Chef Scott Cathcart deftly helms the kitchen producing progressive American cuisine. A California native growing up in Solana Beach in Del Mar, Executive Chef Scott Cathcart started his cooking journey at the age of 15 at Fish Market in Del Mar. Lobster season when he started, 4 to 5 cases of lobsters appeared daily in the behind-the-scenes small prep room, and for eight hours, he split and steamed lobsters every single day. After working around at different restaurants in the area as a cook for six years he wanted a change of pace. Seeing and hearing the fun and excitement going on in the front of the house, he knew that was where he would much rather be!
Realizing he had to learn the business, he took positions from bussing tables to food runner to waiter to bartender. Deciding to go to culinary school at age 28, he enrolled in the New England Culinary School in Vermont. Not feeling at home in Vermont and a rather gloomy and grave situation, Executive Chef Scott soon transferred to and graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Executive Chef Scott says a culinary education helps, but experience is the best culinary teacher and experience is what makes a true chef. Just attending culinary school does not guarantee one will be a chef after graduation. A misconception is that being a chef is glamorous, as depicted on the food network.
The truth is being a successful chef is a huge commitment as it takes a lot of hard work, very long hours and is anything but easy! It takes perpetual passion and a whole lot of endurance. When Executive Chef Scott graduated culinary school, he was seriously driven and focused on his culinary career; everything else was secondary to him.
Culinary philosophy: Whatever you are cooking, make it your very best whether it’s a hamburger or foie gras. A great chef has to have a broad range of culinary skills and must be able to cook the simplest dishes to the most extravagant.
Adamant about working on the line along with his team, Executive Chef Scott simply loves the seriously stimulating action of the restaurant business. His staff respects that, plus he revels in the excitement and truly enjoys the battle! To Executive Chef Scott, being on the front line is totally exhilarating and he actually likes getting his “behind” kicked!
Respecting chefs who get right in the middle of the kitchen’s culinary chaos, Executive Chef Scott say too many Executive Chefs feel too important to work the line and get complacent, like it’s beneath them and they even forget how to cook. Executive Chef Scott adds that if you don’t use it, you lose it! Even a two-week vacation can set a chef back a step or two!
Especially loving winter and the soothing, warming foods this season brings to the table, Executive Chef Scott loves the comforting, homey foods of winter and says food, along with aromas and flavors, should warm the soul and transcend you to a happy memory. Winter foods are simply feel-good foods!