Confessions of Jay Silverstein

Credit Suisse's Jay Silverstein admires Julia Child and loves roast chicken.

Jay Silverstein can't resist peanut M&Ms, doesn't get the Atkin's Diet and wants to be a ventriloquist.

Q. What is the best part of your job?

Working with people who I really respect and enjoy sharing the challenges with.

Q. What is the worst part of your job?

All of the paperwork and reporting.   

Q. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Being awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from SFM.

Q. What is the most unusual foodservice/catering request you have ever received?

A nationally prominent public speaker’s rider called for two bottles of Jonny Walker Black (Scotch) and a stool that is no more than 29 ¾-inches off the floor.  The speaker finished almost one of the bottles before speaking and most of the second afterwards.

Q. If you weren't in foodservice what would you be doing?

Some type of trade, such as plumber, electrician, etc. 

Q. Which talent would you most like to have?

To be a ventriloquist. I have a very large puppet collection, but I'm not very good at making the puppets speak without my mouth moving.

Q. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Not to wear my heart on my shoulder as much. You can always tell when something is troubling me or if I am worried about something.

Q. What is your greatest fear?

Going over bridges and driving off of them.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

She is an absolute rock. Kim can handle herself in any situation and talk to anyone. I would not be as successful if it was not for her.  

Q. What is your favorite meal?

Homemade roasted chicken (well cooked with crispy skin), sweet potatoes and roasted Brussel spouts with fresh garlic.

Q. What is your "guilty pleasure?"

Peanut M&M's.

Q. What will people always find in your refrigerator?

Lots and lots of condiments and a ton of fresh garlic.

Q. What food fad do you wish had never started?

The Atkin’s Diet. Everyone started eating huge amounts of protein, including pork and thought it was going to help with their weight loss long term. Yes, it did cause you to loss weight, but once you stopped [the diet], the weight just came back, sometimes twice as much.  

Q. What is the weirdest food you have ever eaten?

P'tcha.  It is an old-world eastern European dish, made from calves feet, hard-boiled eggs and garlic all bound up in a jelly like substance.  

Q. What do you consider to be the most overrated foodservice trend?

Food facilities that are totally healthy. 

Q. Read the book or see the movie?

See the movie.

Q. Are you a morning or evening person?

Morning.

Q. What are your words to live by?

Life’s too short, eat dessert first!

Q. If you had a time machine what historical event or era would you visit?

The Colonial era. I would have loved to been at that first Thanksgiving feast. Thanksgiving is one of my very favorite holidays and I love to cook the big meal and watch everyone enjoy it.

Q. What do you value most in a friend?

Honesty and the ability to laugh at themselves.

Q. What would be your dream vacation?

On an island with a beautiful secluded beach and mountains all around on three sides. However there better be a four star resort right round the bend out of view.

Q. If you could eat dinner with anyone living or dead, who would it be?

Julia Child. She was cutting edge for her time. Julia always seemed to be having fun in the kitchen.

Q. What activity is at the top of your bucket list?

Climb Mount Everest.

Q. Who is your favorite celebrity chef?

Martin Yan. Martin has more fun doing what he does, and is always making jokes about what he is cooking or himself.