Interview with Chef Abraham Salum, of Dallas’ Salum Restaurant
He graduated from the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont. He learned in the kitchens of France, Belgium, Mexico, and the United States. His name is Abraham Salum, and he is the chef and owner of Salum in Dallas, Texas.
When he opened Salum he wanted guests to be equally enthralled by the food, the staff, the beverage program, and the environment. What he could have never expected was just how much people would fall in love with Salum and everything it has to offer.
Perhaps it’s because the staff is so knowledgeable about the menu and the wine list. Or maybe it’s because the food never seems to disappoint. Or it could be because the feel of Salum is more like a cozy dinner party than a restaurant. Whatever it is, guests who come once almost always find themselves coming back again and again.
Abraham’s love of food could not be any more obvious. To hear him talk about food is to fall in love with food yourself for the first time, all over again, or simply deeper than ever before. It may sound cliché, but that’s only because it’s true – when someone truly loves food, you can taste it.
The Daily Meal: From where did your love of all things culinary develop?
Chef Abraham Salum: I had two grandmothers that were incredible cooks. I love eating and thought it would be a good career for me.
What would you say is your overarching food philosophy?
Respect your ingredients. Always serve the best and freshest food you can source – If you start with the best, your end product will be great.
How would you describe the vibe at Salum?
Relaxed, comfortable, friendly. People come to eat, drink, and de-stress!
Can you tell readers a bit about the inspiration behind your menus and what you are hoping to achieve with their offerings?
I change the menu every month. This gives me a chance to learn every time, use different ingredients and techniques. I cook what I like and what I would like to eat with seasonal ingredients. Every time I travel, I bring some new idea of something to do and how to prepare it. I am on a never-ending quest to learn as much as I can.
What do guests tell you they love the most about the restaurant, the menu, and the food?
Our guests love that even though certain dishes may sound complicated from time to time, the food is always good. We put a lot of emphasis on service and our guests love that they feel like family while dining at Salum.
What are some of your personal favorite menu items?
The mussels, homemade country pate, and Australian rack of lamb. These dishes are always on the menu. Then I normally have a new favorite or two every month.
What are some of your favorite ingredients and/or cooking styles to experiment with right now?
I recently traveled to Atlanta and the food scene is fantastic. There are so many Southern ingredients I have started using and I love how things are coming out.
Anything else you’d like to share with readers about all things culinary at Salum?
We have been open for 11 years now and we have served 132 different menus. We love what we do.
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