Meet the Chef

A native of Nevada County, Chef Emily Scott-Arbaugh came home to open her catering company in 2007 after pursuing her culinary education through out the Sacramento area and parts of Europe.  It started early as a child with a love for eating and summers with grandma in the country. Learning from her great grandmother’s recipes and techniques created a passion for food that could not be tamed.  As a freshman in high school, Emily worked her first job in the kitchen- a busser for the busy holiday season at the National Hotel in Nevada City. She worked at Rhythm and Squeeze Locos Burritos where she learned about combining flavors and then at La Cucina Cirinos where she learned the importance of consistency and rustic flavors. Realizing that her time in the kitchen/restaurant business was positive and focused, Emily turned to a home study program in order to work full time at the Northridge Restaurant.   This was the start of her career as a chef and from there moved on to the  Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley where she was cooking on multiple stations as well as preparing for large banquets. At age 18 Emily started full time at American River Colleges Culinary Arts Program where she made the most out of school by volunteering at any department that needed help- baking bread before school, assisting instructors with advanced courses, and after school working with some of the instructor’s professional kitchens.  In 2002 Emily was awarded a position on a Junior (under 21 years old) Competition team for the American Culinary Foundation and practiced day and night for eight months straight.  The team competed nationally in Las Vegas and took home the bronze medal.  During culinary school Emily continued to work full time at Citronee in Nevada City, under the strict influences of a renowned chef she became a leader in the kitchen and learned the advanced techniques that would be the bases for most of her cooking style.  At the same time she also worked at the Red Castle Inn as a baker/cook in the early mornings and started preparing her famous chocolate mousse for sale at Off Broadstreet Theatre.   Emily took a leap and moved to Sacramento in order to finish the rigorous culinary program and work at the well known Taylors Market where she learned butchering, international and American cheeses, and developed a meal to go line in.  She graduated ARC in 2005 with an A.A. Degree in Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management with an advanced certificate in European Pastry.  From there she started her private chef business, cooking for the locals who came into the market and wanted her to bring her food into their homes for parties and gatherings. Other opportunities included competitions at the state fair, live food demos for Raleys and Village RV, and working on call for many caterers and restaurants.  She traveled to Ohio to help her cousin with his fresh water shrimp festival and was invited back the next year to compete in the Ohio State Golden Shrimp Cook-off where she took home the gold medal.  Emily helped to open the grand Restaurant 55* and quickly advanced to the head of her department- Garde Manger.  Her chef and mentor helped Emily arrange a trip to his home in Belgium where she lived in a loft over his family restaurant.  She worked in their small lot specialty chocolate factory producing world class Belgium Chocolates unde and on the weekends stayed in Brussels to work at their chocolate and coffee shop and delivering the confections throughout Belgium, Holland, and Germany.  She backpacked to Amsterdam from there and started a 6 week solo tour of Western Europe, eating local foods and learning about their cultures where her top priorities.   It was time to come home to Nevada County and Emily knew she wanted her own business.  In the beginning she continued to work full time while developing her business plan, working as a production baker at Flour Garden Bakery, Shaws Tea House, and the Pullman Café in Granite Bay.  With the help and dedication of her husband, John, their business is now a profiting and growing Catering Company in Nevada City and she employs more than 15 local people.   She strives to be the finest full service catering company in Nevada County offering the highest quality food and service and in 2012 was awarded with “Best Catering Company” voted by the union newspaper readers.    Emily loves to share her passion for sweet and savory foods with others by providing them organic seasonal foods created by hand.