Chef Jason Smith of Steak 954 on Dietary Issues, Vegetarians

Categories: Interviews

Carma PR
Since opening the restaurant in 2009, Smith says the concept has slowly evolved from a normal steak house into more. While the spot still specializes in high-end steaks, both Smith and his customers started gravitating to lighter, healthier fare. With five out of eight entrées made of seafood -- excluding the steak, of course -- it's swayed toward the pescatarian side. Fish is now one of the most heavily ordered selections off the menu.

"It's kind of a running joke in the kitchen," he said. "We're given ourselves the nickname of Fish 954. We do a lot of vegetable and vegan plates too, though."

While Smith is more than happy to cook a steak, he's personally into eating as well as possible. He eats a lot of lentils, quinoa, beans, and vegetables, and he's mostly cut out gluten and dairy -- aside from tasting at work.

Ten years ago, he discovered he has issues with lactose, and he's recently started testing himself for gluten sensitivities. Because of his own intolerances, he readily caters to his customers requests.

"It used to be a trend that chefs wouldn't leave something out of a dish," he said. "Earlier in my career, I may have had a problem doing so myself; but personally, I can't eat dairy, lactic acid, so I get it."

Of course, if you're still looking to dig in on some cholesterol-heavy lactose- and gluten-filled options, like $65 954 Cheesesteak with Wagyu rib eye, truffle cheese whiz, and foie gras on a fresh baked brioche with a glass of champagne, Smith will also make that happen.

Steak 954 is located at 401 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-414-8333, or visit

Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.

Location Info

Steak 954

401 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL

Category: Restaurant

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