21 questions with Maker's Mark's Bill Samuels Jr. [Food and dining]

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This article appears in the November 2010 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe, please visit loumag.com.

Earliest childhood memory? 

Sitting with Jim Beam on his kitchen floor, building things with Lincoln Logs.

Favorite possession?

The very first bottle of Maker’s, signed and dated by my father and his six employees.

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An architect. I’ve always loved good design.

Where’s the weirdest place somebody has recognized you?

I was in the balcony of the U.S. Senate when Fred Thompson — a former Vanderbilt law school classmate of mine and a Tennessee senator at the time — spotted me and yelled up from the Senate floor. A little embarrassing.

What song’s been stuck in your head lately?

“Tutti Frutti,” by Little Richard.  

Who’s somebody doing big things in Louisville and flying under the radar?

David Nicklies, president of Nicklies Development and chairman of the Build the Bridges Coalition.

What Louisville band would you pay to see?

Lionel Hampton; he was probably Louisville’s all-time greatest musician.

Best Louisville bar?

No way am I touching that question.

The most you ever lost on a horse race?

About $100 on a horse I had bought for my wife. It finished last at Churchill.

Louisville restaurant?

My longtime favorite would have to be Pat’s Steak House.

Louisville athlete?

Former St. Xavier and University of Kentucky great Dicky Lyons (Sr.). I have to say that — his son Rob married into the family.

Best book you’ve read over the past year?

Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration, by Warren Bennis.

Can’t-miss TV show?

The O’Reilly Factor.

What’s something nobody knows about you?

I am dyslexic and had a really hard time in school.

Where do you go to be alone?

Our veranda at home overlooking the Ohio River.

Biggest guilty pleasure in Louisville?

Lunch at Hall’s Cafeteria.

LEO or Velocity?

LEO. More of the restaurants I populate seem to have it.

Your thoughts on Benedictine?

An absolute favorite. Tomato, Benedictine and bacon makes the best sandwich ever.

What film has had the greatest influence on your life?

Rudy. I have always valued persistence.

If Actors Theatre did a production about your life, what would it be called?

Determination Beats Intelligence Yet Again.

If forced to get a tattoo today, what would you get?

My head examined.

Photo: Louisville Magazine

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