10 Questions: Jim White
It would be difficult to imagine dining and Dallas without the presence of longtime radio star and founder--with wife Vicki Briley White--of Savor Dallas.
Over the years, White has hosted the KRLD Restaurant Show, served as a food columnist and even helped develop the city's annual Restaurant Week, generating more than $300,000 a year for the North Texas Food Bank. His interest in food and conviction that Dallas ranks as one of the top five restaurant cities in the country led him to his greatest endeavor.
Savor Dallas began in 2004 and is still going strong (mark your calendars for March 6-7 this year), bringing in hundreds of chefs and winemakers, performers, experts...and, of course, 4,000 plus guests for a weekend of gluttony. In his spare time, you might find him digging into the Bob Armstrong dip at Matt's Rancho Martinez...
1. Why not branch out--Savor Omaha, perhaps?
We've thought about that, although not necessarily Omaha. It's a huge undertaking--we'd have to go up and build relationships and we've been too busy with Savor Dallas. But if you know someone with 4 or 5 million dollars, I've got the proposals almost done.
2. Did you worry that Savor Dallas might not last more than a year?
Well, no, because we felt like it was a sound premise and we had good feedback from the city, the restaurants and the people of Dallas. We stepped into it and it worked--and it's still fun. Of course, if that same investor with 4 to 5 million wants to spend a few more...
3. Print, radio or television--which do you prefer for discussing food?
Radio [laughs]. But I've been taking baby steps online. At the end of the day, it will be a juggernaut.
4. You're a travelin' man; which city has the worst food?
If you know where to look, there's great food everywhere. And any city has the worst if you don't have a good guide. I had one of the worst meals of my life in San Francisco.
5. Ever risk it and just pull into a random greasy spoon?
They might not like to be classified as that, but I used to love Herrera's, Adair's and Club Schmitz. And there's this spot on the outskirts of Aspen that has the world's greasiest burger.
6. Is there a dish worth traveling for?
Bob Armstrong dip at Matt's Rancho Martinez.
7. Is there a representative Dallas cuisine?
Some people used to think it was Southwestern. Stephan Pyles and Dean Fearing elevated that to high-fallutin' levels. But this is one of the top five restaurant cities in the country and I think chefs working in New American cuisine--that's the real mark of Dallas.
8. If you could dine with four fictional characters, they'd be...?
Jean-Luc Picard--we could use his replicator; Holly Golightly; The Green Lantern; and John Galt.
9. OK, do you have a favorite cartoon character?
Daffy Duck. Bugs has an agent--he the star. Daffy is a real underduck. And he's the world's best straightman.
10. Speaking of underdogs, did you root for Wile E. Coyote or the Roadrunner?
Wile E. Coyote all the way. I wanted to order bombs from Acme and everything. I still have a Wile E. Coyote collector's glass from the 70's on a shelf, much to the chagrin of my wife.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.