When you own and operate a restaurant, you are always busy. Add three more restaurants to the mix, and you are more than busy. That is the lifestyle for Scott Ouellette, the owner of four New Hampshire restaurants and a newly opened catering and banquet facility in Moultonborough. But Scott wouldn’t have it any other way. Cooking is a passion for Scott and the proof of his talent, quite literally, is in the pudding and the other delicious foods he creates for his ever-busy group of restaurants.
1. How long have you lived in New Hampshire and what brought you here?
“I was born in New Hampshire and I lived here all but about seven years; five years were spent in Atlanta and two in Rockport MA. You never know or appreciate the area until you have been away for a while.”
2. What is your background; how did you become a chef and restaurant owner?
“I actually have somewhat of a financial background in commercial finance and then always had a love for cooking. I managed to combine the two.”
3. How did you get interested in food and cooking?
“I got interested by watching my grandparents, aunts and uncle, and parents cook.”
4. How many restaurants do you own now?
“I have a total of four restaurants, two of which are O Steaks & Seafood with locations in Laconia and Concord. I also own Canoe in Center Harbor, The Woodshed in Moultonborough, and Magic Foods Catering.
5. What is it like to juggle so much?
“Juggling all four restaurants gets to be a challenge, but I have to tip my hat and say thank you to all of my employees and management for their hard work and loyalty and, of course, my parents, who do so much. Without all of them, it would be difficult if not impossible!”
6. What was your first restaurant job and what was it like?
“My first job was at Belmont Hall in Manchester, helping out wherever I could. It was fun and the more time I spent there, the more I liked the restaurant business.”
7. What is the most popular dish on your restaurant menu?
“By far the Lobster Mac and Cheese and our Calamari, hands down. We get requests to ship both of these dishes.”
8. What do you do in your free time to unwind?
“In the summer, there is no down time! We are straight out until Columbus Day, then we get a small break ’til Thanksgiving, which is dedicated to getting ready for the holiday season, and then we see a slow time from January through May. That is when I unwind and do a lot of snowmobiling.”
9. What drew you to the Lakes Region and what keeps you here?
“We live where people come to vacation. What can be better than that? All someone has to do is drive around the lakes and mountains regions to understand why we live here.”
10. Where do guests come from that dine at your eateries?
“Our guests come from all over the world. We get people visiting the Lakes Region from different parts of the world coming in for dinner. They are here visiting the kids for school or summer camp and we are fortunate that they make our restaurants one of their stops.”
11. Where do you think the Lakes Region will be in the future, say, 10 years from now?
“I hope that it does not get commercialized. I think some areas could use a makeover. Meredith and Wolfeboro are two towns that stand out as having done a great job getting tourists and locals to stay local. Getting the area to be more year-round would be great, because it sometimes gets very seasonal.”
12. Is there anything new at Magic Foods that you would like to tell us about?
“Our banquet and catering facility in Moultonborough, formerly the North End, is new.”