Sam Constantino

Where are you from originally?  Rochester, New York

When did you begin working at Quality Seafood? Roughly two and half years ago

Where did you work prior to working here?  What type of background or work experience did you have? Prior to Quality Seafood Market, I worked at Threadgills for two years  as the kitchen manager. My background includes working in and managing restaurants for over 20 years. Back in New York I owned and was the “head chef” of a BBQ restaurant, serving up chicken, ribs, pulled pork, and brisket – I did it all. We won several awards (comparable to the Austin Chronicle awards) for our BBQ and various sauces.

What do you love most about your job? I get to learn a whole trade I didn’t know before working here. I have always been good with a knife, so it was easy it was easy for me to pick up cutting fish.  And due to the volume of fish we cut I am constantly learning about seafood.

What is your biggest challenge on the job? I have cooked my whole life, which means I was usually in the back of the house, so the biggest challenge for me is the shift from working behind the scenes to the front stage.

In your opinion, what makes Quality Seafood unique? Nobody else in Central Austin has fresh fish on a grand scale that is cut fresh every day. Now days most seafood counters are bringing pre-cut fish fillets and loins versus cutting from whole fish.

Do you have a story to share (an experience with a customer or a coworker, something that might interest our customers)? I often write funny “love notes” to the owner, and when I mean love notes they typically say something along the lines of “I had that dream again last night, you know the one, where the flanks are .99 cents a pound.”

What’s your favorite menu item to order on your break at Quality Seafood? Oyster Po-Boy, however I like to eat lunch at home as much as possible.

What’s your favorite fish to fillet? Why? Amberjack because it’s the biggest fish with a head bigger than my head. I also like to see the customer’s reaction when they see us cutting amberjack.

If you could give our customers one piece of advice when buying or cooking seafood, what would it be? If it looks grey, smells bad, or has cloudy eyes don’t buy it. Those are key signs to seafood that is bad and/or old.

What do you like to do in your spare time?  BBQ. I love to BBQ everything.

What would your last meal consist of? A big ol’ rare steak, as for sides…hmmm I always forget about those.

If you were to turn on your iPod what type of music would be playing? Metal

What is your favorite holiday to celebrate and why? July 4th because I get to BBQ and hang out with my friends.