10 Questions: Jamie Samford

Categories: Ten Questions

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Jim White, left, enjoys one of chef Samford's creations
As Winn Meats corporate executive chef, you'd expect Samford to know his brisket, his steak...hell, anything carved, cured or barbecued.

Before stepping into this role, he developed Central Market's "fresh market" concept in Dallas, so he's well versed in the corporate world. But he trained first with Stephan Pyles then Dean Fearing and worked many restaurant kitchens--most notably opening Lola to local acclaim.

Also such publications as Southern Living and Food & WIne have picked up his recipes, few are likely to add him to their film critic list...

1. What is so damn fascinating about beef? No matter what happens, no matter what people say, whether it's considered good for you or bad for you, people still love it. Something about meat on a fire is so primal.

2. How is grass-fed beef different? Grass fed means the animal takes on flavors of where it was raised. It will taste of the local grass. They all eat grass in the beginning. Me, personally, I prefer beef finished on grain. There's more marbling.

3. Wet aged or dry aged? Well, it depends on what you're looking for. Dry aged is a luxury item, like foie gras. You don't want to have it every day. It has a distinct flavor and it costs more...and some people don't like it. Dry aging impacts flavor and tenderness, wet aging just affects tenderness. But the most important thing is you gotta have some aging.

4. How 'bout ordering well-done? Nightmare--for so many reasons. Thick steak takes forever to cook well-done. And you're just ruining it. But it's your business.

5. How many bottles of A-1 do you have at home? I do have a bottle. I make a little secret sauce for the kids out of everything I can find, so I always keep a bottle around. They love it.

6. John Wayne or Clint Eastwood? I gotta go with Clint. I love John Wayne--don't get me wrong--but I'll go with Clint. Have you seen Gran Torino? It's badass.

7. What's you're favorite cowboy movie? Blazing Saddles, without question.

8. Ever been to a rodeo? I think I have, once--in college. Those guys who ride bulls are insane.

9. Whatever happened to steak and eggs for breakfast? You still set it a little--places like Denny's. But a great steak is a little too much for breakfast anymore. But sometimes I'll take leftover meat and make steak and eggs.

10. Your favorite salad is...? I love salad I went to Parigi for lunch the other day and they had this kick ass pork tenderloin salad with pears, blue cheese--it was a great winter salad.


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