Hey Reddit, Thank you for the most excellent AMA - your questions were all great (ok, so maybe one wasn't but it still was way fun). You can scope all my recipes, vids etc here: http://www.thecookingguy.com/#home. See ya next time!


Comments: 185 • Responses: 83  • Date: 

codesForLiving25 karma

Hey Sam, did you get into any trouble for asking Kathie Lee and Hoda to be quiet?

samthecookingguy35 karma

not even a little. in fact they had me back 2 weeks later for a very awkward segment with a 'etiquette coach'

NapalmForBreakfast16 karma

Hey Sam! Glad I stumbled on this AMA.

What happened immediately after that segment where you told Hoda and Kathie to keep it down? Did someone pull you to the side and say "hey man, don't do that shit" or did everyone go their normal routine?

samthecookingguy56 karma

the crazy thing is producer came up close, looked around and said to me quietly "we've been dying for someone to do that"

J-R-G15 karma

Sam! Huge fan! What's the best recipe I can use to impress a girl who's a solid 10/10 and is coming over for dinner in 5 hours? Help plz.

samthecookingguy18 karma

gimme a food category - though I might suggest salmon - most women dig that and this recipe is very hard to eff up

J-R-G12 karma

Holy shit this is bang on, thanks so much!

samthecookingguy14 karma

represent well tonight!

chaingripped11 karma

How long was your kitchen under construction during the "remodel" that never happened?

samthecookingguy16 karma

it actually happened - but after the tool claimed to go bankrupt and ripped off a bunch of our (and other peoples) money. ultimately took about 5 months

Omahaaaaa7 karma

Haha, I knew that guy, and your assessment is spot on!

samthecookingguy14 karma

what a piece - him, not you!

didntevenseemecoming10 karma

Love your spots on DSC(and B&R) morning radio show in San Diego. Do you have any lesser known drink recipies to beat the heat on a hot day?

samthecookingguy15 karma

thanks for the dsc love - im a bourbon & lemonade fan in the heat

DJErikD9 karma

Sam, just wanted to say that your teri-mayo scallops, salt and pepper shrimp, and 5-spice chicken are my go to recipes. We loved going to your live shows and can't wait to get back to San Diego to continue the tradition. Thanks for making me realize cooking good food doesn't have to be hard!

Does your son still have the handsome Beagle? Imgur

samthecookingguy6 karma

that's the thing that makes me happiest - cooking isn't tough...you just need to do it. not sure where you are, but fortunately you can watch our online series as well as all the tv shows off my site

bcab7 karma

Hey Sam! Long time fan of your show since finding it on San Diego Public broadcasting channel. Since then I have watched your success with the greatest of enjoyment. I also sent you a "kitchen warfare" shirt you had on one of your podcasts. Hell I even wrote emails to Food Network in attempts to get you on their radar.

My question is this, do you feel that your show has drifted away from the original mold that made it so great? Don't get me wrong, I am very happy with the stuff you do now, but it rubs me wrong when you plug a sponsor while cooking. It just feels like the exact opposite of what you originally started doing.

samthecookingguy8 karma

fair question - the tv show has no sponsor stuff in it. but the online does, and I'm quite ok with that. I never think it compromises. not to mention if I''m using say a peanut butter..anyone's will do.
but I'm still the fool I always was

bcab4 karma

Thanks for the response Sam, as I have said, I really enjoy the show. One last question if you would indulge me? You have an older recipe on the show that is basically: spicy italian sausage, penne pasta, cream and parm. I have made it multiple times and it is great but I never know if I am supposed to drain off all the fat from the browning sausage or if it is supposed to be kept in when you add the cream and parm. Thanks again!

samthecookingguy5 karma

depends on how much fat. i mean if ur looking at 2 or 3 tablespoons, nah. but more than that probably. tho ive def been in a hurry before and skipped that and all was well.

Orphan_Babies7 karma

So...what was the name of that sandwich you made that was just a roll, butter, and French fries?

Looked daaaaamn good

samthecookingguy15 karma

the brits call it a 'chip butty' - really good in a ridiculously carb loaded way

_Constructed_7 karma

Do you ever mess up on live TV (Like burn something). Also, is it true that they put previously made food models in the ovens during cuts? What happens to the food after the show is done?

samthecookingguy12 karma

Ive def messed up - but on other shows not the today show - cut myself bad once. they have a culinary team who make ALL the food. when you see a finished lasagna or roast or whatever - their team has made it in advance. they don't wanna take a chance even a well known chef might not get it together in time. and the food gets eaten by the large crew right after

ua_hobbes7 karma

Hey Sam! Dig the show and the laid back vibes you give off in the kitchen. My question is, how are your tastebuds still holding up after all these years of burning them?

samthecookingguy7 karma

thanks for the comments. and the buds are in pretty good shape actually. somehow I've build up a kind of mouth armor..

Warlizard7 karma

If you put Kathie Lee and Hoda in a caged deathmatch, who would win?

samthecookingguy12 karma

kathie lee no question. wouldn't even be a fair fight

Warlizard2 karma

Makes sense. I guess she wouldn't have survived this long in the business if she weren't a fighter.

samthecookingguy5 karma

that's exactly right - and to be fair, even though they don't put me with her anymore, she's always nice to me. hoda is a little cold tho

Warlizard3 karma

Ok, so, got another question.

What food would you cook Hoda to warm her up?

samthecookingguy7 karma

hmmm, now u have me thinking. she's Egyptian I think - so perhaps roasted lamb with warm pitas etc. and even if she didn't like it - I would

imagueat7 karma

I just watched the follow up show and its almost as fuuny? Were the hosts amused or annoyed?

samthecookingguy11 karma

it was awkward as anything - kathie lee even put her fingers under my armpits and said "oh, ur sweating we're making you nervous" a - I wasn't sweating b - I wasn't nervous - I was creeped out

imagueat7 karma

How many times did they invite you back? Or is that an abvious NEVER! haha

samthecookingguy11 karma

that incident was my 2nd time - and I've been back 10 others...just not with them

J4kL6 karma

Hey Sam, big fan of the live cast, it's pretty much my go-to video while eating a bowl of cereal.

What is your process for coming up with recipes and ideas for the live cast? What was the original intention of the live cast, and do you think it's upheld to those ideas. (I've noticed they got a little more "foodchannel-y" what with less bantering, and more "cut-to's"which is kind of a bummer-was it those whiney comments about foul language and having pan handles pointed the wrong way? Or was it your camera guy?)

samthecookingguy4 karma

funny. ummm, we'd though about shortening it for a while but it def was not anything food channely. they don't like me and vice versa. I feel very anti that kind of stuff. that being said I guess we just thought some change was good. people can watch my tv show for a longer form I guess. but the funny thing is everyone feels different. I did a private event last night and everyone was a fan of less is more....go figure

UUDDLRLRBAstard6 karma

What is the best cooking music?

samthecookingguy9 karma

I like mexican or latin channels on spotify - they're fun to cook to. or anything alicia keys...I have a bit of a thing for her

[deleted]6 karma


samthecookingguy13 karma

i think a lot - tho I've not been around for that part

NapalmForBreakfast5 karma

Might as well ask another question while I'm here. What are some things on your grocery list that are "must haves" or just stuff you like to keep in stock at all times?

samthecookingguy9 karma

i'm trying to find a list on my site that has all the stuff i think you should keep - found it: http://www.thecookingguy.com/tips/#survival-pantry

LaserQuest5 karma

Hey Sam! Big fan of your livecast. Your catchphrase of "Don't make the same thing everyday" has inspired me to cook more and try new recipes. What made you decide to use your new shorter show format? A lot of us love the banter you and Max have while filming. Has there ever been a recipe you've found hasn't been improved by green onions?

samthecookingguy9 karma

atta boy/girl/whatever laserquest - I love to hear that. the world of the net change us I suppose - most people have time for 10-15 minutes, but longer is a commitment, and we'd been getting many requests for shorter length. and green onions help EVERYTHING, except maybe a couple desserts

thegreatgatsb145 karma

What is your all time favorite wine?

samthecookingguy24 karma

my favorite all time wine is called vodka. I know it's not very chefy...but what can I say? I'm a simple guy

SecretEyeRemote5 karma

Straight up question: What's the best way to cook chicken and rice?

samthecookingguy8 karma

you mean together? cuz I go separate. chicken for me is a few ways - sous vide for perfect tenderness - or spatchcocked and grilled. but a rotisserie chicken over charcoal is ridiculous

SecretEyeRemote2 karma

My wife and I say there are 100 different great ways and was curious on your take. Rotisserie over charcoal sounds amazing.

samthecookingguy5 karma

really is - with a rub made using chinese 5 spice for a different take

coastalredneck4 karma

Sam, what's up Hebrew. What ever happened with Lynn from the livecast? Thanks for all the videos

samthecookingguy6 karma

lynn got a new job that didn't allow for our schedule. he's a great dude.

Bethsu54 karma

How did you become so fun?

samthecookingguy7 karma

aw shucks...

wenselfenter4 karma

Has 1975 called and asked for their kitchen back?

samthecookingguy6 karma

oh my god, that's so funny - but pretty sure ur watching very old shows..

shubey3 karma

Hi Sam! I contest that your Captain Crunch Encrusted Ahi is the best recipe ever. As you so eloquently put it it, it's an 11 out of 10. Do you think you've topped it with regard to flavor and creativity alike?

samthecookingguy1 karma

hmmm - I like a challenge. ok, so 'best ever' certainly when I figured out the recipe. but have I topped it? I've definitely made all kinds of great stuff, but there's something about that tuna that holds a place in my heart

busybunnyhomebuyer3 karma

Hey Sam!

I have an absolute overflow of mint in my garden - there's only so many mojitos a girl can make! Any recipe suggestions?

Thanks so much!

samthecookingguy3 karma

cook some lamb and serve it with greek yogurt mixed with lime zest and a bunch of chopped mint - so damn good. or chop up a bunch and put it in baby ice cube trays, add water and freeze. take em out and ziplock for drinks down the road.

coastalredneck2 karma

Do you know where to find ground lamb?

samthecookingguy4 karma

any of the supermarkets around san diego should have - where are you?

samthecookingguy2 karma

A few of us did a blind taste test here one night and the winner was Svedka - which is not expensive at all but won hands down.

ClassicPervert2 karma

What would you recommend looking into for someone who doesn't digest onions, garlic and hot peppers very well?

samthecookingguy2 karma

sorry you can't do the onion / pepper thing - that must be a bummer. can you do mild versions - like a sweet onion maybe? and I suppose if you can't you maybe need to get the flavor through more herbs and spices

madeInNY2 karma

I really enjoyed the longer form livecasts. Can you do some longer stuff once in a while?

And please stop trying to pull focus manually on the fly with such small depth of field. It's no sin to have some of the background in focus too if it stops your viewers from getting dizzy.

samthecookingguy3 karma

thanks and we will def throw in some longer ones... and will certainly your comments on to max

ameyerk2 karma

have you seen the bob's burgers episode where bob becomes a tv chef? Also same question but for family guy.

samthecookingguy4 karma

know of it but have never seen bob's. and you mean the family when peter & quagmire get a coooking show?

Johnnywildcats1 karma

Sam- What are your thoughts on healthy/clean cooking? It's seems your more health concious than older episodes.

samthecookingguy1 karma

that's a good observation johnny. my food style has definitely changed over the years. of course the emphasis is always on simple with big taste - but we're just generally trying to eat better

mcflannelman2 karma

Back around 2005 or so my parents remodeled their kitchen in an attempt to look like yours, red paint and all. I wish I had a picture of it, but I don't anymore, and it's since been changed.

Why am I telling you this? i don't know. Maybe because I didn't understand it for a while how freaking cool it was, and your books helped me learn (or at least i hope so) to cook.

Also, what is strangest stuff you would consider putting on a pizza, that might actually be good?

samthecookingguy3 karma

love to hear about the red paint - and my kitchen is still red...but it's tiles now not paint. not sure how weird these are, but I've had made pizzas with canned tuna, fried eggs, salmon & caviar, pastrami & pickles. even had smoked reindeer on a pizza in finland last year. suppose almost anything can work thanks for reaching out

samthecookingguy2 karma

I have to go with my margs - they are (and it's not just me saying this) crazy fricking good. but very strong without feeling it at the time...they sneek up on you. http://www.thecookingguy.com/cookbook/cookbook/sammy-boys-margarita-recipe?rq=tequila

samthecookingguy2 karma

and btw I'd be remiss if I didn't also suggest making my white chicken enchiladas - they are so great and in fact made them for a birthday party last night: http://www.thecookingguy.com/cookbook/chicken-enchiladas?rq=enchi

iwas99x2 karma

How often do you browse Reddit and what are your favorite subreddits?

samthecookingguy1 karma

honestly only clue in to reddit when this whole today show happened and haven't had the time to scope yet. but I will cuz I'm lovin it

iWant_To_Play_A_Game2 karma

What's the best omelette recipe in the world?

samthecookingguy7 karma

there's a lot of good ones out there..salami, spinach with goat cheese, chili & cheese - I could go on. but none compare to best omelet of them all: the thanksgiving leftover stuffing omelet. it's the king. period.

iWant_To_Play_A_Game-1 karma

Ok, but what if I'm allergic to avacados?

samthecookingguy9 karma

what you talkin bout Willis - what avocado?

iWant_To_Play_A_Game-3 karma

Sir, I don't think you understand. I'm allergic to avacados. That means I need to avoid them in my meals.

samthecookingguy8 karma

trying to be helpful but perhaps I'm missing something. you asked about omelettes - and the stuffing omelette doesn't have them.

harper1634542 karma

Sam, love your show! remodeling a kitchen. What brand has best appliances (range, fridge)?

samthecookingguy5 karma

so many factors - I have dacor and love it. you prob won't go wrong with the big brands - wolf, thermador, sub zero

samthecookingguy6 karma

but there's some commercial stuff - not as fancy as the above, but still cool looking and built like a truck

harper1634542 karma

thank you!

samthecookingguy4 karma

if I was redoing, I'd put in straight commercial stuff (after arguing with my wife a while) and for drawers I'd use mechanics drawers - those metal, skinny drawers you see at home depot in red - but they also make silver. most kitchens make drawers to deep and they're a waste

harper1634542 karma

awesome, ty. where do I get the commercial stuff?

samthecookingguy4 karma

not sure where you live - but any city will have chef/restaurant supply stores. the stuff isn't as pretty, but built for a lot of use and generally much less expensive

Zionland5552 karma

What is your favorite kind of fast food?

samthecookingguy3 karma

i'm in san diego - so either in n out - or we have a take out dim sum place. i'm a huge dim sum fan

Steaktanic2 karma

I live in San Diego too! What's the name of this takeout dim sum place?

samthecookingguy3 karma

emerald express - behind the emerald restauarnt

Zionland5551 karma

OMG have you been to Din Tai Fung!?

samthecookingguy3 karma

yes been twice to ones in china, and we're supposed to be getting one in san diego - it's fricking great!

Zionland5551 karma

Have any dim sum or dumpling recipes we could follow????

Lights_12 karma

So I've started using Japanese Mayo and there is no going back. My question is what is another product that you would recommend that would replace a traditional item in the kitchen?

I've also had no luck with multiple garlic presses. Yours seems to work quite well. I just want to know what brand is it and do you have a go to place for kitchen tools?

samthecookingguy4 karma

i use the Zyliss garlic press - cloves go in with the paper on and only garlic squeezes out - it's the best and mine is almost 17 years old. looking in my fridge now - there's a lot of good ketchups. at the least we'll use heinz chiii sauce instead of ketchup. not like asian chili sauce , but just more flavor

samthecookingguy4 karma

and I have a ton of asian condiments too

samthecookingguy3 karma

a small change to a few asian condiments can make a world of change to your cooking.
wow - that was nearly prophetic...

Lights_12 karma

Thanks for the reply. I've notice there are a lot of great products these days in the Asian markets that you can't find in traditional stores.

samthecookingguy3 karma

true. definitely worth hitting one or two on a weekend and scoping the aisles

DJErikD2 karma

Big fan of Kewpie, and now there's a domestic version in addition to the imported Japanese version. Have you tried the avocado mayo that Costco just started selling?

samthecookingguy3 karma

yes - and I like it!

blakejp2 karma

Hi Sam. My name is Blake Puente and my question is regarding olives and a coordinated misinformation campaign about olives. Many dubious individuals and corporations are promoting the insane myth that olives are good. Olives are in fact Very Bad.

Clearly the work of some nefarious shadow cabal, most likely Russian. But you yourself have used olives in recipes on multiple occasions. My question is this: how do you rationalize such unethical behavior? What went wrong? Who hurt you?

If this is about money, I offer an opportunity to come clean. Renounce the pro-olive propaganda and cut all ties with Big Olive. Be the hero I've always known you are. Come home.

Either way... May the force be with you.

samthecookingguy4 karma

dear mr puente - blake is it? I rationalize it like this - I fricking love the little guys. a chilly martini, dirty with a buncha olives is a welcome site.

blakejp1 karma

Они вели себя как волки в овчарне, эти выродки, отбросы общества.


samthecookingguy4 karma

well said

iwas99x1 karma

Have you tried the food at Petco Park? How is it and what is good?

samthecookingguy1 karma

funny you should ask. not recently, but here's me trying literally EVERYTHING about 4 years ago: https://vimeo.com/63918524

Skanky1 karma

Hi Sam! Did you get a chance to hear Howard Stern's take on the incident? Did he ever contact you about it?

Also, please describe your recipe and suggestions for a perfect grilled cheese

samthecookingguy1 karma

hey shanky, not only did I hear it but he interviewed me by phone the next day. here's part one of 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H199mnidDfw

but more importantly...the grilled cheese. here's a link to anything grilled cheese on my site: http://www.thecookingguy.com/search?q=grilled%20cheese&f_collectionId=538fbc3fe4b0ab70685f3e68

my favorites are the brisket grilled cheese and the mushroom & spinach. but I feel grilled cheese is a very personal thing. find what works for you. but always use good bread

iwas99x1 karma

Have you written any cookbooks, if so where do you sell them?

samthecookingguy2 karma

yes 3!! and here they are - and even tho they say sold out, we'llhave them back in stock in a couple days: http://www.thecookingguy.com/books/

rod_kimble1 karma

Hey Sam! My wife and I got to go to the "live" taping near the stadium, and she was even invited up on stage to try your scallops with other folks. Amazing time but I wondered why another "live" segment never happened again-- at least that I know of?

Thanks for being awesome and genuine.

samthecookingguy1 karma

so funny you mention it cuz I was just telling someone about it the other day. the wackest part is that it was (and still is) the only live TV show I've shot, and whoever was in charge of timing out the segments messed up and we ended up shooting 6 minutes less than we needed. of course it eventually worked out but still...

318daily1 karma

Hey Sam. Do you drink beer ? Do you drink at all while you're cooking off camera ?

samthecookingguy3 karma

having a beer right now actually - and we occasionally (maybe more than occasionally) start a tv show shoot with a cocktail... :)

kajnbagoat1 karma

Haha nice man.!! What's your favourite steak? What's your favourite cuisine?

Any experiences from when you visited a small hotel and the food turned out to be amazing?

samthecookingguy1 karma

bone in ribeye..no question. and we really prefer the airbnb concept - it's more like 'living' rather than 'staying' somewhere

iwas99x1 karma

What is your favorite thing to cook in the microwave?

samthecookingguy1 karma

popcorn. is that an acceptable answer?

iwas99x1 karma

Yes. It's not as easy as it seems though. Either can burn it or have a bunch if unpopped colonels.

samthecookingguy1 karma

the key is to make sure the cereal is finely ground - a processor works really well for this

iwas99x1 karma

What is your favorite dessert to make?

samthecookingguy1 karma

this - kind of a hybrid of something my dad liked: http://www.thecookingguy.com/cookbook/worlds-best-dessert-waffle?rq=desserts

iwas99x1 karma

What is your favorite beer?

samthecookingguy3 karma

gotta say I'm an old school canadian beer guy - I like something called Moosehead

iwas99x1 karma

Where did you go to school to learn how to be a good cook?

samthecookingguy2 karma

never went, in fact I didn't really start cooking until I started a cooking show. but I started with easy, simple stuff anyone could make

iwas99x1 karma

Who are the most famous people you made a meal for?

samthecookingguy2 karma

oh I know...no one. :(

iwas99x1 karma

What is your favorite meal to make with Potatoes in it?

iwas99x1 karma

Who are some cooks that inspire you or that you looked up to years ago or both?

samthecookingguy2 karma

julia child and graham kerr - both old school but both also very real...

iwas99x1 karma

What are your favorite recent kitchen inventions and why? And which as seen on TV kitchen products should we Redditors buy to make a bad or average cook have a better meal and less stress cooking?

samthecookingguy2 karma

I like sous vide - ('under vacuum' in french) for perfectly cooking most proteins...or the reverse sear method for also doing the same but way less expensive.

iwas99x1 karma

What are your hobbies outside of the kitchen?

samthecookingguy1 karma

my kids, my dogs, friends and travelling.

Aggrels1 karma

We love listening to you on DSC, and we were wondering: How did you get into cooking? Thanks!

samthecookingguy2 karma

I was in a biotech job in 2001 trying to figure out how to get out and start a travel show. But b4 we could shoot idemo footage, September 11th happened – and that changed everything. It eventually became a twice-weekly 2-minute cooking segment on a local morning news program. The segments caught on and grew into a 30-minute show called, drumroll....‘Sam the Cooking Guy’ -

iwas99x1 karma

What other nationally aired TV shows have you been on and plan to be on in the future?

samthecookingguy2 karma

today show 12 times, and had my own series on Discovery Health - Just Cook This with Sam the Cooking Guy...until Oprah bought the network to tun into the Oprah Winfrey network.

iwas99x2 karma

Sounds like Oprah should make good and give you your old show back and put it on OWN.

samthecookingguy1 karma

lol, but pretty sure that's not gonna happen

iwas99x1 karma

What do you think of all these people who post photos of their meals and post it to Facebook /twitter / Instagram before they eat them?

samthecookingguy1 karma

it's a real thing. on one level I'm like "what the hell?? just eat eat it already" but on another level I find myself doing it every so often. my excuse is so I can post cool looking food for people who follow me to look at - but still...it always feels douchy

iwas99x1 karma

Are you a fan of the San Diego State University Aztects sports teams and the San Diego Padres? Why or why not?

samthecookingguy1 karma

though I'm originally from Vancouver Canada- I believe you support where you live... so yes