Hot and Soul's Mike Hampton and Christy Samoy Q&A, Part One: "I'm Kind of a Mad Scientist in the Kitchen"
Between construction and permitting, getting your name out there, growing a customer base, and ironing out all the details in dishes and service, it's a big freaking deal -- and a ton of work.
This week, one of Fort Lauderdale's favorite craft beer and casual food concepts is turning 1.
Hot and Soul has made it through its first year in business.
To celebrate, we chatted with chef/owners Mike Hampton and Christy Samoy about their favorite food and being a "Mad Scientist in the Kitchen."
Check out part one of our two-part Q&A interview with them.
Clean Plate Charlie: First things first: For those who don't know, how would you define your style of cooking?
Samoy: As Mike would say, I'm kind of a mad scientist in the kitchen. My style is more homey than technical. Sometimes I start with a recipe for something I want to make, but then I change it here or there. I don't actually use accurate measurements either. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn't. Honestly, you know what probably inspires me the most, besides going out to eat -- all
TV and movies, and books if I ever get a chance to read them. Seriously, if I see a TV
scene set at a Japanese restaurant, then I will want to make a Japanese noodle bowl or
a cucumber salad. There is a Francesca Lia Block story titled "Charm." The main character has a traumatizing experience, and a stranger rescues her and feeds her jasmine rice with coconut milk, mint, and chilies. That dish got stuck in my head when I
read the story. One time when I was sick, that's what I wanted. That was my version of
chicken noodle soup.
Hampton: My cooking style is deﬁnitely casual and unpretentious. You won't ﬁnd any micro greens on my food. Christy and I have lived in a lot of places over the years, and our cooking reﬂects that. I'm still totally inspired by "hole in the wall" ethnic places! I just realized how I hate the phrase, "hole in the wall." Anyway, went to Panya Thai in Miami last week, and it blew me away. Just as good as some of the great Thai restaurants in San Diego and L.A. I've been doing a bunch of Thai specials since then.