Interview: How to be a food griot with Scott Barton
Scott Barton is a chef and a culinary consultant. He has traveled around the world to study food. Enjoy where his story takes you.
Below is a summary of our interview:
“Never get too big for your britches,” – something his mother said.
Scott cannot speak about himself without going back to his mother. A lot of his trajectory has to do with his parents. He grew up in Connecticut and grew up in the Civil Rights era. His parents both came from cities. And his mother as a young woman deeply wanted to be a chef. In 1930’s, she had the idea she could be a chef. But the kitchen was no place for a woman or a black woman. But she became a dietician. Scott started cooking with her when he was just 2 or 3 years old. He was excited playing with cookie dough. Cooking was fun. Scott also talked about how he met French chefs in NY, in France. He set himself up to make a lot of money, and got a job as one of the banquet chefs. He worked for 5 months in France. When he was aware he might not be able to stay. Then he moved to San Francisco, California. Then he got the fellowship to study African food and culture. He’s currently in Brazil.
A Low Point
In New York, he wasn’t fitting into the “boys club” and it was impeding his daily work. His friends are diverse, but it became problematic.
Working in France, changing kitchens every 10 days, and learning a new language, and carrying his weight, he realized it was working and he was being accepted.
Scott’s work now
He has made a couple of short films and he has written a book that will be out soon. He studies African culture via food.
Book Scott Recommends:Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination by Toni Morrison
Helpful Habit :
Keeping deadlines for himself and for others.
People who he didn’t know stood by him.
For a great place to learn about food, look at a movie called “Brothers of the Dust” by Darren Canady.
What is Your Purpose:
To inspire others and supposed to be giving help.
Where to follow Scott