Executive Chef Victor Scargle of Lucy Restaurant & Bar at Bardessono in Yountville, Napa Valley, says he feels fortunate enough to live and work in one of the best places in the world for food and wine. “We’re able to produce, grow, and source amazing ingredients year round from both our on-site garden and other amazing local purveyors. My passion for these high quality, locally sourced ingredients is the driving force behind our menu.”
During an apprenticeship at Red Lion Resort in Florida, Scargle says he found a mentor in Executive Chef Brian Bird who encouraged him to travel east to work with chefs in Miami and New York, including Patria, Gramercy Tavern, Tribeca Grill, Park Avenue Café and East Hampton Point with Chef Gerry Hayden.
Lucy boasts an upscale atmosphere with a casual feel that sets a great foundation for the kitchen team to really shine. “Aside from the fantastic food, wine and ambiance, what really makes our restaurant special is the staff behind it,” Scargle says. “In addition, we have amazing year round products to work with and a great kitchen team creating innovative dishes to serve in an incredible setting.”
Scargle sources proteins from local farmers and purveyors, including Don Watson Napa Valley Lamb, Jim Reichardt Liberty Duck and David Little Farms, as well as a majority of seasonal seafood from the bay area. “Focusing our menu on what is in the garden or what is being grown at local farms ensures guests the most flavorable food possible, grown with care and harvested at it’s peak ripeness.”
The onsite garden at Lucy dictates what’s created on the menu. This forces seasonality paired with amazing local proteins that provide a balance of flavor and texture with the main ingredients. “If I had to pick one favorite dish year round it would be Liberty Duck Breast with whatever the seasonal preparation is,” says Scargle. “I like the summertime mulberries from the garden as well as the choy. The balance of the crispy skin with the rich meat and brightness of the berries is incredible.”
Scargle supports the slow food movement, saying that people need to be aware of their food and where it originated. “The way people ate hundreds of years ago, where nothing was wasted and the whole animal was utilized, is a great approach today. We’ve become lazy with fancy grocery stores and people forgetting where their food comes from!”
Written by Maria Desiderata Montana