It all started with an appetizer and a trip to Los Angeles.
Not long ago, poke was foreign to Baton Rouge, but Trey Williams and the kitchen at City Pork Brasserie & Bar introduced a raw tuna dish to the menu that was a surprise hit with customers. Williams and company road tripped to the West Coast in late 2016 to learn more about the raw seafood dish, and in March 2017, Southfin Southern Poké was born.
Southfin’s success has led Williams to take a step back from City Pork. In August, the 35-year-old parted ways with the restaurant and longtime partner Stephen Hightower. His energy is now devoted to Southfin, which he has plans to expand to a new location on Corporate Boulevard in 2018. The project has been successful, he says, thanks to its laser focus.
“It hits on three points that usually you don’t see working together,” Williams says. “Usually, if it’s fast, you’re going to compromise on quality, or if it’s healthy you’re going to compromise on taste. This, to me, is one where you have an amazing flavor, it’s extremely fast, and it’s a healthy option. That’s three things working together that most restaurants don’t have.” southfinpoke.com
5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT HIM
1. Williams first got into the culinary game through his love of deer hunting and curing meat. Charcuterie was his gateway drug. Since departing from City Pork, though, he deals almost entirely in raw proteins.
2. He plans to introduce catering packages to Southfin in 2018. You can pick your choice of one, two or three proteins, and Southfin will bring the whole colorful setup of veggies, sauces and toppings.
3. A second Southfin location will open its doors in 2018. It will be on Corporate Boulevard near Towne Center.
4. Williams says he’s invested in giving back locally. He sits on the board of directors for a few Baton Rouge nonprofits, including HOPE Ministries Food Pantry and Baton Rouge Green.
5. He’s also a commercial realtor with Latter & Blum. Just another busy day in the life of one of the city’s leading restaurateurs.
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This article was originally published in theJanuary 2018 issue of 225 Magazine.