Back in the day, when Ethan Williams was attending high school in Ft. Worth, he was certain he would eventually be an architect. He loved the artistic side, and he enjoyed designing and creating things. But that was before he discovered that Geometry – not a strong suit – was needed for an architectural degree.
So at the tender age of 19, Ethan – known back then by his given middle name, Ace – went in search of a career. Along the way, needing to finance his education, Ace took a temporary job with Jack Stack BBQ making $8 per hour cooking huge batches of beans every day. A year later he was elevated to Line Cook, making $12 an hour. Six months later he was the Head Grill Cook pulling in $13 an hour.
In other words, on his first job out of high school, Ace Williams discovered his passion and his future. He wanted to be a chef. So he moved in with his Mom and attended culinary school in Boulder, Colorado. And it was then that he decided Ace was a good name in high school, but if he was going to be a chef he needed to go with his given first name, Ethan. More professional.
Today, Ethan Williams is in charge of overseeing the menu at the smart new location in Stockyards City known as McClintock Saloon & Chop House. And he’s loving his new challenge.
“I want to put McClintock on the map as a go-to spot for delicious, consistent food,” Williams said recently while coordinating the day’s lunch preparation. “I’ve partnered with Chef Joe Giacobbe, and instructor at Platte College. I employ several culinary students who study under Williams as part of their externship.
“The real advantage is that these young students bring fresh ideas and passion about food making.” Williams said. “They will make us better in terms of quality and of speed.”
It was while studying under chefs Anthony Hessel and Nic Fuster, both legendary Colorado chefs, at the popular Mediterranean in Boulder, that Williams learned the value of speed while still keeping the consistency and food quality at its highest level. “It has 565 seats and we would turn that three or four times a day,” Williams recalls.
Williams was a drummer in high school and played in a jazz band, but nowadays he sticks with a practice pad and sticks. Drums aren’t great for apartment life, but his exposure to music “has translated into a serious love of music.” He has about 40 gigs of music in his library, everything from Supertramp and Phil Collins, to Killswitch Engage and Aesop rock. He even has some eminem and Kendrick Lamar
He also has a passion for jigsaw puzzles and always has one going on his dining room table. And his apartment walls are covered in finished works. Just another way to satisfy his craving for designing and creating things when he isn’t doing it at McClintock Saloon & Chop House .