Chef Aksel Theilkuhl Takes Over New York's STK Downtown

From Chicago to New York City, big changes are afoot

Chef Aksel Theilkuhl

Chef Aksel Theilkuhl, formerly of BLT American Brasserie in Chicago, has been named the new executive chef at modern steakhouse STK Downtown in New York City.

Under Theilkuhl’s direction, the restaurant will add new menu items for the first time in its existence, including selections of Wagyu beef and a hamachi crudo with apple, hearts of palm, and a honey lemon vinaigrette. Other new dishes to STK Downtown are burrata and prosciutto with herb pesto, smoked pine nuts, and watercress, as well as a spiced duck breast with duck confit and Brussels sprouts hash.

Theilkuhl says his inspiration stems from old-school French chefs, and he likes simple food, focusing on cooking things properly rather than having excessive garnishes. Although he’s adding plenty of new food to the menu, he has already developed a love for STK’s bread — baked in-house — calling it "some of the best bread in New York City."

When Theilkuhl's not at his own restaurant, his New York culinary favorites include the famous halal cart on 53rd Street and Sixth Avenue, Eleven Madison Park, and JoJo, and he says he prefers small neighborhood restaurants in the East Village and the Upper East Side.

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So, it seems like Theilkuhl’s move to New York City won’t be too much of a culinary burden, at least. After all, who could hate being surrounded by all of their favorite restaurants?