8 Hours and 18 Bowls of Pasta with Chef Scott Conant, the 'Chopped' Judge With the Really Good Hair

The chef reveals his love for pasta and more

Scott Conant, judge of Food Network's Chopped, is the chef of the new Italian restaurant the Ponte in Beverly Grove.

Chef Scott Conant twirls his pasta like a boss. His right hand angled, the fork at 20 degrees — the movement is fluid and effortless, like he’s tumbling a quarter along his knuckles.

 

The chef of the new Italian restaurant the Ponte in Beverly Grove is sitting at a table at Cento, the pasta-focused lunchtime pop-up inside of Mignon in downtown L.A. that’s run by Avner Lavi, a former pasta cook at Bestia and Sotto. Conant is dressed in a tailored, three-piece, navy suit, with his signature auburn mane brushed straight up and back. (If he decides to leave the culinary world, he could have a second career as a spokesman for a shampoo company. The hair hasn’t elicited its own Twitter profile yet, but Conant says there was a hashtag.)

 

“Hey, I woke up like this,” he says. “Just remember I have the intellectual property on my hair.”

 

Cento

 

Conant digs into a beet pasta, one of Lavi’s specialties, made with a dry pasta and a sauce of roasted beets, poppy seed, and brown butter. Twirl, bite, wipe, repeat. He is through a quarter of the bowl before he comes up for air, his napkin a crime scene of smeared fuchsia and poppy seeds. This is the first hour of a three-restaurant, eight-hour, 18-bowl pasta crawl for Conant, who is known best for his pasta al pomodoro, a humble bowl of spaghetti, tomato, and basil.

 

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Read the rest of the story on the celebrity chef's epic pasta crawl on the LA Times.