Scott Mullen

scott-mullen-largeAt a resort in the rolling green hills of the Shenandoah Valley, Chef Scott Mullen brings inspiration to his job serving upscale comfort food for vacationers, creating new versions of old favorites with artful combinations of The Perfect Purée flavors.

In one original dish, he elevates shrimp skewers with a sweet and sour gastrique of Kiwi, Prickly Pear and Chipotle Sour, bringing still more complexity to the flavors with the addition of Thyme & Citrus.

Bright fruit flavors take ordinary honey-glazed salmon and quinoa to another level with Mullen’s combination of Carmelized Pineapple, Blood Orange and Lemon Zest.

Originally from Pennsylvania, Mullen describes himself as enthusiastic and personable, going so far as to put ‘niceguy’ in his e-mail address. That may be the result of having grown up the youngest in a family of four boys and three girls. Not only did he learn to get along well others, he also learned that food is the great common denominator, he says.

“Food was always a way to bring our family together, with each one of my brothers and sisters helping to prepare items along with my mom or grandma, so I guess you can say food has always been in my blood,” Mullen says. Mullen recalled that each of his family members had their own flair in the kitchen, and said he, a brother and a sister all ended up in the restaurant business.

The Shenandoah Crossing Resort, a Bluegreen Vacations destination, welcomes more than 100,000 guests each year with accommodations from RV sites to luxury yurts and upscale cabins. The resort is an outdoor paradise, with hundreds of acres of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding; a 60-acre lake for fishing, boating and swimming; multiple ball courts; an outdoor pool, hot tubs and a spray park.

Mullen says the resort’s three restaurants include a lodge, a smokehouse and a bakery. His goal in crafting menus is updating familiar favorites.

“I try to take classic comfort recipes and turn them into new favorites,” he says.

At the start of his career, Mullen was named one of 25 top young chefs in Philadelphia. After earning an associate’s degree from the Philadelphia Restaurant School, he worked as a caterer and chef at upscale establishments in Pennsylvania before moving to Florida.

Mullen served as the executive chef at four high-volume Florida restaurants, honing his kitchen skills while also learning the management side of the business. Florida naturally accommodated Mullen’s affinity for grilled fish. Two of his favorites are the ever-adaptable shrimp and versatile salmon — foods that he thinks pair particularly well with The Perfect Purée’s fruit flavors.

“The Perfect Purée inspires me because it allows me to bring flavors to dishes that would be a lot harder to find, plus the flavors are so intense that it almost makes a dish by itself,” he says.

Recipes by Chef Scott Mullen

Grilled Lime-Scented Shrimp with Kiwi & Prickly Pear Gastrique

Honey-Glazed Salmon & Blood Orange Quinoa