1975 – Childhood
“My grandmother, Audrey, used to cook a Sunday roast, usually lamb. That’s my first lasting recollection of food. It was cooked for hours until it was falling apart. Grandmother Audrey Masterson is an important part of my story.”
Early 90s – Apprenticeship
“For a small city, Adelaide punched above its weight. I was so excited on my first day at Jarmer’s. I owe Peter Jarmer a lot. He was the first person to instil a work ethic in me. He taught me discipline and attention to detail.”
Late 90s – To Melbourne
“It was great, moving to Melbourne to work with Bruno Cerdan at the Hotel Windsor, one of the great hotel kitchens. I felt like I was on my way. Philippe Mouchel’s kitchen was a very different experience. He likes a silent kitchen… I don’t.”
1999 – In London
I walked into The Square. That was it. Life-changing. I thought, “This is for me.” I loved the mood, the energy, the banter, and that was even before I spent the morning working with Phil Howard making terrines.
2002 – Back to Australia
I owe Donovan Cooke a lot. Working with him was like a finishing school. I thought I was a good saucier until I saw him work. My whole philosophical view of meat and sauces changed because of him.
2005 – Bocuse D’Or
I like competitions. I knew them, what they were like to train for, the adrenalin rush of competition. The Bocuse d’Or was in a different league. We trained for a year and came 14th – the highest ever for an Australian team.
2006 – The Point
I was at the Point for more than five years, the longest I had been anywhere. It was a great time, very challenging. It was mainly beef when it came to meat. At one point we did a beef tasting plate with five cuts. We won Best Steak restaurant in 2009 and 2011.
2011 – Estelle
Opening Estelle Bar and Kitchen was probably the biggest leap of faith of my career. It was a huge effort by a lot of people, including family and friends. And involved a lot of improvisation – those DIY skills learnt on the farm came in handy.
2013 – Saint Crispin
Each of my restaurants has a bit of local flavour from the place it’s in, whether Northcote, Collingwood or the Queen Vic Market. In Collingwood, Saint Crispin may seem refined but it’s a little bit raucous, too. It’s eclectic, just like Smith Street.
2014 – Publication of Scott Pickett
A Cook’s Story – My first book, where you can read the whole story… no holds barred…
2015 – ESP and Estelle Bistro
Meanwhile, when Estelle Bar and Kitchen was growing, the opportunity came along to acquire the property next door, and Estelle evolved into two separate restaurants: Estelle Bistro and Estelle by Scott Pickett (ESP).
2015 – Television
I co-presented Hotplate on Channel 9 with UK author, food writer and journalist Tom Parker Bowles. I learnt a lot about what to do and what not to do on camera, which has held me in good stead for media appearances moving forward.
2016 – Pickett’s Deli
Then came Pickett’s Deli & Rotisserie – very different to the rest. It’s a homage to the neighbourhood chook shop smack in the middle of Melbourne’s culinary heart, the iconic Queen Victoria Market. Rotisserie chicken, bacon and egg rolls and coffee. It’s just bloody yummy.
2018 – Matilda
Matilda. Named after my daughter. A sensory journey, all about flames and open grills, and a true labour of love for me. It’s intended to be more relaxed, somewhere you can visit often and be guaranteed a local piece of meat, cooked exceptionally well.
2019 – Estelle, Lupo, my newest publication “Marriage of Flavours” and the launch of new venture “Pastore”
In February, the space which had previously housed ESP, reopened as the Estelle. A venue for all occasions, whether that be popping in for a wine & a snack, or enjoying the full tasting experience. In June, I reopened my Smith Street restaurant (formerly Saint Crispin) as Lupo, a relaxed, contemporary Italian style restaurant. August saw the launch of my new book – Marriage of Flavours.
On Friday, 1 November, I will open the doors to Pastore at Hotel Chadstone. It will be the perfect for local families, shoppers and destination diners alike and will embrace the Italian tradition of the long lunch on Sundays, serving a generous sharing menu encouraging diners to relax into the afternoon.
But the year isn’t over yet – watch this space…