Chef Schaefer and family 1992

About Chef

Chef Schaefer Jacksonville Magazine Cover 1991
At age 14, Steven Schaefer was looking for a part time job after school and landed a dishwasher position in a small Michigan restaurant.  He was fascinated by what was going on in the kitchen. By age 19 he was promoted to the head chef of that same restaurant at the Richmond Mill Inn in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

He eventually got a job at the Ritz-Carlton in Chicago, then other hotels around the country, from The Breakers in Palm Beach; Westchester Country Club in New York; the Executive Hotel in San Diego; the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas; the Four Seasons in Washington, DC; the Doubletree in Marina del Ray where he was nominated by the California Restaurant Writers Association as Chef of the Year; then executive sous chef at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead in 1990.

It was in Buckhead where Chef Schaefer met a young Matthew Medure fresh out of culinary school. The following year Chef Schaefer was hired as the executive chef at the opening of the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, bringing Chef Medure to work alongside him in his kitchen.

During his time at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Chef Schaefer was instrumental in organizing such events as the Concourse de Elegance, Festival of New World Cusine as well as hosting many Chaîne des Rôtisseurs dinners.

He went on to open other Ritz-Carlton properties as the Food and Beverage Director in Naples and the General Manager in Jupiter and back to Amelia Island as the Hotel Manager. In between Chef Schaefer spent some time in the Bahamas working at the Atlantis Resort, and opened his own restaurant in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois.

Chef Schaefer wedding 1990

Married for over 31 years with three children and one granddaughter, Chef Schaefer is a professional, but first and foremost, a family man.

Fast forward to 2013 and looking to return to the Jacksonville area, Chef Schaefer reconnects with his protégé, Matthew Medure, and the two become business partners. Matthew and his brother David had just launched the first M Shack in Atlantic Beach and Chef Schaefer comes on board as the Managing Partner. 

After nearly a decade together and ready for a new adventure, Chef Schaefer was given the opportunity to start Cowfeathers. Join us in our newest chapter and enjoy the fresh flavors created by an award winning Chef who always cooks with love.

Chef Schaefer through the years

Chef Schaefer at sons wedding 2018
Chef Schaefer at daughters wedding 2014
Chef Schaefer with Granddaughter 2022

Chef Schaefer NYE 1995 Ritz Carlton
Chef Schaefer and son 1996
Chefs of the Ritz Carlton

Chef Schaefer Wedding 1990
Chef Schaefer New Years Day 1995 Ritz Carlton