Chef Scott Varnedoe
Florida-born, Louisiana-raised Chef Scott Varnedoe’s Southern roots were ingrained at birth. It isn’t surprising then that his love of the South has been the benchmark of his culinary endeavors. “Upscale Down South,” the tenet of his cooking style, is evident in the way he pairs local ingredients with French, Italian, Spanish or Asian influences.
His culinary career began in Baton Rouge at White Oak Plantation, where one of his role models, Chef John Folse, taught him the basics of managing a kitchen and the art of Cajun-Creole cuisine. During his time at White Oak Plantation, Chef Varnedoe traveled all over the country to cook for celebrities and other prestigious politicians and assisted Chef Folse in the early stages of implementing the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls University.
Not one to remain stationary, Chef Varnedoe relocated to the culinary capital of the South in 1997 to pit his skills against the best chefs in Louisiana. His talent and ambition earned him repeated honors and praise: Bon Appétit named him one of the “Top 5 Chefs in New Orleans” alongside Chef John Besh and he won the top honor of “Best of Show” four times at the New Orleans and Acadiana Culinary Classic competitions.
In the years that followed, Chef Varnedoe forayed into several aspects of the culinary world throughout Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama: catering, food manufacturing, hotels, country clubs, and his own namesake restaurants. The kudos continued along the way: the Wall Street Journal named his restaurant at The Myrtles Plantation one of the “Top 5 Places to Eat” in Baton Rouge; he has been invited to cook at The James Beard Foundation four times; was selected to represent Louisiana at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival; and has been twice selected for Best Chef in the American South.
Chef Scott Varnedoe is now leading the culinary team as the Executive Chef of Restaurant IPO in Baton Rouge, recently featured in The New York Times article “36 Hours in Baton Rouge.” His Upscale Down South style is showcased beautifully in their Southern tapas menu.