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.
Topic: The Creative Process
Scott Conant: I think it’s different every time, but, you know, maybe it’ll be an ingredient that I wanna work with, and I’ll- I’ll try to envision the inherent flavors that go along with it, what’s reminiscent of a flavor. If I have a piece of goat’s cheese, for example, and- and I were to think about the evolution of that product and think about if, you know goat’s cheese in a- you know, obviously a- a goat eats grass, or should anyway, I guess-- it doesn’t always happen these days-- but it should, and I’ll try to think of something grassy, say, that goes along with these-- if there’s a grassy element to the cheese, if, you know, maybe a green tomato has another grassy element, and let’s see if I can kind of manipulate the- the tomato but still maintaining its integrity with the cheese, and maybe add a mostarda to it or something like that, or maybe a little mustard oil with the- with the- with the cheese. So you have the goat’s cheese, which is the very acrid flavor as well as the- the green tomato and has that grassiness as well as long- and also a layer and underlining of that little mustard oil. You- you see how that all those things kind of interact, and there’s like a little dance, and everything’s playing on each other, and all the play- all the- all the flavors are singular, but together they’re perfectly harmonious at the same time. That’s the way I’ll try to go about-- but it’s really not that cere- cerebral at all. I mean, I’m not an intellectual; it’s just- like it’s from the heart, and that’s what I- that’s the way I think about it.
Recorded on: 03/24/08