Scott Pickett grew up in South Australia, a region famous for both its diversity and its quality of produce. From ocean to forest the region is famed for its strong seasonal identity with an abundance of celebrated local producers and growers. Perhaps it was that subliminal connection with his environment that influenced him, or perhaps it was growing up surrounded by family and the traditions of his grandparents cooking. Whatever the reason, those formative years are the foundations of his values as a chef today. Even from those early training days, chef Scott Pickett’s talent was recognised and he was awarded gold and title of “The One to Watch” at Salon Culinaire. His kitchen education and training was disciplined and traditional. This respect for the classics and understanding of seasonality drew him to Europe, where he honed his skills in some of the most rigorous Michelin starred kitchens of London in the late 90’s. It was his time under the tutelage of chef Philip Howard at The Square in Mayfair that impacted. The restaurant was located in one of the most demanding culinary cities in the world, holding a coveted two Michelin stars. The environment was relentless and the expectation high but Scott thrived and remained with Howard for three years.
Returning to Australia in 2004 he settled into Melbourne’s growing restaurant scene where he spent six years as one of the cities preeminent head chefs, achieving awards and accolades for his work. During this time (in 2005) he was chosen to return to Europe to represent the country at the prestigious Bocuse D’Or, achieving Australia’s highest ranking. 2011 was a turning point, and chef Scott Pickett opened his first restaurant Estelle Bar and Kitchen, in Melbourne’s north. The restaurant was instantly liked and received great critical acclaim. As it grew in popularity, the opportunity to acquire the adjacent property arose and in 2015 Estelle Bar and Kitchen evolved into two separate establishments. The renamed Estelle Bistro sits alongside Scott’s award winning fine dining offering, ESP (Estelle by Scott Pickett). This unique set up allowed Scott Pickett to demonstrate the diversity of his cooking skill, from informal bistro to elegant fine dining. Each location demonstrates individually the core values of Scott’s cooking identity: a warm-hearted, produce-loving, country boy with an obsessive dedication to excellence. During this period (2013) he also opened Saint Crispin in Collingwood. Pickett’s Deli & Rotisserie followed in the iconic Queen Victoria Market in 2016.