A self-described country boy and avid lover of books and music, Chef Scott Bachman, Assistant to the Director of Operations for College Chefs, sees something in food that the average person does not. College Chefs provides it's fraternity and sorority customers a meal plan that is second to none and customer service that is unmatched -- Chef Scott is a key part of that.
Growing up in the country on a hog farm, Bachman became familiar with food quickly. He was able to see food full circle--from a tiny grain all the way to the dinner table. Fresh, garden-grown food was always on hand. However, at a young age Bachman became acclimated to the restaurant business doing front of the house jobs. “I bussed tables and washed dishes in many restaurants,” said Bachman when talking about the early days of his career. Although one might not find interest in bussing tables and washing dishes, Bachman seemed to see it as an opportunity to progress. There was always something fascinating to Bachman that made him love the restaurant atmosphere. “I wanted to know what went on behind those doors to the kitchen,” said Bachman. The guys worked hard and Bachman wanted to be one of them. The curiousness drove Bachman to work his way up the line to finally being behind those swinging double-doors and working in a kitchen with food fanatics, also known as chefs. “I guess I washed the dishes well enough to move up,” joked Bachman.
One of his first experiences in the kitchen that he remembers is working at Alexander’s, the famous steak house in Champaign, Illinois. Working at Alexander’s for eight years, Bachman gained knowledge in the kitchen and management but also learned how to come out of his shell. “It affected me in a real positive way,” he says. Even from the beginning, Bachman set goals for himself. “I wanted to go a whole year without getting a steak sent back,” says Bachman. Reminiscing on cookout competitions with his dad and his mom’s homemade food, Bachman credits his dad as his inspiration for grilling. “My family is a really big influence in my career,” says Bachman. After 15 years of working in the restaurant business he wanted something more.
Bachman decided to take a job with College Chefs in 2011 where he saw a career rather than a nine to five job. His first house was Kappa Kappa Gamma in Bloomington, Illinois. From his inspiration of grilling and fresh foods, Bachman brought something different to College Chefs. Going back in time, Bachman spoke of how cooking use to be done--before modern agriculture. “I wanted to focus on cooking from scratch like I remember my mom doing,” Bachman says fondly as he speaks of his values in fresh foods. Bachman and his views on food are quite similar to those College Chefs prides itself on: serving the best, freshest foods. Besides leaving modern agriculture behind, Bachman sees food as an art and science. A self-taught chef, Bachman has a focus in food science. “I have an eye for things on the artistic side and knowledge for the science side of things,” says Bachman. From a fajita sizzling on a skillet to the crunch of a carrot, Bachman really does see food as an art that uses all seven senses. Other than the sense of smell, sound and taste, Bachman believes that food has to look appealing as well. “You have to make the food appetizing for the eye,” explains Bachman.
With his experience in organic foods and food science, Bachman works alongside Director of Operations for College Chefs, Jared Bost (Click Here to learn more about Jared). As Bost’s right-hand man, Bachman doesn't ever have an average day. Nevertheless, Bachman wouldn’t have it any other way. “Being a Chef is always unique and every day there is something different,” says Bachman with enthusiasm as he speaks about his job never being repetitious. As a Chef with College Chefs, Bachman may be traveling, on the road, at home or doing odd tasks--that he thoroughly enjoys and is always ready with his mobile kitchen in tow. The most important task, however; is making sure the chefs are putting food together that is up to College Chefs’ standards and making sure the residents are happy.
Baking was never a strong point for Bachman, and since starting at College Chefs he has become better at baking. “I can make some cool stuff and I get a lot of compliments,” he mentions of his cooking skills which he gained from reading books. Bachman, who is proud of his accomplishments, explains the reactions of those who try his cuisines. “If I am cooking I want the kitchen to be smelling awesome and people to think my food is awesome,” says Bachman with a sense of passion. “I want them to be as excited about food as I am,” he says.
Passing on a Tradition
Still learning more every day, Bachman spoke of another great passion--his daughter. “Being a dad is pretty awesome,” he says. Together, his love for food and his daughter has made for some quality time. Passing on his “green thumb” to his daughter, he talks about teaching her to garden and their time together--enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables. “We eat the strawberries right in the backyard, so they never make it into the house,” he laughs.
Even though Bachman claims to have a less interesting road to success, it is easy to see his passion for food and all that surrounds it. With 20 plus years of knowledge in farming, gardening and grilling, he can continue to produce healthful, appealing foods to sororities, fraternities and all others willing to enjoy an awesome home-cooked meal.
Note: Scott Bachman was promoted to Supervisor following the Spring 2014 semester.
Note: Scott was again promoted to Assistant to the Director of Operations Fall 2016