Chef Blessing Creates Instant Classic With New NorCal Seafood Eatery
In 1976, the first Scott’s Seafood Grill & Bar opened at the corner of Scott and Lombard in San Francisco, CA (hence the name). After the opening of seven other successful locations, Scott’s in Folsom came into existence in 1999 when John Cook discovered the Greenback Lane location became available. He acted quickly to bring Scott’s to the Folsom Community and instantly became a local favorite.
In 2012, John Cook read about Jerry Bernau’s plans to replicate the Historic Railyard on Sutter Street and thought the Roundhouse would be a perfect location to carry our wonderful relationship with the great city into the distant future. Unbeknownst to John, Jerry had already pitched Scott’s Seafood to the Folsom City Council to occupy the space while looking for project approval. After a long and much anticipated wait, John and his wife, Suzanne Cook, opened Scott’s Seafood Roundhouse in the summer of 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Bringing along favorite artwork from local artists to give a nod to the past, we are looking forward to a bright future,” noted John Scott.
Scott’s has always had the freshest of seafood delivered daily from regional fisherman and around the world, served by a well-trained, knowledgeable staff in a comfortable atmosphere. A key to Cook’s success has been the ability to build a team that share their vision. Once again with the new Folsom, CA location they have recruited a duo with culinary credentials that point to success and a great dining experience for each guest.
Seasoned Chef Nicholas Blessing is at the help of the restaurant’s kitchen. His love & passion for cooking began in the kitchen beside his mom learning recipes from the age of 3. At age 15, Nicholas was eager to begin working in a professional kitchen. His culinary journey began as a dishwasher/prep cook at a local Italian fine dining restaurant located in Nevada City. There, the Executive Chef took Nick under his wing and showed him what it really meant to be a Chef. A year later, Nicholas’s diligence, hard work, and dedication named him Sous Chef.
Chef Nick grew up in Grass Valley California, a small town about an hour away from Sacramento. “As long as I can remember I have been drawn to food and cooking, going back to when I was just five learning to make simple things such as scrambled eggs and mac and cheese,” Blessing noted. “I have always been amazed by taking such simple ingredients and creating amazing food with such vast flavors and origins all while using all the same ingredients. I started in the kitchen at the age of 15 as a dishwasher at a local Italian bistro. Within a year and a half, I was an understudy for the Executive Chef, just soaking in as much information as possible. He named me Sous Chef, a title I was hesitant to take as I did not think I deserved it, but he said that my drive and work ethic inspired him and that I had such an ‘old school kitchen’ work ethic. At this point, nothing could stop me from reaching my dream of becoming an executive chef and running my own restaurant.”
Some 8 years later, Chef Nick became the lead Line cook at a French fine dining restaurant in Roseville, CA. “That is where I really started to blossom, getting my first experience in a real French kitchen. I caught the eyes of my Executive Chef and Sous Chef and they really tested my limits to see how I would do and no matter what they threw at me I succeeded. In just a year I had been made the Sous Chef and then a few months after that my mentor — the Executive Chef — had given his notice. With the trust of the owners of this restaurant I was named Executive Chef at the age of 24 and finally I had earned the right to call the restaurant my own. In his first year of running his own kitchen, he managed to bring home the 3rd place “Best Chef” award, as well as 2nd place for “Best Restaurant”, both from the hip local Style Magazine.
“After a few years there I was hungry for my next challenge and that was to open a restaurant as the executive chef. So I teamed up with Scott’s Seafood to open the beautiful Scott’s Seafood Roundhouse in Historical Folsom. Throughout his 14-year culinary journey, Nicholas has opened a total of four restaurants. He is classically trained in French and Italian cuisine, with an emphasis of his own “style” of cooking which he considers modern upscale, local farm to fork. Constantly furthering his education & experimenting with new techniques and methods of cooking like fermentation, dry aging, and curing.
One of the keys to Chef Nick’s success has been his ability to build a team that shares his passion. At the new Scott’s Seafood Roundhouse has teamed with Chef Luis Madrigal and Sous Chef Robert. A key to accomplishing that vision has been building resources that can assist the trio in their quest to create culinary magic. “With that in mind, we chose the Chefs’ Warehouse as our foodservice distributor. Blessing explained. They offered us a vast offering of specialty ingredients that enable us to be consistent. Plus my Rep Brent Sotto is great, keeping up to date with the market trends and pricing, always checking in and seeing how I’m doing and providing samples and meetings with great quality companies. My favorite things to get from the Chefs’ Warehouse are the black garlic molasses, whiskey barrel-aged shoyu and the vast variety of specialty cheeses.”
Blessing menu includes a number of creative selections. “With our Octopus Queso Birria Tacos. We slow braise Spanish octopus with dried chiles, aromatics, lard, beef stock, and fire roasted tomatoes, onions, and garlic. Once done cooking, we chill overnight and strain the consume. We then chop and portion the octopus, searing on the flat top. We dip the tortillas in the consume and cover in queso Oaxaca, cilantro, and diced onions. Once tortillas are nice and crispy we plate them with house-refried black beans and cilantro lime rice. Garnished with fresh lime, pickled onions, micro cilantro, salsa verde, and a side of the wonderful consume. This dish was inspired by my deep love of Mexican food and heritage. I eat tacos literally every day and have a taco tattoo.”
When asked about the creativity that he has brought to Scott’s Seafood Roundhouse, Blessing shared his Ahi Poke. “We get fresh ahi tuna in daily that is cut into poke and tossed in a kimchi emulsion with compressed caramelized pineapple. It is then garnished with furikake, pickled watermelon radish, more pineapple, and micro cilantro. We serve it with a side of wonton chips. This dish was inspired by my wife who grew up in Hawaii and has inspired me with so many flavors and ingredients.”
With a great team sharing his kitchen and the support of a distributor that listens and responds to their needs, Chef Nick Blessing and Scott’s Seafood Roundhouse have quickly become a Sacramento are landmark.
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