Confessions of Sam Austin

Published in FSD Update

Claridge Court's Sam Austin treasures his health, loves cheese and ice cream and wishes he could read minds.

Sam Austin, CDM, executive chef at Claridge Court, in Prairie Village, Kan., treasures his health, loves cheese and ice cream and wishes he could read minds.

Q. What is the best part of your job?

Having everything I need to do my job well. Our company asks for the best and gives us the budgets so we can do it.

Q. What is the worst part of your job?

 I can’t think of any. This is the best job I have ever had. 

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

Losing weight and regaining my health.

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

Teaching kids. I love open minds willing to learn. 

Q. Which talent would you most like to have?

To be able to read minds.

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

My metabolism!

Q. What is your greatest fear?

Losing a child or my spouse.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

My boss, Jamie McCarthy. He has helped me become a better thinker and more easy-going. 

Q. What is your favorite meal?

Rib eye cooked over charcoal, grilled corn and crusty French bread.

Q. What is your "guilty pleasure?"

Ice cream.

Q. What will people always find in your refrigerator?

Cheese.

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

Foams.

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

Rocky Mountain oysters. 

Q. What are your words to live by?

Always tell the truth ... no matter how badly you screwed up!

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

I would love to attend the U.S. Open tennis tournament. 

Q. What would be your dream vacation?

Four months in Colorado, spring through early winter.

Q. What is your most treasured possession?

My health. 

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

I would like to have been at the signing of the United States Constitution.

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

Ronald Reagan.

Q. Who is your favorite celebrity chef?

Lidia Bastianich—but Julia Child was my mentor by proxy. Her books got me my first chef’s job.