By Meda Kessler
Photos by Ron Jenkins
He can handle an iPhone and a pair of tongs at the same time. A true social media influencer, he entertains us with his stories and makes our stomach rumble with food photos. And, yes, he’s got skills.
This is a warning to avoid the Instagram page CookDrankEat if you’re hungry.
If you just ate, it will make you regret whatever you just put in your mouth.
Thus is the beauty of Scotty Scott’s social media presence. It’s all about food. There are no cat photos. No selfies. But sometimes, there is a little bit about drank. And then there are the soundtracks to Scott’s videos. They make us want to dance, and we’re not dancers.
With more than 21,000 followers, he must be doing something right.
First off, we need to tell you that Scott’s name is not actually Scotty Scott. He told us his real moniker, but we’re sticking with the double S thing. We like it, and it suits him.
An oil and gas landman, Scott comes to Fort Worth by way of Detroit, Houston and Dallas. “I got a job in Fort Worth in 2008 but decided to live in Dallas. I really had no desire to live in Fort Worth.” Things quickly changed. He discovered that Fort Worth had all the amenities plus a nice small-town feel. Today, he and his wife live in a small loft on Fort Worth’s Near Southside neighborhood with their new baby.
Part of the space is set up for Scott’s photography and video production with music (all shot with his iPhone). The natural light from the nearby windows is flattering, and it’s only steps away from the kitchen. It’s perfect whether he’s whipping up some souffle pancakes with apricot butter to celebrate Mother’s Day or mini brown butter lobster rolls to take to a potluck. (Hungry yet?)
While his day job keeps him busy — as does the new baby — Scott fits in kitchen time whenever he can. Self-taught by his parents (his dad was the grill master of the home), he began honing his skills about 10 years ago and did a little private cheffing and catering.
He also began dabbling in the social media world of Twitter and Instagram. Entertaining business clients for work and living in a hotel for a time allowed him to explore fine-dining restaurants, which helped him grow his curiosity and knowledge about food. But ultimately, his tastes are simple. “I love the street food in Tokyo at the fish market,” says Scott. He’s partial to his own grilled cheese sandwich using Gouda, mint, apple and truffle butter. He makes do with a small Weber grill on his patio and an electric stove in his loft. He cooks for special events and dinner parties, be they for two or 20. He shares recipes and sells food-related T-shirts on his website. (He’s wearing his burger shirt in the photo.)
And since the social media feed is a ravenous thing, he’s always experimenting. “I was a picky eater as a kid, allergic to eggs, and at one point, I stopped eating pork. Other than that, I’m game for anything.”
Smoked Salmon with Pesto
- 2 cups chopped basil
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- ½ cup toasted pine nuts
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ cup olive oil, divided
- ¼ cup melted butter
- ½ cup fresh grated Parmesan
- Salt to taste
• 1 pound salmon fillet
Preheat a charcoal grill to high, leaving the bottom vent open. Soak 2 cups of mesquite wood chips in water.
Combine basil, garlic, pine nuts and lemon juice in a food processor or blender and pulse until coarsely chopped. A pestle may also be used, but if you’ve got those kind of skills, you’re probably not reading this recipe. Add ¼ cup of the oil, the melted butter and Parmesan; process until well blended. Season with salt. Add the remaining oil and pulse until smooth, adding a bit more oil if necessary. Place in the fridge for at least 10 minutes to let the butter solidify.
Remove the fish from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Slice off skin, or have your fishmonger remove it when you purchase it.
Check on your fire. Make sure the grill is nice and hot so you can get a nice char on the bottom. You’ll be topping the fish with the pesto, so you won’t be flipping it. A nice high heat, then slowed down slow and smoky will result in a delicious charred bottom, perfectly moist center and buttery pesto top.
Where was I? Oh, yeah, spray the bottom of the salmon with cooking spray or rub with vegetable oil, then season both sides with salt. Spread about 4 tablespoons of pesto on top of the fillet. Brush and oil the grill.
Once the coals have ashed over and the grill is good and hot, lift the grill grate and sprinkle the wood chips evenly over the coals. Replace the grate and place the salmon, pesto side up, on the hot grill. Placing the salmon longways parallel with the grill lines makes removing it easier. Close the lid, making sure the top vents are closed, too. After about 8 minutes, give it a peek, but be careful, as the grill shall be quite voluminous with smoke; there should be no flames present. Vent the hood just a hair to ensure the coals stay hot, and replace the lid.
As the salmon cooks, it will turn from translucent orange to opaque pink. Cook for approximately 7 more minutes, or
7½ minutes per inch of thickness. Remove from grill, being careful to keep delicious char on bottom intact.
Serve. Enjoy. Thank me.