Ben Scott is an instinctive chef, and the man behind all of the Midleton Park Hotel’s cuisine – just don’t ask him to do puddings of any kind. Especially Yorkshire ones. ‘My mum makes the best Yorkshire puddings in the world,’ he grins. ‘She refuses to give me the recipe. I think it’s so she knows I’ll come home on a regular basis.’ Home for Scott, his wife Lorraine and their seven-month old daughter, Harley, is now Midleton but Scott grew up in West Cork and, with a family tree bountiful in chefs, fisherman, farmers and other food producers, he seemed destined for a career in the culinary arts from a young age, writes Becky Grice.
‘My dad was a fisherman and he was friends with local farmers, so everything we ate was locally sourced and cooked with love by my mum. She was completely self-taught but took pride in serving me, my siblings and my dad proper meals, at the table every night.’ It’s this ethos of sourcing local products and preparing them with pride that has stood Scott in good stead throughout his working life.
With his dad a former fisherman, Ben knows all about early starts and is often the one to turn the lights out in the Midleton Park Hotel’s state-of-the-art kitchens. ‘You have to have passion for what you do – otherwise what’s the point?’ Ben’s culinary career has seen him take the reins in several noted Cork-based hotels and restaurants before arriving at the Midleton Park Hotel, just months after they became part of the Talbot Collection.
It’s been a winning combination: the group determined to invest in talent and local cuisine, combined with Ben’s determination to serve up dishes that his customers (and, let’s be honest, his mum too) would be proud of.
Read the full article in the latest issue of Midleton & District News.