Chef Tales with Scott Baechler
The 5th Edition of Young Chef Olympiad 2019, the largest culinary competition in the world comes to Bengaluru this week and we catch up with Chef Scott Baechler to know more about his journey.
His Instagram profile has just five words – “Butchers Blue, always an apprentice.” His Facebook profile image however answers an all-important question, “how do I achieve a higher mark as a culinary student.” His answer is a whole lot of common sense and the bottom line as he says is “Practice, practice, practice.”
Taking him back in time I ask him to recollect his early days and if he always wanted to be a Chef. “As a young boy I told my mother (Larraine Baechler) that I wanted to become a chef. I am not sure she believed me. My mom was thinking perhaps next week a fire man, or a policeman. But my own grandmother (Valma Miller) from sea forth Ontario was a great cook and caterer. Both of these strong women shaped my career and influenced me through great food and the bonding of family over food.” Incidentally he earlier worked as Executive Chef at The Four Seasons Whistler, Canada and is a Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) certified professional. He is the International Judge and a member of Culinary Team Canada and is currently a culinary instructor at Canadian Food & Wine Institute, Niagara College.
As one of the judges of the International Young Chef Olympiad he says, “every competition is similar yet different. Sanitation, organization, discipline, creativity and a well-balanced dish cooked properly elegantly presented is what I am looking for.” Having served meals for celebrities including the likes of Halle Berry, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip early on, he admits that it can be intimidating as a young cook it can be. “But with more experience you realize you are chosen because you have a good reputation with food. Halle was a darling and sweet, she ate very simple and clean and was very appreciative. The Queen was a two day event with high security sadly I never got to meet her.” Being in the business now for over 23 years, he understands also that there is a constant need to reinvent himself and says he is influenced by other chefs. “And food is a cycle – ebb and flow, almost predictable.”
Naturally Chef has been the recipient of several awards including his lofty achievement of being Certified Chef de Cuisine. However he knows that these are only steps to move ahead. “Accreditations to me are simply a snap shot in time. A goal you worked towards. I cannot sit on it and just say well I am done. It is important to set new goals so you keep moving forward.” He inspired by his family and colleagues and says, “my wife Becca she is young and beautiful full of life. I follow many in the industry I admire but most if not almost all are cooking real food. Clean beautiful plates with fresh ingredients are always an inspiration.” Currently he is finishing some courses and is now setting up new goals in a five year plan. “Stay tuned,” he says and we are certain he is once again upping his ante to another level.