On Hospitality, Sentimental Stripes and Anchovies, with Chef Scott Korzack

Scott Korzack | Photo by Rubén Nava @runamen for Scout Magazine

In our latest interview, we sit down with Scott Korzack , Chef at Vancouver-meets-Venetian-wine-bar, Bacaro restaurant.

Through a short series of personal and industry-related questions, veering from serious to playful, get to know more about Korzak, in and out of the kitchen, below…

Open kitchen or closed kitchen, which suits your personality best? A semi-open kitchen. I love being able to see and interact with guests, and for our kitchen team to do the same.

Describe the kitchen tool/implement that you’re most sentimental about. Where did you get it? What’s the story? Always the black aprons with white stripes. They bring me back to my days at L’Abattoir — we all wore them, and it was one of the best teams and restaurants that I have ever been a part of.

What is your favourite type of cuisine to cook? French/Italian.

What is your favourite cuisine to eat? Cajun chicken sandwiches from Cactus Club.

What’s the one dreaded kitchen task that you’d be glad to staff out to someone else so you never have to do it again? Inventory/invoices.

If money was no object and you had the night off, where would you take your co-workers for dinner tonight? L’Abattoir.

How did you last burn/cut yourself? Cleaning a shelf. Don’t ask.

Who have been some of your most impactful mentors? In order of my career; Rob Gentile (Leclair), Lee Cooper  (L’Abattoir), Chris Stewart.

Name your all-time favourite three ingredients. Rhubarb, ribeyes, duck feet.

Default drink/cocktail of choice? Gin martini.

Dogs or cats? Dogs.

Forest or beach? A forest leading to a beach.

What keeps you up at night? When the Canucks win a game.

What do you do when you can’t sleep? Try to read, watch a tv show, breathe deeply.

Last movie or TV show you watched and would recommend? Cobra Kai for entertainment.

A character from a movie that you’d love to share a meal with? Gordon Gekko.

What trend have you followed that you now regret? Baggy pants.

Shoe of choice? Blundstones, 15+ years of them.

Where’d you grow up? Georgetown, Ontario.

Three words that would describe you as a child? Always curious/active.

Do you have a favourite photograph of yourself as a kid? If yes, can you describe it for us? When my parents dressed me up as a chef and I was crying because I didn’t want to be a chef.

The place you last travelled to? Venice, Italy.

Did you bring anything home from this trip? If so, what? Great olive oil and some sneaky gin.

Proudest moment of the last year? Opening a restaurant.

Biggest challenge of the last year? Opening a restaurant.

The ingredient/dish you’d like to see more customers be brave about trying? Anchovies.

Dish on your menu right now that everyone should try? Anchovy Crostini.

What is Vancouver missing in terms of cuisine? A late night culture of dining.

Where was your first job in the industry? My folks’ butcher shop when I was 15.

What was the most valuable lesson learned in that position? Hospitality is by far the most important thing in our business.

Your favourite curse word? Balls.

Are you a superstitious person? Got any good luck charms or rituals? I never change my lucky socks. Nah – just kidding. I feel that if you’re prepared and organized, then things should go smoothly.

You are about to compete in a big cooking competition (the Canada’s Great Kitchen Party Vancouver regional qualifier)… If chefs had ‘ring walk anthems’, what song would be playing as you walked into the kitchen? “Eye of the Tiger”.

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