The SNHU dining hall holds many themed meals and events throughout the year, but students and staff were recently treated to something special. On Wednesday, February 21, restaurant owner and former “Top Chef” contestant Chris Scott prepared a gourmet lunch at the global cuisine station of the dining hall.
Scott derives his culinary identity from his heritage. “My family is originally from Virginia, but they relocated to Pennsylvania, and when they were in Pennsylvania they lived side-by-side with the Pennsylvania Dutch,” said Scott. “My twist on southern cuisine combines both southern cuisine and Pennsylvania Dutch [cuisine] at the same time.”
After graduating from culinary school, Scott worked in several Philadelphia restaurants before becoming the executive chef for CNN. Scott has also cooked for numerous high-profile celebrities including former president Barack Obama and former South African president Nelson Mandela, among others.
Scott has made many television appearances as well, including “Chopped” and “Beat Bobby Flay,” two popular reality cooking competitions airing on Food Network. Scott is particularly well-known for his appearance on season 15 of “Top Chef,” a competition series that airs on Bravo.
“It was a wonderful experience; just seeing all the wonderful parts of Colorado and meeting 14 other wonderful cooks. Not a day goes by where we don’t reach out to each other in kind of some way. We’re very, very close,” said Scott.
Scott opened Brooklyn Commune, a casual, health-conscious and community-focused restaurant, in 2010.
Six years later, Scott and his wife opened Butterfunk Kitchen, a soul food restaurant with a Pennsylvanian twist, right next door. Dishes include traditional southern fried chicken and Amish style dumplings with chicken and corn cream.
While at SNHU, Scott prepared a soba noodle and salmon salad with a buttermilk dashi, shiitake mushrooms and fermented daikon. Dashi is a type of fish stock often used in Japanese cooking and daikon is a mild-flavored variety of radish.
Unit Marketing Coordinator Claire Scott was one of the driving forces behind getting Scott to come to campus.
“I thought it would be nice to have a guest chef come in and do something different for the students,” said Scott.
Those who tried Scott’s food could feel good about doing so because, for every plate sold, Sodexo donated five pounds of food to a local food pantry.
When asked about what he has planned for the future, Scott said, “We’re just going to keep on moving and keep on inspiring, you know, that’s why I’m here today, to reach out and give back.”