KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL : Chef Scott Quinn of Bagatelle Los Angeles

Bagatelle has long been a St. Tropez-infused phenomenon in New York, feeding the city’s elite for years. Now emerging hospitality group Brand Essence and industry leaders The ONE Group will bring Bagatelle’s legendary dining experience to the West Coast with a multi-room indoor/outdoor establishment located in the heart of West Hollywood. Created by design firm Studio BRASA, the 2,700 square foot restaurant’s motif resembles the salon of the Parisian apartment of an international jet setter. Bagatelle’s patrons will be treated to seasonal, French-Mediterranean menu offerings by Chef Scott Quinn, whose inspiration and experience are sure to provide a lively and fine dining experience for L.A.’s globetrotters, foodies, celebrities and tastemakers.

How did you begin your career in the culinary world?

I started cooking at 14 for my mother [Susan Quinn]. She worked long days as a seamstress and would leave early in the morning and return far after the conventional supper time. After seeing how tired she was after work, I decided that the least I could do was make sure she had a hot meal when she came home. I watched the Food Network for inspiration and to learn how to cook, mostly comfort food.

 All types of food intrigue me but food from obscure or unknown places are my favorite.

What restaurants did you work at prior?

I started as a porter at The Yankee Silversmith in Connecticut. I met my first mentor, O.J. Kaitis, who hired me as the kitchen manager/chef of his new restaurant, giving me the foundation to become a chef. I left to pursue my degree at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute and to discover my own style. I worked as a sous chef for a local restaurant called The Bungalow, then started doing stages at Mary Elaine’s. I landed a job at the Fiamma Trattoria as Garde Manger C.D.P and assisting with the banquet chef. I met another great chef, Patrick Fegan, who guided me to Las Vegas to work for Chef Thomas Keller at Bouchon Bistro. I knew in my heart that Chef Thomas’ way of thinking and cooking was something special. I spent five and a half years working through all stations, listening and learning along the way.

What appetizer, entrée and dessert dishes is your restaurant best known for?

We’re still putting the finishing touches on the Bagatelle LA menu, but there will definitely be local influences. Some Bagatelle classics on the menu are the Gnocchi a la Parisienne, Poulet Fermier Entier Rôti et Truffé and the Tartare de Thon.

Are you a world traveler? If so, how does that inspire your dishes?

My job and duties do not allow me to get away physically as much as I would like, although I am an avid reader and collector of cookbooks from around the world. I also get my inspiration from a stroll down the supermarket isle or the reaction on someone’s face after their first bite.

When you’re not at your own restaurant, where can we find you dining?

I like to explore different types of cuisine from Thai to Greek. All types of food intrigue me but food from obscure or unknown places are my favorite.

What’s your favorite drink?

I’m addicted to coffee. I love the warm inviting flavor of it. At night when I’m relaxing I like nothing more than an ice-cold beer.

What do you do in your free time?

I like to get together with friends and relax. I also love do-it-yourself projects. Putting together a cabinet set for my kitchen or building a bookshelf is so calming to me. To be able to buy raw materials and create something great with it over time is so satisfying to me, I guess it’s the same principle as cooking.

Bagatelle LA 755 North La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood, California, 90069