The Daily Meal caught up with chef de cuisine Victor Scargle to learn about how his travels have influenced his work. Scargle is the executive chef at Lucy Restaurant & Bar at the LEED-certified Bardessono resort in Yountville, Calif. Before coming to the restaurant, he was a chef instructor at the Culinary Institute of America Greystone and has worked in the kitchens of Go Fish, Julia’s Kitchen, Jardinière Grand Café, and Aqua.
The Daily Meal: What has been your most inspirational food experience while traveling?
Victor Scargle: During some of my past travels, I had some of the most incredible seafood in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and also got stuck inside a bakery in Corfu, Greece, during a storm (flash flood) where I watched them hand-make dough for all different kinds of spanakopita. Not the cute little triangles we know that look like the paper football game, but large portions. Spinach, ham and cheese or sweet with sugar and different fillings. Both experiences were definitely some of the most memorable in my culinary travels.
TDM: What’s your favorite kitchen souvenir from your travels?
VS: When I traveled to Italy years ago I found a tool that was both a knife and scaler all in one for butchering and scaling fish. Very cool and functional.
TDM: If you could eat your way through one country, which one would it be and why?
VS: Japan. I have yet to visit but love the flavors and cleanliness of Japanese cooking. You can taste see the passion they have for their cooking and desire to not overcomplicate food.