Thursday, February 25, 2010

Scott Peacock leaves Watershed

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 11:46 PM

Kim Severson of The New York Times reports that Scott Peacock has resigned from Watershed:

Scott had been with Watershed for 11 years, during which the restaurant become known for its interpretations of Southern food, including fried chicken, which regularly sells out on Tuesday nights, the only night it is available. Last week, the James Beard Foundation named him a semi-finalist in the Outstanding Chef category, a nationwide award.

Emily Saliers, a co-owner of Watershed, gave me a follow-up call this afternoon. She is one half of the Indigo Girls, and is in Miami getting ready for one of their concerts tonight. She called the separation “amicable.” The crew at the Watershed, which is accustomed to working without Mr. Peacock when he travels, will continue to put out the same food while Ms. Saliers and her co-owner, Ross Jones, search for a new executive chef.

A friend who is an anthropologist specializing in food mentioned to me last week that he'd seen a "really wonderful" video that Scott had made, chronicling some elderly Alabama residents and their memories of food. Apparently, that's at the top of his to-do list. Severson writes:

At the center of Scott’s post-Watershed work will be a documentary based on oral histories of Alabama’s oldest residents and their food memories. He also wants to write books, including a memoir partly about his longtime relationship with Edna Lewis, one of America’s great Southern chefs. Mr. Peacock took care of her until her death in 2006.

I've known Scott for many years. We spent a year eating bagels together every morning when he was between jobs -- before opening Horseradish Grill, where he was chef before Emily Saliers opened Watershed. Ironically, I've mentioned after my last few visits to Watershed that I couldn't understand why the brunch menu had remained unchanged for several years. Now I know why! He had other priorities.

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