Celebrity chef Sammy Davis is the go-to chef for creative dishes and soul food that truly pleases your soul. He has established himself as one of the best in the culinary world, and is currently creating southern soul food favorites in the kitchen at Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn Seafood. Chef Sammy is also the mastermind behind the culinary delights at hip-hop artist T.I.’s ATL restaurant, Scales 925.
Just in time for the holidays, SoulTrain.com caught up with the 2012 season winner of Food Network’s CHOPPED: Redemption Competition and the 2011 winner of D.C’s Best Main Dish to talk good eats, and to get a few quick holiday pointers.
SoulTrain.com: How did you get your start in the food industry?
Chef Sammy Davis: I got my start in the early ‘90s, as a child. Fast food restaurants is where I started, then I moved on to fast casual then up to fine dining. It has been a long journey.
SoulTrain.com: What was the inspiration behind Sweet Auburn Seafood? Why select a seafood restaurant in Atlanta, GA?
Chef Sammy Davis: I was brought into the project early on. I always wanted to do a seafood spot. Seafood is what I love!
SoulTrain.com: What is it like to orchestrate the food menu for hip-hop artist T.I’s restaurant, Scales 925? What is the best item on the menu?
Chef Sammy Davis: The best menu item is the shrimp and grits. This menu is fun because it’s soul food, and soul food is easy!
SoulTrain.com: What is your favorite ingredient to work with?
Chef Sammy Davis: Sweet chili sauce, hands down!
SoulTrain.com: What do you think is the most challenging ingredient to work with?
Chef Sammy Davis: Onions! I hate them but they are in a lot of recipes.
SoulTrain.com: Where does your food inspiration come from?
Chef Sammy Davis: Asia is my main inspiration. I love Asian food and cooking techniques.
SoulTrain.com: What’s your favorite dish to create during the holidays?
Chef Sammy Davis: Golden crusted stuffed cornish hens with giblet gravy.
SoulTrain.com: Give SoulTrain.com readers advice for creating something new and traditional for Thanksgiving. Maybe a hidden ingredient or trick to make a dish pop.
Chef Sammy Davis: Brine your turkey first. It makes the turkey extremely moist.
Join Chef Sammy Davis for Sit, Sip and Chew in Atlanta on November 21. Tickets are available via Eventbrite.
Jamillah Rahmaad is a public relations consultant and entertainment journalist located in Atlanta, GA. In 2013, she founded Soukle, an organization specifically designed to engage professionals after work. She enjoys journalism on topics such as profiled interviews, special events, and business topics. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @Jai_Soapbox.