Executive Chef Scott Cohen is a rising star on the international culinary scene with a flair and passion for Texas Hill Country cuisine. He is executive chef of Las Canarias in the historic landmark hotel La Mansion del Rio on the famed Riverwalk in San Antonio. He is also executive chef of its sister restaurant Pesca on the River in the Watermark Hotel and Spa, just over the footbridge on the other side of the river.
As a teenager Scott Cohen worked in local restaurants in New Jersey and later decided to attend the CIA. Upon graduation, his first job was at The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas when Wolfgang Puck was the corporate chef and Avner Samuelle was executive chef. He moved to New York where he worked as sous chef at The Hotel Carlyle, and later at La Reserve, under the late Andre Gaillard.
With the help of Daniel Boulud, Cohen went to France to do a “stagiaire,” or train with three of that country's most renowned chefs, George Blanc, Roger Verge, and Michelle Rustang. He returned to New York to open Tatou, a chic supper club, which garnered him rave reviews. In 1994 he moved to the Stanhope where he transformed the hotel's dining room into an impressive presence on Fifth Avenue. That same year he received the bronze medal from the prestigious Vatel Club, a French culinary organization. He was the youngest chef and one of the first Americans to receive the award. After sixteen years in New York, Cohen came to San Antonio.
Chef Cohen has been showcased at the James Beard House in New York, and was the organizer and host of a James Beard Foundation benefit event in San Antonio featuring the best chefs of that city. He worked with the founder of La Mansion del Rio to found the San Antonio New World Food and Wine Festival, now in its seventh year. His recipes can be found in The Food and Wine Cookbook, The Food of Texas: Authentic Recipes from the Lone Star State, and others. He is on the advisory board of Chocolatier and Pastry Arts magazines and is active in many professional and charitable organizations in the culinary world.
Executive Chef Scott Cohen has many opportunities both at home (in the Hill Country) and afield (both coasts and everywhere in between) to promote this book.
Marian Betancourt is an author and journalist who writes about food for Associated Press, Sante Magazine, and other publications. She has written about many well-known chefs including Daniel Boulud, Bobby Flay, Tom Douglas, Michael Lomonaco, and David Rosengarten. She has authored15 non-fiction books and has written for scores of periodicals. She lives in New York.
Ron Manville's photographs are published in many award winning cookbooks including the IACP and James Beard awards winners, Sherry Yard's Secrets of Baking and Bread Baker's Apprentice. Other cookbooks include Noel Cullen's Elegant Irish Cooking and Marcel Desaulniers Celebrate with Chocolate, Dwayne Ridgeway's Lasagna: The Art of Layered Cooking, Wolfgang Puck's Wolfgang Makes it Easy. Two more books are upcoming. He lives in Rhode Island with his wife Christine. (www.ronmanville.com)
About the Hotels and Restaurants
Omni's La Mansion del Rio and its sister Watermark Hotel and Spa, are located across from each other on the famed River Walk of San Antonio. Since it opened in 1968, La Mansion del Rio has hosted hundreds of celebrities from Bill Clinton to the Prince of Morocco, not to mention legions of film and entertainment celebrities. La Mansion del Rio is in a former 19th century school and now a historic landmark building that reflects the city's Spanish colonial heritage with its graceful arches and columns, cloistered courtyards, and romantic interiors. Las Canarias is named for early settlers from the Canary Islands. Its old world charm comes through in the modern Provencal haute cuisine meticulously presented.
The sister Watermark Hotel and Spa opened in 2004 and immediately earned the Mobil Four Star Award, one of only two hotels in Texas to receive this distinction. It also garnered the Conde Nast Traveler gold list rating as one of the top 100 hotels in the world. Its restaurant, Pesca on the River, equally as elegant as Las Canarias, is more modern and casual.
Some of the signature dishes from both restaurants are included in this book.