Talkin' food with Jay HaasMay 19, 2009
PGA TOUR staff
Jay Haas has won the Senior PGA Championship in two of the last three years, including the 2008 edition at Oak Hill's East Course. The 12-time Champions Tour winner sat down with PGATOUR.COM to discuss his favorite snacks, food traditions and memorable meals. MORE: Tuscan Style Bruschetta | 2009 recipe archive | Champions Tour pros' favorite recipes
PGATOUR.COM: What food always reminds you of home??
HAAS: I think country-style steak. My wife, Jan, fixes that for me at home, and it was one of the first things she fixed for me when we were dating. Growing up in South Carolina, her mom was a great cook and she learned to cook that very well. You add in some mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans or black-eyed peas. That plate I've seen quite a few times and I never get tired of it.
PGATOUR.COM: What's your favorite restaurant, and what do you order there??
HAAS: There's a place in downtown Greenville called Soby's that I like to go to when I'm home. I guess it can be best described as New South cuisine, down-home cooking with a flair, and the owner is a guy named Carl Sobocinski. It's not your typical meat and three as they say. One of the house specialties is the pork chops, but all the food is really good there and they do an unbelievable job. They also have these cheese garlic biscuits that you have to be careful not to fill up on before the main meal.
PGATOUR.COM: Where was your most memorable meal??
HAAS: When we were first married, I just remember Jan and I had been on the road for quite a few weeks. After we got back home, we just went to the grocery store, bought a few steaks, baked potatoes and grilled out at our apartment. It might have been one of our first meals there. We hadn't had steaks in awhile and I just remember how good they tasted. It was great just sitting there with my wife who I love dearly and we talked about how good those steaks tasted. It was probably more the moment than anything else but I think both of us will always remember that particular meal.
PGATOUR.COM: What's your favorite snack??
HAAS: In season, I really like Bing cherries. I could eat a whole bag of those in one sitting. If you're asking me about stuff that's not good for you, I like chips and dips.
PGATOUR.COM: Favorite "competition day" breakfast??
HAAS: I usually try to go with something pretty solid a few hours before my tee time. I'll have eggs and bacon and will add some grits if they are available. I don't want to be too full when I get to the first tee, but I want something that's going to last me a long time. Usually I'll also get a banana at the turn.
PGATOUR.COM: What are your comfort foods??
HAAS: When Jan and I are home, we eat buffet style most every night. I guess our comfort foods are different kinds of fresh vegetables, beans and rice.
PGATOUR.COM: What would we find in your refrigerator today??
HAAS: Certainly some leftovers if we had gone out to eat the day before. In addition to the normal staples, usually there's some green beans, fried okra, rice and certainly some fruit or fruit salad in season. There's also some kind of chocolate and probably some chocolate chip ice cream in the freezer as well.
PGATOUR.COM: What's the most unusual thing you have ever eaten??
HAAS: Early on in my career, I was playing in a tournament in South Africa and one evening they had oxtail on the menu. It just didn't sound real good but I think I tried it anyway. On that same trip, I think I also tried bananas in baked beans. I don't stretch out too much. When I see something on the menu that I like, that's what I'll order for fear of getting something that I might not like.
PGATOUR.COM: If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and why??
HAAS: I enjoy listening to many different people over dinner. I guess it would probably be my father and Jan's parents who are all deceased now. I think both of us would really enjoy sitting down with all of them and having dinner one more time.
PGATOUR.COM: Do you or your family have a favorite food tradition??
HAAS: On New Year's Day, it's black-eyed peas and collard greens. I'm not a big fan of collard greens because I don't particularly like the smell, but I've learned to eat black-eyed peas and really like them. My wife Jan tells me that if I eat my collards, I'll get lots of dollars and, if I eat my black-eyed peas, I'll get lots of pennies for the year.