Meet Stephen

Stephen Evans is the head chef for the University of Missouri Athletic Dining and has been hidden away in the back of kitchens since he was sixteen years old. His passion for cooking was developed at a young age. Without the grades, maturity, or a proper financial situation to attend college or culinary school, he enlisted in the United States Navy at the age of eighteen to serve his country while receiving help from his Uncle Sam to continue his culinary career. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in 2005 and he attended New Mexico State University that fall, pursuing his bachelor's degree in Hotel Restaurant Tourism Management. In December of 2009 he graduated from New Mexico State University and set out to find a "real" job. He was hired on as the chef for the Tigers in 2010 and moved to Columbia, Missouri and has lived there ever since. Around the same time, he discovered his hidden talent for writing children's stories. With his culinary career starting to take off, the stories and writing would sit on the back burner to stew until the summer of 2016. Two things happened that summer that would change his life. The first was his return to Olhuvelifushi to deliver his "Maldivian Stephen"  book to the students on the island. The second was something that only could have happened because of a chain of serendipitous and somewhat inexplicable events which caused Stephen and Mic Ru (Rain Bear Design Studios) to finally meet. They created 2nd Tour Publishing and, since that day, his stories are coming to life.  His first book, The Bee Who Sneezed won the 2016 McGrath House Independent Book Award for Children’s Books.  Stephen is now sharing his books in person as a guest author in classrooms in both Missouri and New Mexico.  He also participates in book  signing events and loves to collect pictures of both children and adults reading his books.