Scotts Minns is the chef at Vancouver’s Jam Cafe.
handout / PNG
Scott Minns was born in Trail and began his restaurant career in the front of house at the age of 15 in a couple of local favourites eateries. But his love was food. He moved to Vancouver in the year 2000 and attended Dubrulle Culinary Institute where he got his first taste of the Vancouver culinary scene. From there he’s seemingly done a million and one things. From fine dining, catering, personal chef, managing front and back of house and now head chef at Jam Cafe since it opened in Vancouver.
Q: What motivates and inspires you as a chef?
A: The people! I’ve had a love affair with this industry for a long time and I’ve learned it’s essential to build a work family and cultivate an environment of like minded individuals who love food, who love to talk about food, and inspire each other through sharing our food experiences. I always say you can taste the love!
Q: How would you describe the type of food you like to cook?
A: I like to do comfort classics with a twist — into breakfast. Big flavours marrying in to a perfectly awesome bite, probably with some hollandaise. But I definitely like to get fancy every once in awhile, too.
Q: What might diners not know about you?
A: Early on in my career I was a personal chef for an international celebrity. An almost unbelievable experience for a young chef getting to see the world and meeting an amazing group of people.
Q: Describe a couple of your most recent creations.
A: I spend a lot of time creating specials, but a couple of my recent favourites would have to be a butter chicken sausage skillet: two eggs baked into butter chicken sausage and sauce with cucumber raita and garlic naan. Also lemon meringue waffles with lemon curd, vanilla whip and crispy meringue cookies.
Q: What’s your favourite local product and how do you use it?
A: I love mushrooms! And mushrooms go great with eggs. We’re extremely lucky to have access to an assortment of our more common mushrooms throughout the year and then get spoiled with the more extravagant varieties in the spring and fall. One of my signatures is a roasted mushroom falafel with goat cheese and fresh dill that can be used in numerous applications year round.
French Toast Bread Pudding
The basic recipe is made for maple syrup but feel free to go crazy … nuts, chocolate, fruits or any combination that you can think of will work in this dish.
1 large loaf brioche
8 large eggs
2 egg yolks
5 cups (1.25 L) half and half
¼ cup (60 mL) maple syrup
2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla extract
2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon
½ tsp (2.5 mL) nutmeg
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
In large bowl, break brioche into medium-sized chunks, approximately the size of a golf ball. In separate bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, maple syrup and additional ingredients. Pour liquid ingredients over bread and allow to soak up custard for about 10 minutes pressing down gently to allow maximum and even absorption.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees while you wait. Place ingredients evenly into 9×13 baking dish. Place dish inside roasting pan inside oven and add hot tap water half way up bread pudding dish creating a bain-marie (water bath). Cover roasting dish with foil tenting slightly. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 45 minutes until top is golden and crispy and the custard has set. Cool slightly and serve in your favourite dish with a dusting of icing sugar.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Strawberries and Sauce
2 lbs (907 g) fresh local strawberries, trimmed, rinsed well and quartered
1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup (60 mL) cane sugar
1/4 cup (60 mL) strawberry jam
Trim strawberries and place in medium sized bowl. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, melt sugar, lemon juice and strawberry jam until mixture is bubbling. Allow to cool slightly. Pour over strawberries and toss gently. Cover and refrigerate. Ideally overnight allowing natural flavours to come out.