World Chefs: Scott Conant paves path to recreate restaurant meals

Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:42pm EST
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Award-winning American chef Scott Conant helps home cooks recreate meals from his acclaimed restaurant Scarpetta in his latest cookbook.

The American chef, a frequent judge on television cooking shows, opened Scarpetta in New York in 2008 and has launched four other eateries in Miami, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Toronto.

"The Scarpetta Cookbook" includes 125 of the restaurant's dishes. Scarpetta refers to grabbing a piece of bread and sopping up what's left on the plate, which Conant hopes diners will do when they visit his restaurants.

The 42-year-old, who was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, spoke to Reuters about Italian food's universal appeal and his love for Japanese cuisine.

Q: What is the vision behind your latest cookbook?

A: It's an extension of what your experience in the restaurants should be, and hopefully they could recreate that experience within the confines of their home. (It is) not limited to the food and the recipes.

Q: What has been the appeal of your restaurant?

A: It's not a pretentious dining experience. It's a rustic, elegant approach from the design aesthetics but also what's on the plate, in the simplicity of it. Italian food is at its absolute best, capturing the simplicity of the product by allowing it to speak for itself with little or no manipulation.   Continued...

American chef Scott Conant poses inside in his acclaimed Italian restaurant Scarpetta in New York City in an undated handout photo . REUTERS/Brent Herrig/Courtesy of Scott Conant