I am am Scott (I prefer Scotty) Harris. This is my blog which should soon be incorporated into the web site of a new regional food magazine for Western and Central New York and Southern Ontario, called Vine Dining.
I was born in Rochester, New York, attended the University of Buffalo majoring in History, and the University of Toledo, College of Law. It was while in Law School that I had my culinary epiphany. I had worked in restaurants while growing up, but never learned how to cook. And growing up in the 60's and 70's mostly in a Kosher home limited my exposure to many foods. My first attempt to cook a dinner (to impress a red haired nursing student at Bowling Green) was, if not a disaster, a disappointment. While it would be fair to say that I didn't follow the recipe properly, what I really discovered is that I had no idea what it means to cook. I had no understanding of the fundamental knowledge of what cooking is.
I went to a local Used Book Store (I love them, but I'll talk about that another time) and asked the very nice lady there for, not cookbooks, but books about cooking. She sold me three books: Vol. I and II of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking and La Technique by Jacques Pepin.
It would be a lie to say that I cooked my way through all three volumes, but I came damn close. I lived for days on the scraps of chickens as I taught myself to bone them. It would be easy to say that was a useless exercise - it's not something I have needed to do again - but the cooking disciplines I learned during this process have been invaluable.
I left the Law after I almost died in a fire; got married and, with the encouragement of a friend and restaurateur, embarked on a career as a cook After years as a Sous Chef in some of the nicer restaurants in the area, that same friend asked me to be his opening Chef, but soon thereafter I was faced with a choice - and I chose to be a father rather than a Chef.
I still cater with that friend, and I am constantly thinking about, and playing with, food. This blog is the latest part of my culinary adventure, and I hope that friends - old and new - will join with me on this journey.