Top Spa Chef: Scott Cochran of Stowe Mountain Lodge

In this month’s edition of Top Spa Chef we’re getting to know a chef turned Director of Food and Beverage, Scott Cochran of Stowe Mountain Lodge!

“For years I worked as a manager in the front of the house but the food was always the draw. I was constantly bugging the chef’s with questions. What started as reading magazines, turned to cooking books, turned to the right cooking books. A friend then dragged me to the French Culinary Institute and had me apply. Within a few weeks I was back in school. Not too long after that I was learning from some of the most talented chef’s in the world, working both at Jean Georges and Ken Oringer’s Clio, which were lifelong learning experiences for my craft.”

When we asked Scott which food trend he thought was passé his response was essentially saying that things are passé! “Stop saying ‘no’ to things! At a chef’s core we create, that’s the job. And we all get inspired by different things at different times.” Scott does believe that all chefs should be following the trend of personalization. “It’s all about flexibility, being able to accommodate requests, and wow people. If we are limiting what we can cook for our guests on requests it just says that we are limited as chefs.”

Want to whip up one of Scott’s favorite meals from the menu at Stowe Mountain Lodge? Check out the recipes below!

Smoked Steelhead Trout with Lemon Vodka Creme Fraiche and Fennel Salad

Smoked Sturgeon

5 lb. steelhead trout, skin on
1 cup sugar
1 cup salt
4 oz. shallots
1 tablespoon coriander toasted, crushed
1 tablespoon white peppercorns
1 oz. parsley sprigs
1 oz. chives
1 oz. oregano sprigs
roasting rack

1. Clean steelhead filets and leave skin on.
2. Fit sheet tray with rack and line with cheese cloth leaving excess to drape over.
3. In large bowl mix lightly crushed peppercorn, toasted coriander, sugar, and salt.
4. Rough chop all herbs and stem into thirds, slice shallot into thin rings on a mandolin.
5. Mix third of herbs with curing salt and toss lightly to bruise the herbs for more flavor.
6. Spread half of the shallots on the sheet tray with the cheese cloth. Spread third of the curing salt on top of the shallots. Place herbs on top of the curing salt. Place steelhead skin side down on top of curing salt. Top steelhead with the rest of the herb mix and then place the rest of the salt on top and finish with rest of the shallots.
7. Cover with cheese cloth and cure overnight (12 hours)
8. Rinse the next day and pat dry. Let it rest in the cooler, smoke fish in a medium to cold smoke (85° F) for 30 minutes and flip and smoke for an additional 30 more minutes.
9. Roast in oven at 325° F until cooked through.

Lemon Vodka Creme Fraiche

1 each lemon zested
1 cup creme fraiche
2 teaspoons vodka

Whip all ingredients until soft peaks form.

Fennel Salad

1 fennel thinned, shaved
1 orange, segmented
1 lemon, segmented
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and drizzle with oil, salt, and pepper.