Scott Conant (born February 19, 1971) is an American celebrity chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author. He is the host of 24 Hour Restaurant Battle and is a regular judge (and sometimes celebrity contestant) on Chopped.
Conant was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, of Italian descent on his mother's side. He began cooking at a young age, taking cooking classes at the local community college at age 11. At 15, he enrolled in W.F. Kaynor Technical High School for culinary arts, and then attended The Culinary Institute of America (CIA). He has since opened a number of very popular restaurants in North America, written numerous cookbooks, and appeared on or starred in many food-related television shows.
Conant married his wife, Meltem, in Bodrum, Turkey, in 2007. They have two daughters.
While at the CIA, Conant interned at the famous New York City restaurant San Domenico, an experience that had a decisive impact on the young chef. After graduation, he spent a year in Munich, Germany, mastering the art of pastry at the Hotel Bayerischer Hof. He returned to the United States and San Domenico, working as a sous chef and helping the restaurant garner three stars from The New York Times.
In 1995, Cesare Casella selected him to be chef de cuisine at Il Toscanaccio, an Upper East Side Tuscan-style restaurant. A year later, Conant went on to revamp two institutions: Barolo in SoHo and Chianti on the Upper East Side. Conant then became executive chef at City Eatery, located on the Bowery in New York City.
Conant and his modern take on Italian cuisine got the attention of New Yorkers, earning him a loyal following and a glowing two-star review from The New York Times in 2000.
In September 2002, Conant opened L’Impero in Tudor City, Manhattan. Within weeks, the restaurant received a rave three-star review from The New York Times.
A year later, Conant’s signature pastas appeared on the cover of Food & Wine, and the magazine went on to name Conant one of America’s “Best New Chefs” in 2004. L’Impero received top honors from the James Beard Foundation in 2003, including “Best New Restaurant” in the U.S. and “Outstanding Restaurant Design.” In October 2003, Conant was featured on the cover of Gourmet for its “Chefs Rock” issue, and in March 2004, Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl named L’Impero one of her favorite New York restaurants.
Following L’Impero, Conant went on to open Alto, a "sophisticated" Italian restaurant in midtown Manhattan that offered his interpretation of Northern Italian cuisine.
Conant left L’Impero and Alto in 2007, and in 2008 opened a new restaurant, Scarpetta, located in Chelsea, Manhattan.
In July 2008, Scarpetta received a positive three-star review from The New York Times and New York Magazine. In November 2008, Scarpetta was named one of the “Best New Restaurants in America” by Esquire magazine.
In November 2008, a second Conant restaurant was opened in the Fontainebleau Miami Beach in Miami Beach, Florida, where it received four stars from the Miami Herald.
In June 2010, Conant announced he was planning on opening two new restaurants in Las Vegas, Nevada later that year at The Cosmopolitan.
In July 2010, the reality food-competition television show 24 Hour Restaurant Battle premiered on Food Network, starring Conant as the Host and Head Judge along with fellow restaurateur and Chopped judge Geoffrey Zakarian. The television show pits two teams of two people against each other as they open up a restaurant from scratch in 24 hours. The show was cancelled after two seasons.
In September 2014, Empire Resorts announced that Conant plans to open Bistecca by Scott Conant - an elegant and modern Italian steakhouse - at the proposed Montreign Resort Casino in the Catskills.
- Top Chef – Guest Judge, Season 2, 4 and 5
- Chopped – Judge, Seasons 1–4, 6, 9
- Martha Stewart Living- Multiple Appearances
- The Today Show – Multiple Appearances
- Good Morning America – Multiple Appearances
- Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations – The "Techniques Special" Aired: April 5, 2010
- 24 Hour Restaurant Battle – Host / Head Judge
- Three Stars from The New York Times for "L'Impero" & "Scarpetta New York"
- Four Stars from Miami Herald for "Scarpetta Miami"
- "Best New Restaurant of 2003" from the James Beard Foundation for "L'Impero"
- "Best New Chef" from Food & Wine Magazine in 2004
- Winner of season 3 of "Chopped All-Stars"
- Scott Conant's New Italian Cooking (2005), ISBN 0-7679-1682-4
- Bold Italian (2008), ISBN 978-0-7679-1683-7
- The Scarpetta Cookbook (2013), ISBN 978-1118508701
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