Sam Talbot is a chef, author, philanthropist and television personality based in Brooklyn, NY. Talbot’s genuine approachability, natural charisma and profound knowledge of food and healthy living allow him to float effortlessly between the worlds of food, fashion and entertainment.

Diagnosed at a young age with Type 1 Diabetes, Sam lives every hour with a deep understanding of the impact of food on life and life on food. This unique perspective has become the driving force in all of his projects and has put him at the forefront of the sustainable living movement, seeking to break down walls between the way we eat and the way we live. 

Sam Talbot is the founding Executive Chef of The Surf Lodge in Montauk, NY and during his time there it became a nationally acclaimed culinary destination. He went on to work with Morgans Hotel Group, opening Imperial No. Nine, a chic sustainable seafood restaurant at the Mondrian SoHo, all while championing his philanthropic causes and publishing his first book, The Sweet Life: Diabetes without Boundaries (Rodale). He was a semi-finalist on season 2 of Bravo’s Top Chef - was voted “fan favorite” and subsequently named one of People Magazines “Sexiest Men Alive” in 2012.

In 2015, Sam Talbot launched several exciting ventures that are close to his heart. From a new restaurant in Camden, Maine (Pig + Poet) to his new foundation BEYOND TYPE 1, a non-profit organization focusing on inspiring the Diabetic community, Sam looks forward to expanding his portfolio and exploring new territory while remaining true to his culinary roots.

Meet Sam Talbot on Turtle Island between November 17 - 23, 2015.   Click Here to meet the next Chef

Chef Sam Talbot's Experience on Turtle Island:

Sam and his partner Brie arrived in Fiji on November 17th and spent the morning exploring the Lautoka fish wharf and market just outside of Nadi. Since Sam is currently living in New York, he spends a lot of time at the markets but for him to come to Fiji and see a completely different array of produce and spices and everything that was available was extremely exciting for him. The people behind the food stalls told stories about the produce, where it came from, and how it was harvested.

Growing up in Charleston South Carolina, a lot of Sam's childhood was spent on the beach and going crabbing and fishing. Sam mentioned that the ocean is in his DNA, his food tastes better, and his mood is better when he's by the ocean. In Fiji, it's like an aquarium! It's a melting pot of oceanic adventure and beautiful marine life. Sam's cuisine is very seasonal, so what the harvest brings is what he is cooking.

When asked how he felt about cooking on Turtle Island he replied with... "Cooking on Turtle Island there's already a sense of camaraderie like a brotherhood almost. I've connected with Beni the chef, from when the seaplane landed I just felt like family. It's been that same synergy the whole time. So inviting, so welcoming, stepping into the kitchen it just felt like I was an old friend. That was very magical."

Sam prepared appetizers for our guests and also did a live cooking demonstration on the beach for viewers around the world on Periscope on Saturday morning. As another demonstration, just for our guests, Sam used queen pineapples peeled down and marinated in chillie and coconut oil from the Lautoka markets and then pan-seared. The natural sugars caramelize quickly and the sweetness becomes intensified. They were prepared as beautiful skewers and drizzled with 80% cacao Sam had brought from home with some chili vinegar. Our guests loved the creative sweet yet spicy dish!

Sam and Brie enjoyed fishing, mountain biking, an island tour, snorkeling, paddle boarding, free diving for octopus, socializing with guests, taking a relaxing dip in the private infinity pool, and hanging out with the staff and in particular the kitchen staff. Sam was inspired by Fijian ingredients and for his menus on the island.

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

Salad with pickled cucumber, snake beans, Octopus and roasted onion vinagrette 

Steamed clams with sake, sea grapes and roasted pineapple 

Painted Lobster with coconut fried rice 

Red snapper with mashed cassava and coconut milk 

Roasted sweet potato hash with spinach 

Soursop sorbet 

Grilled mango and papaya with honey and lime 

Pumpkin pie with cinnamon ice cream 

"To think about leaving - I dont even want to think about it now - it brings a tear to my eye. And the people - they are so friendly! It's beautiful, green, its everywhere you want to be" said Sam. Our staff and guests loved having Sam on the island for the week and we look forward to welcoming our Food Advisor, Jacques Reymond, next week.