FORT WORTH, Texas — There is nothing more satisfying to a chef than the joy of cooking. In Fort Worth, one chef proves that sentiment -- you'll find him in his kitchen any time of the day or night.
Cooking has become more than just a pastime for Chef Scotty Scott. His time in the kitchen is even therapeutic, especially when he is clear of all distractions.
"Cooking for me is like yoga to people who love to relax," Scott said. "When the family's asleep and it's two in the morning, it's like, you know, the house is quiet, there are no notifications. You know, the city is quiet. It feels like the world is quiet. It's just me and my ingredients."
The kitchen at home is where Scott whips up his most delicious meals. In many cases, they are dishes that are his very own creations. For example, Scott uses sweet potatoes to create a dinner must-have once you've tasted it.
"This sweet potato bread. So, I kind of call it banana bread's southern cousin. You know, it's got that same delicious cakey-bread that you found in the banana bread," said Scott.
Some of his recipes come after years of trial and error. He admits he's had to rethink ingredients and substitutions. He's even restarted from scratch on recipes to get the taste he wants.
Scott's love for cooking started at a very young age. His confidence got a jump-start with one of his favorite recipes handed down through the family.
It took Scott several tries to perfect his grandmother's macaroni and cheese. He experimented with the ingredients, like the types of cheese and the number of eggs to use.
Either way, Scott kept an eye on his mother and grandmother as they whipped up family dinner. Eventually, curiosity got the best of him, and he had no choice but to challenge himself to cook.
"I was about 10 years old, and I've been watching her a while and I made it on my own. First, my aunt said, 'This is good.' And my mother came and said, 'This is good.' And so, that was really the kind of the launching point of me really want to get into cooking," said Scott.
That cooking has led to Scott's biggest food achievement. He's now among the growing list of Black chefs in Fort Worth to publish their own cookbook. His is titled “Fix Me A Plate".
Scott shares many of his original soul food recipes and popular dishes he insists anyone can make. He wanted the cookbook to have a name that comes across as personal, because he really enjoys seeing people eat and be happy.
"It's like I've served it to you myself," Scott said. "And so, that's kind of one of those euphemisms when you're at somebody's house and you're about to go and say, 'Hey, fix me a plate, man,' you know?"
That's also why for Scott, Fix Me A Plate is more than just a name. He dedicates much of his success to his mother. After completing the cookbook, he received great news from Detroit, Michigan.
"My mother taught in Detroit Public Schools for 42 years, and she was a high school counselor and taught about education. And I got an email from Detroit Public Libraries that I have my book in the Detroit Public Library," said Scott.
He also considers the cookbook a go-to for what to do with leftovers. He came up with the idea of including leftover fixings after cooking and needing something to do with portions of his dishes that didn't get eaten.
"I know kids hate leftovers. So, there's several dishes in the book where you take your leftovers to the next level by repurposing something you've made," he said.
Although cooking is not his full-time job, Fix Me A Plate could be one of those career-changers.
"I've been in another career for about 12 years, and I never thought that something that I had decided to follow on my passion would lead to one of my greatest achievements," said Scott.
It's an achievement he hopes will get people asking you to, "Fix me a Plate."