Scott Thomas McGehee was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and raised in Little Rock. As a boy, he was inspired to be a cook by both his great-grandmother Ruby Thomas, (of the Red Apple Inn), and his father, Frank McGehee, (Blue Mesa Grill, Juanita’s).
After attending the University of Arkansas, Scott was an honors graduate of the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, followed by a position as line chef, at Alice Waters’s famed Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, California.
In 1999, Scott returned to Little Rock and opened Boulevard Bread Company – a gourmet bakery, delicatessen, and café that quickly became a beloved Little Rock institution, recognized as one of the city’s top restaurants in the September 2002 issue of Southern Living magazine. In 2004 and 2006 Scott opened River Market and UAMS Medical Center locations of Boulevard Bread Company.
Scott opened ZaZa Fine Salad & Wood Oven Pizza Company in Little Rock, 2007, then ZaZa Conway, Big Orange Burgers, Salads, and Shakes, (West and Midtown Little Rock locations and a Rogers Arkansas location), Local Lime Tacos and Margaritas, (West Little Rock and Rogers Arkansas Locations), Lost 40 Brewing, and Heights Taco and Tamale.
With his partners, Scott aspires to continue to follow his passion to develop and open new and exciting gourmet inspired restaurants. He is equally passionate in his quest to be strongly connected and supportive of local farmers and their families, supportive of local businesses, creative people, and always heavily engaged with important philanthropic causes in Arkansas.
Arkansas Heirloom Tomato Jam
1 gallon in season Heirloom tomato “concasse”, (to “concasse” a tomato– Dip whole tomatoes in rapidly boiling water for 30-40 seconds until skin splits, immediately dip into ice water bath to cool, remove within 20 seconds, peel, half, gently squeeze seeds out and discard, and medium dice)
- 3-4 cups sugar (depending on your desired sweetness)
- 3 cups small diced yellow onion
- 1 Tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 3 Tablespoons fresh grated ginger (peel ginger before grating)
- 1 medium minced Scotch Bonnet or Habanero (or similar) chili depending on desired heat (use gloves to protect fingers if they are sensitive to very hot chilies). Substitute 3 T Melinda’s hot sauce if fresh chilies are not available.
- 3 Tablespoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon toasted and ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon toasted and ground coriander seed
Combine, simmer for 45 min to an hour until very thick in a non-corrosive heavy pot, (stir often and don’t allow it to stick or brown on the bottom of the pot)
Transfer to containers or jars and let cool at room temp for at least 3 hours, then refrigerate for up to a month.
Serve with your favorite salty Spanish or ltalian Cheese, smoked brisket or short rib, as a spread for a smoked Turkey sandwich, or to top a fried shrimp taco, (Also- This Jam is good on just about anythingl)