Chef interview: Steve Scoullar, The Ivy
Meet 32-year-old Steve Scoullar. He’s travelled the world aboard six-star cruise lines, bought a great white shark in Seoul and always has his fridge stuffed with cheese. Now, Steve is heading up the kitchen at The Ivy St Helen’s Square in York, where he has lived for 25 years.
What inspired you to become a chef? I was interested in both cooking and eating food from a very young age. My inspiration came from my gran, she was a fantastic cook. The smells from her kitchen fascinated me, as did her food.
What made you work on sixstar cruise lines? What was that experience like? I spent nearly seven years working at sea, travelling the globe. I’ve picked up spices in Crawford Market, Mumbai, bought a great white shark in Seoul, tasted the best Pate Negra that Portugal has to offer and cooked with Kobe beef from Japan. I had a team of 96 in my kitchens at sea, all from different backgrounds, which was an amazing experience.
What are the best moments of your career so far? I have been very fortunate to cook for royal families and some very wealthy and famous people. However, the pinnacle of my career so far was being awarded the Best Food at Sea, Luxury Brand award, in both 2014 and 2015 by Condé Nast.
What attracted you to working at The Ivy St Helen’s Square? The Ivy is an iconic and world-famous
restaurant in London, known for serving exceptional food and drink, so to work with The Ivy Collection in York was too good of an opportunity for me to pass up. Working with our culinary director, Mark Askew, and executive chef Sean Burbidge, is also a fantastic opportunity for me on a personal note – both of whom are highly regarded chefs.
Name one of your favourite dishes on the menu. I have a sweet tooth, so I would have to say our famous melting chocolate bombe. As well as looking and tasting great, there is also an element of theatre to the serving of the dish which our guests really enjoy.
What do you have in your fridge at home right now? There always has to be a good cheese selection, smoked bacon and some chocolate in my fridge. Those are my refrigerator must-haves.
If you could have lunch with any chef in the world, who would it be and why? Marco Pierre White. We have a lot to thank Marco for with the way our industry has evolved and taken shape. Plus, I bet he has some good stories.