We had the chance to interview Celebrity Chef Sammy Davis. You may know him from his appearances on TV, but the most notable one was when he won $10,000 in a redemption competition episode of “Chopped” on the Food Network.
Not only does he operate the best brunch every Sunday and own a boutique catering company, he also is a personal chef. His client list includes the like of Lil’ Wayne and Stephen Jackson, to name a few. Chef Sammy is also a sneaker head! He hosts a yearly shoe drive for underprivileged young men in the inner city, where he has personally donated over 100 pairs of shoes. Now it’s time you learn a few more things about Chef Sammy Davis and his booming restaurant, Sammoe Fud.
FE: Describe the cuisine served at your restaurant.
Chef Sammy: My specialty is brunch food, I intend to be the King of Brunch. Although I can kill any dish, brunch is my favorite to prepare. Taking ordinary dishes and making them pop and using ingredients that normally wouldn’t be fused together are the core of my culinary style. Dishes such as Capn’ Crunch Coated French Toast, Key Lime Waffles and my Crab Leg Benedict all reflect the standard of excellence that comes out of every kitchen I cook in. My Award Winning Shrimp & Grits has graced many menus and is still my most popular dish. Outside of brunch food, my general style is definitely Bold Flavor, is Asian inspired and can usually be found with an Asian twist. Now that I’m writing this I realize that there is no real way to describe my food, other than once you taste it you’ll agree it’s the best you ever had.
FE: What makes the restaurant special
Chef Sammy: The fact that it isn’t a restaurant! I’ve been operating a successful Sunday Brunch since 2001 and it moves! We go into restaurants that aren’t open for business on Sunday mornings and we take over their kitchen. In a big way. No DJs, no celebrity walk throughs…just a real focus on the food which has worked for me for many years. My supporters will follow me wherever I’m cooking and I think that’s so dope. Nothing more special than that.
FE: Where did you train (culinary school/stages)?
Chef Sammy: On the job training is where I received all of my knowledge of food and food preparation. And of course just a hunger to learn as much as I can about my chosen field. Much like life, experience is the best teacher and I have LOTS of experience.
FE: Did you grow up cooking or did cooking come to you later in life?
Chef Sammy: I began cooking because I needed a job! But anything I do, any job I’ve had – I’m the best at it. Period. Same thing with cooking, only difference is “the creative mind plays with the object it loves”…and I love food! A necessity morphed into a lifelong passion that I excel at, and the rest is history.
FE: Who in your life influenced your cooking the most?
Chef Sammy: Roy Yamaguchi hands down. He was the first one to take me in and give me a chance at cooking at a higher level.
FE: What made you decide to become a chef?
Chef Sammy: It chose me. There’s really no other explanation than that.
FE: What misconceptions do people have when they first enter the culinary field?
Chef Sammy: I’d have to say that they feel it’s some glamorous life! And the reality is that there is real work to be put in when cooking, it isn’t for the faint of heart. Much like an athlete you have to lay it all on the line when you’re in the kitchen, and it isn’t the career for everyone.
FE: What is the best cooking tip you can share for a novice?
Chef Sammy: Cook from the heart, not recipes.
FE: What are your three favorite cooking tools?
Chef Sammy: Wok, a big bowl and skewers.
FE: What is the craziest thing that has happened in your kitchen?
Chef Sammy: I don’t know if this is good or bad but a 6 person fight has to be the craziest thing that ever happened in my kitchen. It was passion for the craft I’m sure, or at least that’s the story I’m going with.
FE: What is your favorite ingredient to cook with and why?
Chef Sammy: Paul Pudhomme Blackened Redfish Magic because it’s versatile and it’s cross utilization makes my job easy in a pinch. It’s failproof.
FE: When you’re home, what is your guilty food pleasure?
Chef Sammy: Shall I name all ten of them? I’m a true foodie, I have way too many to name!
FE: What is your Favorite cookbook?
Chef Sammy: Nobu
FE: Anything we should know that should be added to this spotlight?
Chef Sammy: I’m not big on tooting my own horn, I like for my work to speak for itself but my business manager would kill me if I didn’t mention the fact that I won an episode of The Food Network’s show “Chopped” and that I won DC’s Best Main Dish with my Shrimp & Grits. I’ve worked in the kitchen at Roy’s, Silk and Bones to name a few and most recently was named by Essence one of the Top 24 foodies to follow on Instagram. My cooking class “Sit, Sip and Chew” sold out in less than 24 hours and did I mention I have the best brunch food in the world? I’d say that’s about it.
Watch Chef Sammy Davis’s second appearance on Food Networks’ Chopped: Redemption episode:
Sammoe Fud is located at 455 Boxelder Rd Atlanta GA 30349 (404) 399-4755