From Kitchen Porter To Chef Extraordinaire
In the bustling world of culinary arts, there are chefs who stand out, not only for their exceptional skills but also for their passion and dedication to creating unforgettable dining experiences.
With his vision for excellence and commitment to serving the best food on the market, Scott van der Hoek, the new Head of Food at Buzzworks Holdings, is set to take the hospitality operator’s culinary offerings to even greater heights.
Originally born in Guildford, Surrey, Chef Scott grew up in Cape Coral, Florida, where he developed a deep love for cooking that continues until this day.
Scott, 46, explained: "My great grandmother, whom we affectionately called 'Nan,' first introduced me to the art of cooking. Her passion for the culinary world was contagious, and I quickly fell in love with it myself."
After starting his career as a Kitchen Porter, Scott's determination and hard work led him to become a Head Chef at the young age of 20. His dedication to the craft propelled him forward, and now, with years of experience under his belt, he brings his expertise now to Buzzworks.
What drew Scott to Buzzworks was not only the operator’s stellar reputation but also its commitment to the wellbeing and job satisfaction of its employees.
He said: "Buzzworks has a great reputation, and their aspirations to really grow the business, whilst maintaining its high standards, caught my attention. They also truly value their people, and that's something I deeply respect as it ties in with my core values."
Looking ahead, Scott envisions Buzzworks producing the best food in the sector, prepared and served by exceptional individuals in its array of outstanding venues.
Scott continued: "My vision is to create the ultimate dining experience for our customers. We will start by really perfecting our staples and then move on to crafting dishes with seasonal local produce that burst with flavour and innovation."
When it comes to his cooking style, however, Scott believes in simplicity and letting the flavours speak for themselves.
"I love creating dishes that are well-presented yet uncomplicated," Scott revealed. With an affinity for seafood and game, he has also developed a fondness for Scotland's local produce since moving to Glasgow. From locally landed lobsters and langoustines, to highland venison and game, Scott loves to incorporate Scottish fare into his meals, adding a unique twist to his creations.
Scott also recognises the power of food in bringing people together. Drawing from his own experiences with family scattered around the world, he understands the importance of creating memorable dining experiences. As he explains:
"Some of my fondest memories are of gathering with my family over a meal. "That's why I strive to provide our customers with delicious flavours that they can look back on fondly."
To stay current with the latest food trends and techniques, Scott loves to explore renowned restaurants and try new dishes. Whether in London or Manchester, he seeks inspiration to create his own unique spin on popular trends.
When asked about his goals for Buzzworks expanding portfolio of popular bars and restaurants in the coming years, Chef Scott emphasised his commitment to supporting the team and helping the company achieve its growth plans.
"Buzzworks has an inspiring vision, and I want to ensure we are in the best position to achieve it," he added.
“Hospitality has been hit hard by COVID, particularly when it comes to working in the industry and the shortage of people has been a challenge throughout the sector."
Regardless, Buzzworks have been great at trying to challenge the stereotypical norms within the industry and are putting measures and benefits in place to create a supportive working environment and refreshing work life balance for our chefs.
“Having been in hospitality for such a long time, I have made some great lifelong friends from this industry. You can always feel the great comradery within your team that comes when you’re creating great service together.
“There’s no other feeling in life, I know of, as satisfying as a great service with talented people. I’m delighted to be part of Buzzworks and am really looking forward to getting stuck in whilst making some great new friends within the Buzzworks team.”
Scott is also excited to be heading up Buzzworks’ talented team of chefs, coinciding with a recruitment drive to find future talent to work within the business.
He added: “We’re looking for someone that wants the excitement of working within the team of a new opening or being involved in the ever-evolving development of a food venue, whilst being able to learn new skills and be part of a vibrant future."
“The hospitality industry is a constant source of learning and growth where you can collaborate with talented and fascinating individuals who share a deep passion for food and the industry."
“It's a world of endless possibilities that can take you anywhere, as my own experiences have shown me, and I’d love to speak to aspiring chefs who would be interested embarking on the unrivalled chef training journey that Buzzworks has to offer.”
If you or anyone you know is interested in working at any of Buzzworks’ other venues across Scotland – please visit www.belongatbuzzworks.com
Alongside Scotts Greenock, the award-winning company offers an aspirational dining and entertainment experience across Scotland through its other stylish brands - House, Lido, Vic’s & The Vine, The Duke, Thirty Knots, The Bridge Inn, The Fox and Herringbone.
Photo credit - Chris James Photography