light-hearted take on true southern flavors and all NC has to offer, including coastal seafood and the best seasonal produce,” says Josh Kauffman, 21c and Counting House’s Food & Beverage Director.
Through delightful flavor profiles and irreverent interpretations, Stephanie’s techniques make exceptional-quality seafood approachable to all. With a spirited menu that doesn’t take itself too seriously, diners will find tongue-in-cheek additions like “Calabash-Fried Chicken Oysters” and a “Crispy Oyster Mushroom” right at home with whole roasted Branzino and pan-seared scallops. An emphasis on local purveyors and NC-sourced seafood honors the rich coastal culinary depth across the Carolinas, prepared with a soulful reverence and appreciation.
Stephanie credits her exposure to cultural diversity in different restaurant kitchens as her encouragement to boldly experiment with flavors and tastes, and to keep things “simple, but amazing.”
“I like to layer flavors and show off a lot of attitude,” says Klos. “We want our food to be soul-nourishing, and to pay homage to North Carolina in our own, playful way. We will capitalize on our rich seafood while doing it on our own style, making it accessible to everyone and encouraging them to try a lot of different things.”
Says Vanessa Miller, 21c Museum Hotel’s Senior Director of Food & Beverage: “We are thrilled to see Stephanie bring her culinary vision and leadership to Counting House and 21c Durham. Her passion is palpable and her many years of experience working with fresh coastal ingredients makes her the perfect fit for North Carolina and Counting House.”
About 21c Museum Hotel Durham and Counting House
Since 2015, 21c Museum Hotel in Durham has been engaging visitors and locals alike with some of the world’s best contemporary art. Housed in Durham’s historic Hill Building, an Art Deco landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places, 21c Durham is a 125-room boutique hotel with more than 10,500 square feet of exhibition space. Curated exhibitions and site-specific installations reflect the global nature of contemporary culture and are on display 24/7, completely free of charge.
At Counting House restaurant, local cuisine meets bold flavors and playful execution. A seafood-driven menu set amongst the art of today, designed to provide you with an easy-going escape that will feed your soul.