WHEN TIM WILLIAMS, an orthopedic surgeon with a passion for good food, moved to Indianapolis 14 years ago, he asked around for restaurant recommendations. What did people suggest? “They told me to try Bonefish Grill,” Williams says. “So it took me a while to figure out what was going on.” He had to seek out gems like Regina Mehallick’s tiny R Bistro and the late Greg Hardesty’s prix-fixe spot, Recess. Over time, he discovered Milktooth, Love Handle, and (most notably) Bluebeard, whose owners and chef would become the subjects of his first Back of House video in April 2020. “I’ve never done anything like this before,” Williams says of the beautifully produced series of sit-downs with restaurant folk. Instead, he works at the Franciscan Health Center for Hip & Knee Surgery in Mooresville, performing replacement surgeries “day in and day out.”
The 10-minute shorts, recorded and directed by local filmmaker JD Schuyler, aren’t your typical voice-overed reels. They’re professionally produced, coming off as both polished and raw. In the off-the-cuff style of Williams’s culinary inspiration, Anthony Bourdain, the videos seem more like conversations than interviews, with working kitchens bustling in the backgrounds.
The pair plans to film more chefs’ stories, perhaps moving in the direction of themed restaurant crawls. And though he enjoys getting acquainted with people who work with food, Williams doesn’t pretend to have an insider’s handle on the industry. “I had a job at a pizza place when I was 16, but that’s about it,” he says. “I’m not a chef. I don’t have the chops.”