Pennsylvania native, Scott Crawford heads the kitchen as executive chef at Herons restaurant at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, N.C. His culinary skill has made him not just a Southern favorite, but has earned him some pretty prestigious awards. He was named a semifinalist for “Best Chef: Southeast” by the James Beard Foundation (his third nomination). Under his leadership, Herons was named one of 2012’s “101 Best Places to Eat in the World” by Newsweek. He was also recognized by Food & Wine, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Southern Living.
Crawford earned his stars with a stagiaire at restaurants in San Francisco, as well as at the former Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead in Atlanta, under then-Executive Chef Bruno Menard.
“I haven’t looked at food or cooking in the same way since,” says Crawford of his time with Menard. “After that, it all came together for me.”
At Heron’s, Crawford features local farms such as Chapel Hill Creamery, Elodie Farm and Cane Creek Farm. He is passionate about using organic produce, farm-raised meats, and local dairy products.
We asked Chef Crawford to share a recipe he felt personified the fall. His answer:
* 1 large locally grown butternut squash
* 2 6oz cans coconut milk
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 2 tablespoons malted milk powder
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1 tablespoon maple syrup
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cinnamon stick
* Pinch fresh nutmeg
* Kosher salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut Butternut squash in half and remove seeds. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and brush the butternut with butter using a pastry brush. Season the squash with salt and place on a baking sheet.
Roast the squash in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until squash is soft and flesh is bright orange in color. Remove from oven and allow squash to cool for 10 minutes.
Scoop the squash away from the skin with a spoon and place in a blender.
In a small sauce pan gently heat the coconut milk, malted milk powder, vanilla, maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg. Remove from heat and allow mixture to steep for 5 minutes. Turn on blender and Add liquid mixture to butternut squash a little at a time until you achieve the desired consistency (You do not have to use all of the liquid). Add the remaining butter and sugar while blending. Season with salt to taste.
Heron’s is located at 100 Woodland Pond Drive, Cary, NC 27513