Meet one of our latest collaborators, Scott McComas-Williams, executive chef of the Love Tilly Group. Scott heads the kitchen of Ragazzi, a romantic wine and pasta bar in Sydney.
Hailing from Geelong, Scott began his culinary career under the guidance of Frank Camorra working his way to head chef at MoVida Melbourne and going on to launch a sister MoVida restaurant in Sydney, later venturing to Spain to refine his craft. After, he delved into the art of pasta, culminating in the creation of Ragazzi Wine and Pasta. We spoke to the chef about his happiest food memories, favourite season for produce and the five things you will always find in his pantry.
What makes Ragazzi a special place to dine?
Ragazzi is a celebration of pasta – something I fell in love with working in Andrew Cibej’s venues across Sydney. I love that our focus is solely pasta, something that never really existed in Sydney beforehand. Combine the rare pasta shapes we champion with the intimate yet loose vibe and stunning wine list and it’s a one-of-a-kind venue.
What is one of your happiest food memories?
I have many:
In Geelong. The first time I helped Mum with Christmas lunch – I cooked a porchetta rolled with figs, spices and bread and the crackling was perfection.
In Madrid. When we moved to Spain for a spell, we arrived in Madrid, jetlagged and hungry. We found a little bar in Lavapies around the corner from where we were staying. We ordered morcilla, razor clams, gambas a la plancha and cañas (small beers). All the type of things I’d been trying to replicate in Aus throughout my career without experiencing it in its homeland. I’ll never know if it was circumstantial biased but that was one of the greatest eating experiences of my life.
In Kowloon. We found a tofu vendor that sold fresh, warm silken tofu with raw sugar rubbed with ginger. I don’t even like sugar but wowee.
In Sicily. We went to Taormina for my best friend’s wedding and got there before most of the guests so we found a little trattoria recommended by a former colleague. I’d only just moved from cooking Spanish to Italian cuisine but the sea urchin spaghetti I ate there that day confirmed the transition. It was shockingly simple yet delicious.
What are some cookbooks you always turn to?
My love for cooking came from my mum and reading her cookbooks. Rather oddly I would read those books cover to cover. I now own over 100 cookbooks. My favourite is Catalan Cuisine by Colman Andrews closely followed by Roast Chicken & Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson.
Do you have a strange go-to midnight snack or weird food pairing that you love?
I’ve eaten kimchi and cheese toasties since I was young but I’ve started to see that on trendy social media accounts so it’s probably not so weird these days. Despite Koreans not eating a lot of dairy, their ingredients match superbly with it.
Favourite season for produce?
I love autumn for multiple reasons. Start of the footy season, the humidity choofs off and of course the autumn produce kicks in. We start to see brassicas hit the shelves as well as beautiful pears and apples. The ducks start to put on fat as do the sardines and of course, the fishermen start to reel in blue mackerel.