Chef Jason Smith of Steak 954 on Dietary Issues, Vegetarians
When you think of steak-house chefs, images of big old guys with tall chefs hats and curly mustachios probably spring to mind. These are the guys who will cook your steak only au poivre medium-rare, served with potatoes, butter-drenched cognac sauce, and a few pieces of veg -- for color.
Photo couresy Carma PR
Steak 954's Jason Smith is not one of those guys.
A farm boy from Indiana, Smith loves his vegetables and is actually rather health-conscious. As someone who has issues with lactose and (possibly) gluten himself, he's really one of those chefs who is more than happy to accommodate whatever dietary needs are thrown his way -- but most of his food sways toward the wholesome side anyway.
We chatted with Smith about his new fall menu and his takes on the new, healthier-food scene.
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Just released last week, Smith's fall menu incorporates a wide range of lighter seafood plates, such as the organic scottish salmon ($28) with tomato relish, shaved fennel, and soft herb salad; and the yellowfin tuna tartar ($16) with lemon aioli, radish sprouts, and cowboy potato chips, as well as healthier side dishes and vegetables like smoked cauliflower and kale ($9).
"I grew up on a farm, and I really like vegetables and the way vegetables are supposed to taste," said Smith.
When Steak 954 first opened its doors, it served heavy sides like cauliflower with melted havarti and bacon to now smoking the cauliflower itself and serving it with kale and pickled onions -- a health-conscious offering that customers are all about. It went from selling more house-made tater tots than any other side to now pumping out asparagus like its going out of style.