Chef Victor Scargle has over 30 incredible years in the industry under his belt. We had the opportunity to talk with Victor as he shared with us his philosophies and methods pertaining to sustainablity in the kitchen and what, in his opinion, is the most challenging aspect about his career.
How long have you been in the industry and how did you begin?
I have been cooking professionally for 32 years, since I was 14 – but before that I was taking kids cooking classes and was making lemon meringue pie with farm fresh eggs and cooking at home in Aptos.
What is the most challenging or rewarding part of being a chef/culinary director?
The most challenging part of any job today, I feel, is people. The world is so dynamic and finding people who are passionate about the industry and then keeping them and keeping them inspired is very difficult. If they are not inspired and compensated they are gone.
Do you have a philosophy about food in concerns to sustainability?
Education and relationships with your purveyors. You must be able to ask tough questions of your purveyors and have enough baseline knowledge to understand processes.
You recently were the culinary director for Boisset Collection – what are some innovative ways you’ve found for reducing waste?
We focus on total utilization and when it comes to green food waste, we have compost and animals it goes to as part of our bio dynamic farming processes.
Atelier (the Fine Foods and Catering portion of Boisset) has a collection of food locally sourced from Napa, but it also has incredible selections from around the world – how does sustainability factor into sourcing food internationally.
This is again done by the relationship and conversations with the purveyors to understand their philosophy on farming and business practices.
Photography courtesy of Alexander Rubin.