Lake­point gets new leader

The Weekly Vista - - Front Page - LYNN ATKINS latkins@nwadg.com

The new food and bev­er­age op­er­a­tions man­ager at Lake­point has en­joyed liv­ing and work­ing all over the west coast, but he was ready for some­thing new. He moved to Bella Vista from Seat­tle two weeks ago and is ready to learn all he can about this area.

“First I want to get a feel of the clien­tele and see what they like,” Chef Scott Red­ing­ton said. “Just be­cause I like some­thing doesn’t mean the gen­eral pub­lic will. You have to cater to your clien­tele.”

Even chain restau­rants have dif­fer­ent menus for dif­fer­ent re­gions, he said, even if they all look alike.

He doesn’t ex­pect ei­ther menu or staff changes at Lake­point right away.

“The staff now is fan­tas­tic. They’re will­ing to learn new things. They’re ex­cited about new chal­lenges. They all work hard,” he said.

Red­ing­ton grew up in Salt Lake City and al­ways en­joyed cook­ing. Al­though he cooked for his fam­ily, he didn’t con­sider a ca­reer in restau­rants un­til his grand­mother sug­gested it. Then he started in­ves­ti­gat­ing culi­nary schools, but he re­ceived some good ad­vice. He was told to get a job in a kitchen and make sure he still wanted to work in one. It turned out he did and he started mov­ing up through the ranks to sous chef and be­yond. He never got around to culi­nary school.

He’s been in the busi­ness for 25 years and has worked in San Fran­cisco, Honolulu, Dal­las and many smaller cities.

A POA press news­let­ter lists his sig­na­ture menu items: beer cheese soup, fea­tur­ing Til­lam­ook cheese and lo­cal craft brew; black cod, lightly breaded and pan fried, served with a white wine gar­lic sauce; gar­lic mash; as­para­gus; and for dessert — green tea tiramisu.”

His last job was as as­sis­tant gen­eral man­ager of a restau­rant group lo­cated in Seat­tle, POA busi­ness direc­tor Tommy Lee said. The new job, Lee said, is more than an ex­ec­u­tive chef. As food and bev­er­age op­er­a­tions man­ager, Red­ing­ton will have re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in the front of the house as well as in the kitchen — which is some­thing he is qual­i­fied to do.

“It’s a po­si­tion that brings the team closer,” Lee ex­plained, “He can work with both sides of the line and be re­spon­sive to our cus­tomers.”

While he has the skills to cook any­thing on the menu, he will prob­a­bly spend more time managing and de­vel­op­ing new menu items, Lee said.

What’s fun about a place like Lake­point, Red­ing­ton said, is that the menu can change of­ten.

On Wednesday, Oct. 26, Red­ing­ton had the chance to meet some of his new clien­tele when the POA hosted a “Meet the Chef” event at Lake­side. He spoke with about three-dozen peo­ple, he said, and asked them what they liked.

“It was fun,” he said. Red­ing­ton will have re­spon­si­bil­i­ties at both the

Coun­try Club restau­rant and the High­lands Pub. While the High­lands Pub opened re­cently, the Coun­try Club is still un­der con­struc­tion and doesn’t yet have a date for com­ple­tion. It will be af­ter the first of the year, Red­ing­ton said, and it will open as an up­scale sports bar.

“I have opened up two restau­rants,” he said, when asked about an open­ing date, “There’s al­ways some­thing that throws a wrench in your plan.”

The High­lands Pub will have a lim­ited menu, with

sand­wiches, hot dogs and maybe soup avail­able. He sees it as a place for the golfers to stop in for a quick meal and a drink.

“I don’t have a big ego,” he said. “For the restau­rant to be suc­cess­ful, it takes a team,” he ex­plained, speak­ing of Lake­point. “We have to work to­gether and rely on guest feed­back, and that will take time. It will be a slow evo­lu­tion.”

As the restau­rant evolves, Red­ing­ton will be liv­ing close by in Bella Vista. He’s sin­gle and his fam­ily is still in Salt Lake City.

Lynn Atkins/The Weekly Vista

Food and bev­er­age op­er­a­tions man­ager Scott Red­ing­ton poses on the pa­tio of Lake­point Restau­rant and Event Cen­ter dur­ing a Meet the Chef event last week. He has been work­ing for the POA for about two weeks.

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