It’s Thursday, and while that means everyone is just one day away from the weekend, it also means it’s time to throw back — to an earlier period in Food Network’s history. Check back on FN Dish every Thursday to find the latest #tbt of your favorite chefs and get a retro look at their earliest days on TV.
Long before Scott Conant took his seat at the judges’ table on Chopped, he spent his days in the kitchens of some of the most-celebrated restaurants in New York City and abroad, earning his reputation as one of the premiere chefs and restaurateurs in the industry. He graduated from culinary school and soon moved to Germany for several years before returning stateside to begin his journey up the culinary ladder, first as a sous chef and eventually as an executive chef at San Domenico and City Eatery, respectively.
Throughout his training, Scott focused much of his attention in the kitchen on his passion for Italian food. He spent time in Italy cooking with renowned chefs and relatives alike, which ultimately inspired within him a style of Italian cuisine all his own. His roster of flavors and ingredients went on to be featured at the forefront of several of his restaurants, including his now-signature eatery, Scarpetta, and in many of the dishes he’s made while competing on Chopped After Hours and Chopped All-Stars.
Although Scott’s donned his apron several times to cook in the Chopped Kitchen, he’s a judge there more frequently, known for doling out constructive criticism and worthy praise to eager chef-competitors. In 2009, Scott put his success in the restaurant industry to work on a new series, 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, which challenged two teams to turn an empty space into a functioning restaurant in only one day. It was up to the contestants to conceive of a concept, menu and design, plus manage employees, before Scott judged the outcomes and awarded the winning group a $10,000 prize.