Sam Smith of Portland's Tusk Keeps His Shroom Chocolates Next to the Laughing Cow
We snuck in while he was napping and took some photos.
Left image via Tusk; all other photos by the author.
Welcome to Fridge Tours, where we peek inside the personal refrigerators of chefs, bartenders, and food world personalities to see how they eat off the clock, in the privacy of their own homes. For our second installment, we raided the fridge of Sam Smith from Submarine Hospitality Group in Portland, OR.
Sam Smith is the executive chef at Tusk in Portland, where he crafts a Middle Eastern-inspired menu that’s so “vegetable-forward,” local farmers refer to the place as a “veggie farmer’s black hole.” I showed up at his house the Saturday of Feast, one of Oregon’s largest food festivals. It had been a long week, and the text I got from Sam before arriving was “I’m napping on my couch, door is open.” He’d been busy pretty much every day of the festival, cooking at private dinners and the larger festival events. It’s a big week for Portland chefs. I’m not expecting to find many veggies or other signs of life hiding here.
I walked in and, sure as shit, Sam was lying on his couch, eyes half-open. I didn’t waste any time and started snapping some pics of his fridge before peeling Sam off his couch to come eat dinner with me in a nearby strip club.
Name: Sam Smith
Job: Executive chef and partner at Tusk
How long have you lived in your current place? 3 years
What's the oldest thing in your fridge? Oyster sauce
Most random? "Someone gave me a mushroom chocolate at one of the Feast events, and I had nowhere to stash it, so I stuck it into a rubber glove… it now lives in the cheese drawer next to the Laughing Cow."
Speaking of that Laughing Cow... is it yours? "Yes, I’m secretly obsessed with Laughing Cow. When I went to Morocco a few years ago, it was used in a bunch of street food. One of my favorites was Moroccan bread cut open, spread with Laughing Cow, hot boiled potatoes, hard-boiled egg, and harissa. One of the simplest and most satisfying things I've ever eaten. I recreate it as a snack every few weeks when I have a craving. I really like to eat it on toast with dates, too!"
What do you always keep stocked? "Sauerkraut, kimchi, mayo, mustard, hot sauce, dates, bread."
Tell me about the exterior fridge decor sitch? (I'm talking about that picture of the Biebs, in particular.) "Mostly a random collection of things from the past few years. Some stuff left by an ex, some by a past roommate. I think he was responsible for the Bieber and Pokemon art. His name is Garrett Durant and he's a beautiful human."
Do you always have leftover rice from Chinese food? Is that going to turn into fried rice? "Not always, but when I do, it usually gets turned into fried rice."
Saw the Easy Day Kolsch... what's your beer situation usually? "That’s my roommate's, I don't really drink beer. Will have a Rainier every once in a while. The bottle of St. Reginald rosé is more my style, or tequila."