An interview with Executive Chef & HOT BLOXX Founder Kevin Levine, by Matthew Cecil in Meet the Industry
As an Executive Chef, have you ever laid up late at night dreaming about starting your own business? But you then get tired, fall asleep, and get back into your normal routine and forget your dreams. That is all too common.
Executive Chef Kevin Levine decided he could sleep when he is dead. He would lay in bed late at night, angry because he was spending money on garbage wood and poly cutting boards at his restaurant Scatori's Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria in Myrtle beach. So 3 months ago, after a 15-hour day at the restaurant, he [Kevin] went to his wife and said he was going to make his own cutting board. Little did he or his business partner/wife, Stephanie know that Kevin’s passion would lead to the creation of his own cutting board company ~ HOT BLOXX. Hot Bloxx Cutting Boards are now in 17 states in the U.S., and 3 different countries. This husband and wife ran company is set up to do incredible things across the globe.
“The whole story behind Hot Bloxx in kind of comical. A few months ago after spending all of this money on crappy wood & poly boards I was fed up," recalls Kevin. "I went to my wife and said that I was going to create a cutting board. At first, she didn’t take me seriously because outside of the kitchen I couldn't even fix a loose drawer in the house."
At this point, I didn’t even have a set of tools so I took it upon myself to figure out how to make this work. I got a credit card at Lowes, bought some small hand tools, and started to spend hundred of hours watching people on YouTube making cutting boards. After learning the basics, I bought my first round of wood and went into the garage when my wife went to sleep, and started to work on the cutting board. Two weeks later, I finished my first cutting board. When I first showed my wife and business partner Stephanie the cutting board I said look at this Hot Bloxx and it [the name] STUCK!”
How do you manage to be an Executive Chef and run Hot Bloxx Cutting Boards at the same time?
My day starts at 7:30AM 6 days a week, and I work until 10PM at Scatori's. I go home shower and work in the shop from 11-2:30 AM. I firmly believe that unless you put something in you don’t get anything out… You have to grind. My father taught me at a young age that you need to work hard and go after whatever you want. "Dreams are only realities that have no come true yet." I dream all of the time and the dreams always seem to turn into realities eventually.
What makes Hot Bloxx a unique cutting board?
I know it sounds cheesy, but it [secret] is the love that I put into every board at Hot Bloxx. Every chef will understand what that means because they do it every day with their food. These boards are literally custom made for every chef.
"As an Executive Chef myself I just want a cutting board that it is going to do the job and look great." Hot Bloxx boards are durable, they won’t warp, and we stand behind them 100% (View our guarantee). If they splinter or crack I am going to replace it…no questions asked.
How did you get started in the Industry?
My aunt and uncle had a pizzeria and at 9 years old I remember wandering into the kitchen. I told my aunt and uncle that I was going to have my own restaurant at 9. After high school, I was accepted into culinary school at Johnson and Wales University in Miami, Florida. After graduating, I went to work at The Ritz-Carlton in Washington D.C. From there, I worked at Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Restaurants in Florida, and became an Executive Chef at Sea World Orlando Dining. Seven and a half years ago, I met my beautiful wife Steph, moved to Myrtle Beach, and began making history as the Executive Chef of Scatori's Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria.
You can even catch Chef Kevin on the Food Network’s Cut Throat Kitchen Easter Morning!
Interested in getting in contact with Chef Kevin?
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He also wants you to call him directly anytime. As he says, “my phone is on all the time.” His direct phone number is 843.424.5335.