Oddfellows Chef Brady Williams on Running a Smooth Kitchen and His Bon Iver-Inspired Dish

Categories: Interviews

Kelsey Foster
Brady Williams, with visions of a Tom Waits Gumbo dancing in his head.
In part one of our three parter, Oddfellows Chef Brady Williams told us about his icy road to cooking, while part two covered his take on the Dallas food scene. Today we learn a little about how he runs things in his restaurants and end with a discussion on music, photography and tattoos.

How do you deal with negative feedback in your restaurants?
I think that something can always be gained whether that feedback is positive or negative. There have been times when I've had to come out to a table or someone has gotten my attention in the dining room. If there is an issue and they want to speak with me, then usually the feedback is constructive. The goal is to really just approach those situations with an open-ear and humility and try and make it right, both this time and moving forward. There's always room for improvement.

Now that you are in the role of Food and Beverage Director for Oddfellows, Eno's and the new place in the West Village, what do you consider key to keep things running smoothly in the front of the restaurant?
I don't work directly with the servers a lot, but with that said, so much of what they do is tied to the operations of the kitchen, there is some overlap. The biggest thing is communication and making sure they have the information necessary about our food and beverage programs to provide an enjoyable experience for the guest.

On the bar and coffee side, so much of that centers around hospitality. Mostly I'll work closely with our leadership in each program, making sure that both the quality of product and service are where we expect them to be. Sometimes that means rolling up the sleeves and slinging food and drinks on the line, and other times it means empowering our managers to make the decisions and carry out our vision while playing support.

What are your favorite foodie books?
French Laundry By Thomas Keller
On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee
Ideas in Food by Aki Kamozawa
Mission Street Food by Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz
Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine by René Redzepi

Have you ever considered hosting a music-inspired dinner party?
I have actually been talking about doing a dinner paired to music for about a year now. The structure, form, story, time and place, and mood of a song would all influence each dish.

Have you come up with any solid concepts yet?
I've been working on a dish inspired by a Bon Iver concert. It's still in the conceptual phase, but the theme would be "a winter's hunt in the woods." I'm thinking some sort of game with "soil" and "snow," baby carrots or maybe even beets, with a puree of beets or some kind of berry reduction to produce a blood-splatter effect on the plate. That's more of a rough sketch than anything, but kind of an idea on the thought process.

Also, I'm really excited to do a Tom Waits' Alice-inspired dish. I'm not sure which song, but it's a really gritty album with some jazz influence. Songs of forbidden love and despair and death. It's probably going to turn into a play on gumbo with blood sausage or heart.

If you could travel anywhere for dinner tonight, where would you go?
Japan. It's on my bucket list. My lineage starts in Japan. My great grandfather was a photographer and was recruited to document the war under the command of Captain Edward Steichen. He lived there for quiet some time; my grandmother and mother were both born in Japan.

He must have been an accomplished photographer?
His name was Horace Bristol. He became close with a group called f/64 that was a photography collective in San Francisco, which Ansel Adams was a part of. He was commissioned by Life to photograph migrant farm workers in California during the Great Depression, and he actually hired John Steinbeck to write for his project, which eventually turned into the Grapes of Wrath. It was all amazing work. I've taken copies of his work to a tattoo artist to study and create illustrations from both his work in California and Japan for a sleeve on my right arm.

Location Info


316 W. 7th St., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

Good series.  What a bright and talented young man.  What is the new place in West Village.  Particularly glad he is overseeing Eno's.  I love the pizza, best in Dallas, but they really need some help, particularly in the front.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Dear LDD,   Ask the chef if the Dutch Oven (see, food related!) will have a quality start on Saturday?  I think they should start Feldy, but, cain't discounts Warsh's baseball knowledge!  Besides, as a wised sage once pronounced, "dat da way baseball go".  I think it was Pliny, or Saint Thomas-maybe Maimonides.  Heck it could have been Barney, my neighbor; the guy that refuses to cut his yard, and has a trash pile that includes food wrappers, tree limbs, dog pookey, and other assorted treats deciduous to a garbage dump.  Anyhew, does the think Orlando Scandrink can contain the Patriots offense.  How about that turd with legs on the other side?  You could look at T.New and break his leg!  Meanwhile, I have a boil on my back that looks like a Philly CheeseSteak (also food related!) that was left out and attacked by wild beavers.  Oh, beavers are wild?  Do you know of any ointment or suave I can apply to make said bulbous rupture subside?  Do I get a food truck story this week?  

Kergie out?  Maybe.

Top Country Artists of all Time:(and not crappy, poppy Garth Brooks country)-Hank-Webb Pierce-Faron Young-Carter Family-Louvin Bros.-Gram Parsons-Waylon-Willie/Shaver/Kris K-Cashy-Merle-Bill Monroe-Elvis-Dwight-The Long Riders

Crappy Country:That little bald guy that sings about Dixie Cups-Kenny Something?Garth BrooksChris GainesAnything on the radio today, except for angry Jack.


A dinner paired to music? A dish inspired by Bon Iver? I'm in.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Thank you!  Although I'm neither young or bright; being of Italian heritage.  The rest of that crap, I dunno what you mean, except for that Dallas needs help.  I concur.  The damn thing is broken......OKC and Little Rock are the new Dallas'.


Not a lesbian, but thanks for playing!

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

yeah but you do like:-soap's-romantic comedies-that stupid show with Simon Cowell.......right?

Now Trending

From the Vault