Chef Scott Collinash
Although someone can take good food and make it bad, you can’t take bad food and make it good. By using the best quality products I can get, I can cook and serve the best food. By staying connected to my local food producers it not only allows me the comfort to know I am serving the freshest food, but also the safest food available. It allows me the to know that that it was raised and produce with the highest of standards.
Growing up in Central Pennsylvania my father always had a large garden. We had a family of seven, and if my father didn’t grow it, we got it from other local farmers. For berries, the whole family would go picking mostly in wild fields, I don‘t think those wild fields exist anymore. For peaches we took a day trip to Chambersburg, Pa. to pick them ourselves. Each fall my family would purchase a half of Beef, and a Hog from a local farmer, usually my uncle. There wasn’t a day that went by in the summer that we didn’t have fresh vegetables with our meal. One of my favorite meals then and still is creamed peas and fresh potatoes, corn on the cob, and tomatoes from the garden.
My mother taught me at an early age to preserve this food for the rest of year. By freezing and canning. We made jelly, jams, pickles, relishes, tomato and apple sauces plus much more. Any fruit or vegetable that could be gotten, we had it in our pantry or freezer. The one thing I remember that stuck with was the day a neighbor gave my mother a bushel of crab apples– we had never did anything with crab apples, I didn’t even know what they were. My mother and I canned spiced crab apples, and they instantly became a family treat.
By the time I was to graduate from high, my whole family assumed I would be going to culinary school. My Aunt Doris even offered to pay for my culinary education. Of course as a eighteen year old does, I wasn’t going to let anyone tell me what my future would be. I decided I was going to be a doctor, I got accepted at a few colleges, but settled on Gannon, in Erie Pa. After my first year of college I changed my major to mental health and psychology. I worked for a few years in the mental health field, but it didn’t take long for me to return to my love…the hospitality industry. I worked in all aspects of the restaurant business for many years. I went strictly to the back of the house in 1984, and open my first restaurant in 1986. Within the next five years I opened my second restaurant, with the third to follow two years after. I then started a catering business which I absolutely loved. Not only did I have the creativity of preparing food, but also the creativity of party/wedding planning. After years of the hustle and bustle of running a business I decided I just wanted to work as a chef. Which led me to Panorama at the Peak. With Panoramas mission of serving fresh regional food simply prepared and presented beautifully, it was a perfect match.
I never did go to culinary school, I did however train under many great chefs. I like to tell people the first chef I trained under was Julia Child. I watched Julia everyday as a boy of thirteen, I then began preparing everything she did. She is still one of my favorite chefs, and truly is my hero. The one great thing she taught me was not to be afraid to try it. Sometimes it doesn’t work, but most of the time it does, and it is delicious.
With my mothers and fathers teaching, my philosophy has always been to use the freshest products, produce and protein alike but it is also important to know where your product came from, and who produced it. I utilized this teaching in all the restaurants I worked in and own. With this being Panoramas mission, it is pleasure to be the executive chef. One of the things I am most proud of is at Sunday brunch at Panorama at the Peak, as I talk to our guests, and they say how wonderful it is- I can tell them when the eggs they just ate were laid. Know your food-Know your farmer!
Be well – Eat Fresh.
Chef Scott Collinash
Executive Chef- Panorama at the Peak