324: Staying consistently positive with Chef Scott McGehee

     An Arkansas native coming from a family of incredibly rich and interesting food-related history, Scott McGehee trained at the California Culinary Academy and cut his teeth at Chez Panisse working under Alice Waters for many years. Today Scott is a rabid advocate of treating people and contemporaries in the industry with absolute kindness, dignity, and respect. He exercises this advocacy as Executive Chef/Partner at Yellow Rocket Concepts, a Little Rock restaurant partnership, which is known as Central Arkansas’s culinary juggernaut.
     In this episode we discuss: Never giving up. If you want something you need to chase it. You need to be consistently positive. Learn to communicate effectively. Utilize the path of least resistance to get things done. Lift struggling coworkers up, don’t put them down for their mistakes. Paying your dues in the kitchen to learn and become better. Cooking is about more than food. Food is about human relationships, not just sustenance and taste. Be calm and kind. Baby steps are key to expansion. If you’re not improving and growing every day, you’re dying. If you don’t know something just ask. You should be continually reinventing your restaurant.

Show notes…

Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.

“Your team is your family.”

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Career Challenge or Failure

Over-salting 50 gallons of soup at age 23 and smoking (because it clouds your palette).

Knowledge bombs

  1. Which “it factor” habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?

    1. Kindness
  2. What is your biggest weakness?

    1. Spreading myself too thin.
  3. What is one piece of advice you have for leading others?

    1. Treat people with dignity and respect.
    2. If you take care of them, they will take care of you.
  4. What’s one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?

    1. Look for a big smile.
  5. What’s a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?

    1. I wish I could spend more time with more employees.
    2. You need to recreate yourself in other people.
  6. What’s one thing (besides food) your restaurant does well and separates you from other restaurants?

    1. Customer experience.
  7. What’s one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?

    Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman

    Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

  8. What’s one piece of technology you’ve adopted in your restaurant and how has it influence operations?

    1. NoWait Restaurant Technology Services
    2. Aloha POS
  9. With all the knowledge you have now if you could go back in time and give your past self one piece of business advice, What would it be and why?

    Make more time for your family and the people you love.

  10. Contact Info


Visit Chef McGehee’s restaurants:

Thanks for Listening!

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Huge thanks to Chef Scott McGehee for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!