StillRoom’s Executive Chef Sam Goldman: cooking confidential

Sam Goldman has been around in the restaurant business. A founding member of Kitchen Confidential and homeboy to Anthony Bourdain, he’s worked at several top restaurants in New York for a big chunk of his life until he eventually left the scene. He hasn’t cooked in a professional kitchen in almost a decade. Where’s he been? Selling meats for Prime Selection Meat and Seafood Company.

But the man is back in the kitchen at Pasadena’s new restaurant, The StillRoom Seafood Restaurant & Lounge. We had a chance to sit down with him and find out exactly what’s been going on in his life.

Early Sam

After graduating from Boston University with a degree completely unrelated to food, Sam was mainly focused on having a good time in Cape Cod. He would take any job he could get to just party it up and live the life. As you might know, this makes him a good candidate to fill some lowly roll in a restaurant, and he’s done pretty much all of them. The man is drawn to the kitchen, which eventually led him to an opportunity in New York.

Big city cooking

Starting at Montana Eve in West Village, Sam quickly learned the trade of a fast-paced New York kitchen. Building up his staff, he hired a fresh-out-of CIA high school buddy of his, Anthony Bourdain. Montana Eve marks the first instance of their kitchen collaboration, a relationship that would persist through their years cooking in New York.

The restaurant was sold, at 23, Sam was offered the head chef job by the owners, but he declined. Instead, over the next ten years, he made various moves throughout New York with him and Bourdain hiring each other whenever the opportunity came.

Doing what he loves

He has a revelation one day. He’s good in the kitchen. He likes it. Why not cook again? Weeks after making the decision, chance puts him in contact with Dawn Jones, Kevin and Leslie Farrell and Kasey Lloyd who were deep in development for StillRoom. And that’s where he is now, because they hired him immediately.

Moving pictures

We asked Sam a bunch of questions, these are his answer. Check out the video.