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Celebrating Fatherhood with Scott Crawford

Celebrating Fatherhood with Scott Crawford
Written by Maggie Ward | Photography by Jessica Crawford

The Raleigh chef honors his role
every day

Family comes first for chef Scott Crawford. His restaurants are named for his children, Jiles and Jolie, and he runs modern neighborhood restaurant, Crawford & Son, and French bistro, Jolie, like a family affair accordingly, encouraging and cultivating a culture of healthy work-life balance. He extends the same care to his community by supporting local farms and purveyors.

It’d be easy to become cavalier about a career that has garnered five James Beard semifinalist nominations, but Scott remains humble. He credits his success to his children’s unfiltered feedback, watching them soak up the cities they’ve traveled to as a family. They’ve helped him appreciate the importance of simple dishes like steak frites and green salads, which you can see reflected in his menus.

In keeping with the spirit of his ethos, Crawford will open two new North Carolina spots inspired by family—Crawford Cookshop, a casual neighborhood restaurant opening later this year in a small town similar to the one he grew up in, and a modern American steakhouse called Crawford Brothers in Cary in 2022.

Heading into Father’s Day weekend, we felt it was fitting to catch up with Crawford to talk fatherhood and traditions—he also shares a menu to celebrate the holiday.

TLP: How has fatherhood affected your leadership philosophy as a chef and business owner? 

SC: Fatherhood has made me a more patient, empathetic leader. It definitely softened my edges and made me realize there is more to life than work.

TLP: What is the relationship between your role as a father and your journey in sobriety having celebrated 17 years sober last year? 

Fortunately, I began my journey in sobriety prior to starting a family. However, I always experienced a looming fear of relapse. When my kids entered my life, sobriety became more important to me on a much deeper level. That’s when I started doing more recovery work and truly committing to a greater involvement in the recovery world. Luckily, I had a sponsor like Mickey Bakst to push me toward doing the necessary work. It has also been a mission of mine to educate my children in the dangers of drugs and alcohol, something that was not explained to me as a child.

TLP: What is your favorite dish to cook with your kids? 

SC: Our favorite dishes to cook involve vegetables. Especially this time of year, we love going to the farmers market and bringing home all the seasonal vegetables and making a huge salad. We grow our own herbs and love using them as pops of flavor.

TLP: What other activities do you enjoy doing together?

SC: At home we love to swim. Sometimes my kids will wait up for me to get home after a long day so we can go night swimming in the pool. It’s amazing fun after a stressful day. Beyond our home, our favorite thing to do is travel together, find adventure, and discover new places and cultures.

TLP: What are your Father’s Day traditions, and how will your family celebrate you this year? 

SC: Our only rule is that we spend it together. This year we are exploring a new lake in the mountains of western North Carolina, a place we might purchase property for a future home.

Chef Scott Crawford’s
Father’s Day Menu

Grilled Okra & Corn with Pickled Peppers and Buttermilk Vinaigrette

Seared Trout with Cucumber & Fennel

Grilled Beef Short Ribs with Balsamic Barbecue

Crispy Potato Salad with Boiled Peanuts

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