“Less is always more” – a minimalist yet highly sophisticated cuisine

Chef Scott Carsberg has been one of the most prominent names in the Seattle catering world. In 1992 he opened Lampreia in Belltown, Seattle which he turned into the more affordable Bisato, 18 years later. He now works as a personal Chef and feels happy about it, and is considered a virtuoso of modern, minimalist compositions, grounded in Italian culinary tradition. 

Scott Carsberg is like an alchemist, selecting fresh ingredients that he dresses up in a highly personal and unconventional way. Acclaimed by The New York Times as best chef in Seattle and considered a genius by others and one of the best chefs in Northern America, Chef Carsberg may sometimes be misunderstood by his peers and food columnists.

“I’m not trying to be different. I just want to be great”, he claims. One of his mentors is Yannick Cam, Chef at Le Pavillon in Washington, D.C. who had a major impact on his cooking. “All I care about is making exceptional food and pleasing my guests (…) I have a great life, great friends. I love my wife, I love my dog and I love living in Seattle.”

How did you become a Chef?

My main incentive to become a Chef has always been the excitement and creative energy I have experienced being in a kitchen. Unlike other professions, cooking is all about creation and is a way to express oneself. Ever since I was 14, I yearned to be a Chef, and I still do… When I was 7 years old, my sister had a toy oven – it was called Easy Bake Oven – and it became MY toy. Then, when I turned 15, I had an apprenticeship at the Four Seasons Hotels and that is how I stepped into the business.

What do you enjoy cooking the most?  

I love to cook both sweet and savory meals: sweet things because I find it important to do the “grand finale”. I enjoy pastry for the same reason I enjoy savory, always striving for something delicious in every way.

Tell me about your signature dishes? 

Savory: Dungeness crab wrapped in honey crisp apple, Granny Smith apple puree (also featured in Nathan Myhrvold’s Modernist Cuisine Book #4).

Walla Walla onion broth with Parmigiano Reggiano cappelletti and Vine ripe black tomato filled with halibut rillettes, tomato syrup and lime. 

Sweet: Yuzu gelatina with Marou dark chocolate.

Bolzano apple cake (because my hometown is known for its varieties of apples) and Cascade huckleberries in their own juice with cinnamon cream cheese, purple tuile.

What’s the impact of social media on a Chef today? 

Social media has changed the way Chefs talk about their work and create their own image.

*What keeps you going as a Chef?  

I take great pleasure in honing my cooking skills, always sourcing, and creating different approaches to cooking. One of my passions is to pay a visit to the local farmers and fishmongers. I love the change of seasons in the Northwest, evolving and changing like my cuisine. There is always a new dish to discover.

What are your plans for Bisato and the future?

It is all about finding a new roof and pursuing my cooking goals and desire.


By: Mário de Castro

Instagram Chef Scott Carsberg 


Photos: Red Box pictures & Scott Carsberg.