11 Things You Should Know About Oatmeal Guru Samantha Stephens

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11 Things You Should Know About Oatmeal Guru Samantha Stephens
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11 Things You Should Know About Oatmeal Guru Samantha Stephens

Meet Samantha Stephens, the owner of OatMeals in New York City's West Village and Creative Oatmeal Officer for Quaker. Read on to learn more about her journey into all things oatmeal.

Of course she eats oatmeal...

"I'd say five bowls a week. Some weeks it is every day!" shares Sam. She enjoys oatmeal at all times of the day—not just for breakfast!

Favorite Non-Oatmeal Dish

"I love to eat and really enjoy dining out with friends," says Sam. "My perfect meal would start with beef tartare. I'm obsessed with beef tartare right now. I love burrata cheese, grilled octopus and scallops. I'm really into roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and I love a good steak or veal Milanese."

Image Credit: Getty Images

Favorite Restaurants

Beyond OatMeals, "I love a restaurant in the West Village called Commerce. It's my go-to spot [and] it's consistently awesome," Sam enthuses. "I really like this Italian spot called L'Artusi, also in the West Village. The Smith is consistently great and affordable in the East Village. I have a lot of fun at Lafayette, which is an Andrew Carmellini restaurant. For takeout I love Keste Pizza, [and] I like Mamoun's Falafel, both located in the Village right near my store."

Image Credit: Getty Images

Favorite Oatmeal Creation

"I'm really into anything with goat cheese. It's surprising how well goat cheese works with oatmeal!" Samantha explains. "So I like that Devils Off Horseback one that's on the menu right now, which is goat cheese, bacon, dates, maple syrup and almonds. It's like a deconstructed version of the classic appetizer from the '60s, the Devil's On Horseback. It's really great."

Image Credit: Getty Images

Childhood Dream

"I wanted to be an artist," Samantha admits. "I was really into painting and sculpting. I would even take pieces of wood and chisel them with a hammer and a flat-head screw driver. I would make my mom take me to all the DC art galleries and lots of craft and art stories for supplies. I kind of gave up on that dream, but I think I still really have a creative, artistic side. I see it in my pastries and oatmeal creations."

Image Credit: Getty Images

Incorporating Art

"I do most of the the chalkboard signs for the store. Right now, we're highlighting this Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Oatmeal and I drew a roasted red pepper. My employees are always like 'Wow, you can draw!' I have fun with that. That's really the only artistic kind of stuff I do, other than food styling," Samantha explains.

Earliest Memory of Food

"My grandparents lived really close by and they had a large garden. [My grandfather] grew up in Tennessee on a farm, so he was used to working with vegetables and fruits. We would grow tomatoes and cucumbers and green beans. I remember how wonderful it was to have tomatoes fresh out of the garden or a cucumber at room temperature. We grew watermelon as well," reminisces Samantha.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Hidden Talents

"I love to dance," Sam reveals. "I can sing. I almost became an exercise instructor at one point, [and] I studied French in college. I understand a lot of French, [and] I guess I speak a lot of [it]. I am getting a little rusty."

Image Credit: Getty Images

Guilty Pleasure Food

"My guilty pleasure food is gummy bears for sure. I love any gummy snacks really. And then of course, white wine," Samantha admits.

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Biggest Pet Peeve

"Lateness is one pet peeve for me. Also, bad service. Now that I'm working in food service daily, you can very quickly realize when service is bad at a restaurant. Not that I'm super picky, but when service is bad, it can sort of ruin your dining experience," Sam explains.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Most Inspiring Chefs

"David Chang and his Momofuku restaurant group empire, Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune restaurant in New York City and author of Blood, Bones, and Butter (the best food memoir I've ever read), as well as April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig, The Breslin and John Dory Oyster Bar. These innovative chefs influenced my decision to attend culinary school, and have opened my eyes to the various avenues to success this industry offers," Samantha enthuses.

Image Credit: Getty Images


Samantha Stephens started eating oatmeal in college to help her live on a budget and help shed the "Freshman 15". At the time, no one would have expected the Virginia native, who graduated with a psychology degree and went on to work in the investment banking world, to later create a novel restaurant concept—the world's first oatmeal bar.

Delve a little deeper, and you'll realize that Sam has an untapped creative side with a passion for dance and art (she still does the chalkboard art at the store) and that nearly led her to become a Pilates instructor! Now, as the proud owner of OatMeals in New York City's West Village and as Quaker's Creative Oatmeal Officer, she channels that creativity in coming up with unexpected and delicious ways to enjoy oatmeal.

Check out the slideshow above to learn more about the OatMeals founder and her start into the business of oatmeal.

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