About Scott

My love for great produce began early. As a kid on a farm in Kangarilla, it taught me a lot about food and seasonality. Knowing the growers and producers behind the food we ate gave me a respect for them that I’ve never lost. That connection with an environment like that influenced me to become a chef. So did growing up with my grandmother Audrey’s Sunday roasts.

Those years set the foundations of my values as a chef and restaurateur today. My approach always puts food at the front. It’s based on real cooking – with the greatest respect to the produce. I want you to have incredible food and wine experiences, with incredible service. But the food is the hero.

Now, as a restaurateur, I don’t spend as much time cooking as I used to, but I have some gun Head Chefs to work with. Together, we build on what makes each of the venues special, and try to impart on you our understanding of seasonality and our respect for Australian growers and producers. It’s a journey that’s still going. Can’t wait to share with you what we’ve got planned next.

Timeline

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  opened the doors to Pastore at Hotel Chadstone. It’s the perfect venue for local families, shoppers and destination diners alike and embraces 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…

Accolades

Matilda 159 Domain

2020 Age Good Food Guide –
2019 Time Out 50 Best Restaurants in Melbourne – Ranked #12
2019 Time Out Melbourne Nominated for Best Fine Dining Restaurant
2019 Age Good Food Guide –  
2019 Age Good Food Guide – Nominated for Best New Restaurant
2019 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide Top 100 – Ranked #85
2018 Delicious Top 100 Restaurants
2018 The Australian Top 100 Restaurants

 

Estelle

2020 Age Good Food Guide –

 

Saint Crispin

2019 Age Good Food Guide – 
2018 Age Good Food Guide –  
2018 Gault & Millau Guide – 14.5/20
2017 Age Good Food Guide –  
2017 Australian Financial Review Top 100 Restaurants – Ranked #95
2016 Age Good Food Guide –  
2016 Australian Financial Review Top 100 Restaurants – Ranked #44
2016 Delicious Top 100 Restaurants
2015 Age Good Food Guide –  
2015 Age Good Food Guide – Nominated for Restaurant of the Year
2015 Australian Financial Review Top 100 Restaurants – Ranked #20
2015 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide Top 100 – Ranked #92
2014 Age Good Food Guide – 
2014 Age Good Food Guide – Winner New Restaurant of the Year
2014 The Australian Hot 100 Restaurants
2014 TimeOut – Winner Best New Restaurants
2014 Gourmet Traveller Wine List of the Year Awards – Finalist Best New Wine List
2013 The Australian Hot 50 Restaurants

Estelle Bistro

2018 Delicious Top 100 Restaurants
2018 Gault & Millau Guide – 15/20
2017 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide
2017 Age Good Food Guide
2016 Delicious Top 100 Restaurants
2016 Age Good Food Guide
2015 Australian Financial Review Top 100 Restaurants – Ranked #27
2015 Age Good Food Guide – 
2014 Age Good Food Guide – 
2014 Age Good Food Guide – Finalist for New Restaurant of the Year
2013 Age Good Food Guide – 
2013 Age Good Food Guide – Winner Young Chef of the Year, Josh Pelham

 

Estelle by Scott Pickett (ESP)

2018 Australian Financial Review Top 100 Restaurants – Ranked #75|
2017 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide Top 100 – Ranked #28
2017 Australian Financial Review Top 100 Restaurants – Ranked #55
2017 The Australian Hot 50 Restaurants
2017 Age Good Food Guide –  
2016 Delicious Top 100 Restaurants
2016 The Australian Hot 50 Restaurants
2016 Restaurant & Catering Awards For Excellence Victoria –  Winner Best New Restaurant
2016 Australian Financial Review Top 100 Restaurants – Ranked #58

Something to read…

Marriage of Flavours

Sweet. Sour. Bitter. Salty. Spicy. Umami. Temperature. Texture.

The marriage of contrasting and complementary flavours has d

riven Scott’s way of cooking since the early days of his career, earning him a reputation for brilliant combinations and incredibly tasty food.

From Scott’s interpretations of the classic combinations to more unusual pairings that bring unexpected sensory delight, these are dishes and ideas to help you find a new harmony in the way you cook.

Available in store or order a copy online

Scott Pickett: A Cook’s Story

A Cook’s Story tells of a life that combines a passion for food with the art and craft of cooking. It’s an open and sometimes confronting account of dramas in the kitchen, the roller-coaster of opening a restaurant, the demands of opening more, and the pleasures and challenges of competition and success.

Available for purchase in store.