My name is Brady Williams. I'm 25. I live in Dallas, Texas, where I am the Chef/Food and Beverage director for Oddfellows, Eno's Pizza Tavern and the soon-to-be-open Union Bear. I don't have a “real” bio and the thought of writing about myself in the third-person makes me uncomfortable, but I will say that I never would of thought I would do this for a living, and am really blessed to be able to do so.
AHD: The path you’ve taken is certainly unconventional. How do you explain your early success?
BW: Well, I really don’t feel like I’ve achieved anything or should be perceived as successful.
I can think of so many cooks and chefs who are more skilled, or have so much more experience than I do, and it all gives me this feeling of always needing to catch up, to put my head down and work as hard as I can.
AHD: You used to be a big Hockey player and now spend you time as a chef ... Is there a single similarity between stopping pucks and creating in the kitchen?
BW: I don’t think so, or at least not at the surface level. The parallel, for me, really lies in the approach that I take (or took) to each. I was never the most naturally talented, but really took pride in working harder than the next guy, which is the same thing I try to do now.
There’s also a certain amount of measurable progression in each, meaning that you can measure your improvement (or digression) daily if you work at it (or don’t). I find that gratifying. Aside from that, they both require an incredible amount of discipline, dedication and focus.
AHD: You have an appreciation for what you call the communal aspect of food. Why does food bring us together?
BW: I think that food is one of the few things that transcends cultural lines, as in: “We might not understand each other or maybe we have different cultural values, but we both love food that tastes delicious, so let’s come together and break bread and enjoy each other’s company.”
There’s certainly a lot more to it than just that, and certainly you can get into the theological aspect of food, but I feel like that transcension plays a major role in bringing people together.
AHD: How can an ever-progressing palate benefit the city of Dallas?
BW: As the population’s palate as a whole continues to progress, I’d assume that would influence at which type of establishments they spend their money. And, as there becomes a demand for a higher quality product per dollar spent, I would think you would see restaurants or chefs having to step up and meet that demand, which would, in turn, progress the overall quality of food in the city.
AHD: Can you recall the moment when, for you personally, food transitioned from necessity to craft?
BW: I’m not really sure, but I would say that moment happened sometime in college when
I started cooking less for sustenance alone, but also because I was drawn to the creative side. It was at this time that I really started to care about techniques and about doing things “properly.” I started researching different types of cuisines and chefs, and the further I got into it, the more hooked I was. My perception of food definitely changed during this time, and I started exploring the idea of culinary school or pursuing cooking as a career, but kind of put that idea on the shelf for a few years.
AHD: What is your favorite dish to prepare?
BW: I enjoy cooking rustic Japanese food—things like ramen or oyako donburi, which is a rice dish with chicken and egg.
AHD: What inspires you?
BW: That’s a loaded question. First and foremost, it comes from the belief that what I do ultimately serves a greater purpose, that what I’m trying to do goes beyond just cooking a dish or helping run a restaurant. That’s the general answer.
But, I’m blessed to be surrounded by a tight-knit group of incredibly talented and creative friends, both here in Dallas and in other cities, spanning a number of creative fields. It’s hard not to be inspired and motivated to push yourself when those you are living life with are so talented and doing potentially game-changing things.
And last, daily inspiration can come from a number of things—a morning hike, a bike ride, a concert, a conversation, a book I’ve read, or a trip I’ve taken or want to take—just to name a few.
AHD: How can a legitimate foodie have a genuine appreciation for the occasional Muchaco from Taco Bueno?
BW: I think that at the end of the day, people just want something delicious. If, for them, that’s the occasional Muchaco, then so be it.