Slow Living Radio is delighted to welcome returning guest, Chef Victor Scargle, the new Culinary Director for the exciting Boisset Collection and JCB Collection. Learn of his rich culinary background, mission with Boisset, snail palaces, biodynamics and more. And next time you venture to the Napa Valley, be sure to visit, not only the magical wineries, but the surreally French Atellier tasting room and fine food and catering boutique in Yountville. You'll be transported into Boisset's France and transformed.
With a special culinary style that melds fresh, seasonal ingredients in a way that showcases the abundant flavors of Napa Valley, Boisset Collection Culinary Director Victor Scargle was not always destined for a life in the hospitality industry, despite growing up cooking alongside his father. Enrolled at the University of California at Santa Barbara, the Santa Cruz native was well on his way to achieving an economics degree before returning to his childhood pastime.
Feeling uninspired from school, Scargle left college to pursue a culinary career after receiving an American Culinary Federation apprenticeship in Santa Barbara at the Red Lion Resort. Here, he found a mentor in Executive Chef Brian Bird, who advised Scargle to travel east to work with chefs in Miami and New York, including at Patria, Gramercy Tavern, Tribeca Grill, Park Avenue Café and East Hampton Point with Chef Gerry Hayden.
In 1995, Scargle returned to the Bay Area to work for esteemed Chef and Restaurateur Michael Mina at Aqua and stayed with Mina Restaurant Group for five years, first at Aqua in San Francisco and later assisting with the 1998 opening of Aqua in Las Vegas and Pisces in Burlingame, where he served as executive chef. During his stint at Aqua, he was honored as one of San Francisco Chronicle’s “Rising Star Chefs” of 2000 — a highly coveted award that recognizes the best and brightest young culinary talent.
In 2000, Scargle accepted a position as chef de cuisine at Jardinière, where he worked with celebrated Chef Traci Des Jardins. Three years later, he joined The Patina Group as executive chef of Julia’s Kitchen, the white tablecloth restaurant at COPIA: The American Center for Food, Wine and the Arts, a non-profit institution launched by Napa Valley winemaker Robert Mondavi and other leaders in the wine community. Situated on 12 acres of donated land, Scargle worked closely with the garden curators to form a seamless alliance between garden and kitchen, establishing a program that sourced 80 percent of the summer produce from the COPIA gardens. His hard work and determination at Julia’s Kitchen led to a three-and-a-half star review from the San Francisco Chronicle.
In June 2011, Scargle joined the team at Lucy Restaurant & Bar to help guide the evolution of the restaurant, which re-launched in February 2012 with a brand new concept and design. His menus at Lucy showcased the bounty of fresh produce sourced from the property’s on-site garden and local farmers, ranchers, fishmongers, foragers and artisan purveyors in the Napa Valley. While many restaurants employ a specialized team to maintain the garden, Scargle took an active role in Lucy’s garden — planting, harvesting, and experimenting with different produce.
In 2016 after Bardessono was sold, Scargle, who served on the faculty of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) from 2009-2011, decided to return to the CIA to reopen Copia in Napa. After ten months on the project, Scargle seized the opportunity to join legendary winemaker and visionary Jean-Charles Boisset and his Boisset Collection that features wine, food and luxury giftware.
When not in the kitchen, Scargle is at home gardening, spending time with his wife and son or going out to listen to music.
And a word from Jean Charles Boisset:
A Family Collection
|Bonpas Vineyard, Rhone Valley, France|
|Wine Caves at Buena Vista Winery, California|
A History of Family Traditions
|The Magnificent Atellier Wine Tasting Room and Fine Food Purveyor,|