Tucked away in the hills of Central Oregon, Chef Scott Szczodrowski calls Maupin home. A Lakewood, NY native and well-traveled soul, Scott is firing up the grill and our taste buds this summer. He's excited to be working with local Imperial Stock Ranch lamb and beef. His menu showcases the meats in new and tasteful ways. Some old menu favorites have stayed, but there are new Chef Scott signature jams, simple appetizers, salads, and sandwiches.
Scott's fondness of food and cooking came at a young age. According to his mother, "Scott pulled up a chair to the counter to make mac n' cheese at four years old." At age 15, he joined the fast-paced and challenging kitchen environment. At 17, was running a line and managing a staff. Desiring to step up his kitchen "game," he graduated from Le Cordon Blue in Pittsburg, PA in 2004. His professional journey into "chefdom" started in Florida at the Ritz Carlton. Over the next several years, Scott's passion and drive took him all over North America to explore different tastes, live music, and good food.
After a few years in the Colorado mountains, Scott found himself in the busy food hub of Denver. He describes working in "one of the busiest kitchens I've ever been in" and how he accepted that challenge. Working in a kitchen is hard work in really hot conditions and tight time frames. "It made me even better than what I thought I was already great at." Scott proudly worked at Denver's own Biscuit Company, working more hours than the average person cares to think about in a week.
Chefs seem to enjoy pushing their limits as far as they can, and then even further if they think they've reached them. It's something that is part of the fun and part of the stress of the job. When asked what his most challenging aspect of the kitchen was, Scott's response was simple, "Motivating the staff." It can be hard on a chef to delegate when there's already so much on his mind. Finding time and energy to motivate your team can be a huge obstacle for many chefs. Having a smooth running crew is one of Scott's main goals for his kitchen.
Scott's drive and hard working spirit keep him eager for the next challenge. Incorporating artistic flare into the dish, to present it wholly, is in part the art of cooking. This seems easy to Scott. Tasting a dish he made for the first time, taking in the beauty of colorful ingredients presented together in a simple and alluring way, is part of why it's so obvious to see and taste the love put into the meal. That's why Scott and Imperial are such a great match. He enjoys fresh, organic, locally-sourced ingredients. He wants food to be healthy and happy. If it is, it will be delicious and tasty.
To put it plainly, Chef Scott's Maupin food is delicious. What a gem to have in this small, adventurous town! Come taste Scott's new items. We look forward to what the future brings from this extraordinary pairing of fun, good food, great company and adventure. Welcome Chef Scott!