Scott Miller
Scott Miller: “I do have a bit of a lifelong pretzel problem.”
Scott Miller: “I do have a bit of a lifelong pretzel problem.”

What is always in your refrigerator?
Parmigiano Reggiano and roasted tomato sauce — because in my house a quick dinner for the kids often includes one or both of these.

What do you cook up for a late night snack?
I don’t make a lot of late night snacks, but when I do it’s usually popcorn. Sometimes kettlecorn.

Where/what do you eat on your day off?
I usually go for Asian food. A current favorite is B-Dama on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland or Ippuku in Berkeley.

Do you have a secret ‘junk food’ vice?
I snack on things but nothing I would really think of as too junkie. OK, an occasional doughnut might make the list. I do have a bit of a lifelong pretzel problem.

Any food you can’t stand?
Licorice. I can’t stand all licorice — all colors, all kinds.

What is your fantasy ‘last meal?’
My fantasy last meal would be my friend’s old restaurant, 42 Degrees. I have had so many fond memories from there and the kids were always treated like royalty.

What ingredient is overused and needs to be retired?
That’s a hard one. I don’t know, why anything? They all have some use sometime. But I don’t really feel the need for white balsamic vinegar anymore. I also don’t like tarragon, but that’s more personal. I like pimenton and arugula and wouldn’t retire them, but I think right now they being overused.

What is the next big thing?
The next big thing is watching my son learn to cook. Seeing him taking an interest in my field warms my heart. Coming soon — Chef Josh!

Your favorite special meal to cook?
Lamb shoulder chops with gremolata and arugula, Persian cucumber and summer tomato salad. My girl’s favorite.

Favorite restaurant in the world?
Ristorante da Delfina outside of Florence, Italy.

Who would you like to have dinner with (alive or dead)?
Obama and Michelle.

A food tip/secret/ to share with readers?
I’ve got two from all my years in the kitchens. #1: When making anything that is meant to be served cold or at room temperature (such as paté or rillettes) you must slightly over salt the mix. The salt content will subside in the end product. #2: When in doubt, throw it out!

As executive chef of Market Hall Foods in Rockridge, Scott Miller leads the culinary team at The Pasta Shop, Market Hall Caterers and Market Hall Bakery, and oversees kitchen operations at Cactus Taqueria. In his more than two decades in food service, he has worked with several renowned San Francisco Bay Area chefs, including Narsai David, with whom he learned the art of charcuterie and the business of catering. Scott’s focus is on specialty food take-out, gourmet meal solutions, charcuterie, and higher end casual dining.

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