There aren't that many people who would leave a cushy job with Apple to be a kitchen manager, but Sam Crook of the recently opened Whiskey Warehouse (formerly Creation) in Plaza Midwood did. "This is what I'm good at and this is what I enjoy doing," he says. Crooks manages the staff, lunch and dinner specials and everything in between, including fielding inquiries as to when Jack will be available on tap and the Jack and Coke slurpee machine will be installed. (The answer: Within a month.)
Creative Loafing: How did you get involved in the food industry?
Sam Crook: I've been working in the kitchen since I was 15 years old. It was summertime, I was unemployed, and my parents said it was time for me to get a job. So I stumbled into this restaurant in the Ballantyne area and told them I wanted to work. They were actually in the process of opening -- it was going to be about two months before they opened the restaurant -- and they told me they were going to make me a cook. So I started off as a grill cook, met some people from there, then moved on to Ballantyne Country Club. I've worked with a lot of great people and I've gained a lot of knowledge in the kitchen from some good people.
What's your favorite dish at Whiskey Warehouse?
My favorite dish would have to be the ribs. The ribs are excellent. They're consistent, they're always falling off the bone, and we smother them in our own homemade BBQ sauce. I also love the sweet potato fries that come with them.
What do you do when you're not working?
A lot of my time is spent here, but when I have a chance, I'm really into computers, I play video games, and of course I cook. I'm a big fish person -- salmon, mahi mahi, swordfish. I'm really big on seafood.