One of New York’s most beloved and respected chefs, Scott Conant brings a deft touch and unwavering passion to creating food that is unexpected and soulful. This year marks his return to the culinary scene with the opening of Scarpetta in New York City’s Meatpacking District and Miami’s Fontainebleau resort.
Question: What are your favorite restaurants?
Scott Conant: You know, I love Daniel. I happen to- I think Café Boulud is probably one- one of my favorite restaurants. I happen to think Daniel is fantastic as well. I mean it’s- you know, his restaurants are phenomenal. Jean-Jorges, I went to lunch at Jean-Jorges the other day, and I’ll say this on camera-- hands down the best lunch in New York City, I think. Jean-Jorges is a phenomenal restaurant, but at lunch it just- like, it sparkles, it shimmers, it’s approachable; and it’s just fun. I mean, it’s really- how many four-star restaurants can you say that about, right? I mean it’s- it’s really- it’s really a great spot. So, you know, there’s- there’s- those chefs of that caliber, Daniel and Jean-Jorges, obviously Thomas Keller is phenomenal; but even the guys, you know, that are- that are kind of the same age as I am-- Wiley-- this is perseverance. I mean he’s just like focused. Marcus Samuelson, against- you know, against- against all odds he opens up an African restaurant. Like, who does that? Like, God bless him. You know what I mean? And- and he’s a wonderfully-talented chef, and he’s trying to do things that are from the heart and personal and all that kind of stuff, and there’s something to be said-- I think there’s- there’s something to be said about that. There’s so many- so many wonderfully-talented chefs and also great business people as well. I mean if you go around this city and look at all the successful businesses in this town, and before you know it you, you know- you realize there’s a lot of- of-- there’s a huge pool of- of, you know, people to look at and say okay. And then there’s also the- the times when you look at some people and say, “You know what, that’s the guy I don’t wanna follow. That’s the example I don’t want to- to- to have.”
Recorded on: 03/24/08