Mentorship Award 2014
May 1, 2014
Scott Jaeger was just 17 when he began an apprenticeship with Bruno Marti at La Belle Auberge. As a protégé, he was significantly influenced by his time with the seasoned restaurateur; this inspiration is still readily apparent in Jaeger's reverence for food, his communication style, and his approach to leadership. Many notable chefs have spent time in the kitchen of Jaeger's Pear Tree, just over the line into Burnaby, before embarking on their own paths of success: Lee Cooper (L'Abattoir), Tobias Macdonald (formerly La Belle Auberge, now chef instructor at VCC), and Jen Peters (ex-Raincity Grill, now NextJen Gluten Free) to name a few locals; Reinald Schneider (Fette Henne, Germany) and Talib Hudda (Marichal, Denmark) have gone abroad. Summing up Jaeger's continued effect on her identity as a chef, Peters says, "Scott's attention to every detail, dedication to finding quality product, and commitment to consistently pleasing guests are all things that stay with you."
Since his tenure as Canada's 2007 Bocuse d'Or representative and on the 2008 Canadian Culinary Olympic team, Jaeger has opened his kitchen to young cooks coming up through the competition ranks. He most recently coached Ryan Stone (executive chef, San Francisco 49ers) during the 2011 Bocuse, passing along hard-earned wisdom from his own years of intensive training. And as president of the Chefs' Table Society of B.C., Jaeger strives to develop that scholarship program. He focuses on retaining and inspiring young cooks already in the industry by rejuvenating their perspective, "finding ways that our industry can keep bettering itself."
Despite his many accolades and awards, Jaeger humbly acknowledges that cooking is a lifelong learning process. "I take the most influence from the same guys that I'm currently mentoring. I get the opportunity to influence them, but they influence me just as much."