Chef Scott Sachs / Culinary Instructor, Berkeley Adult School, Berkeley, California

Chef Scott Sachs, the culinary instructor at the Berkeley Adult School in Berkeley, California, was on vacation in Puerto Vallarta in 2018 last year when he began fantasizing about opening a restaurant in Mexico.

“My first thought was, ‘How I would get The Perfect Purée in Mexico?’” he says. “I swear this is true.”

Scott limited his Perfect Purée flavors to Lemon Zest and Orange Zest for years until more recently, when he learned about their complimentary sample program and “went wild,” he says.

“Every graduation when I let the class choose the flavor of lemonade we’ll serve, that flavor is determined by the purées in our freezer,” he says, naming a blackberry-ginger simple syrup for lemonade as one example.

Scott leads four nine-week culinary boot camps a year at the Berkeley Adult School, teaching professional kitchen fundamentals to about a dozen students per term.

Scott’s experience working as a chef in the entertainment industry and his background as a former comedy magician make him a self-described “culinary entertainer.” He shares his upbeat, inspirational message of healthy eating with students and audiences throughout San Francisco, where he’s also a healthy cooking instructor at the Kaiser Permanente South San Francisco Medical Center.

Sauces are integral to a prospective chef’s culinary education and Scott recognizes the creative opportunities of the medium. For the holidays he makes a low-sugar version of cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries, grapes, blueberries and The Perfect Purée Orange Zest. He infuses a basic crème anglaise with spicy-sweet Ginger Puree, which also stars in his recipe for sweet and spicy Asian scallops. Scott uses The Perfect Purée Cherry Puree in a sauce for sous vide duck breast and Apricot Puree in a stuffing with roasted shallots, persimmon and dried apricots.

“I totally get why some chefs hesitate to use processed foods but The Perfect Purée purees are different. They save time, they are thought-enhancing and they are pure. The downside of using them in teaching is that I hate making things easy on my students,” he jokes.

Before he got into teaching, Scott worked as a chef at the Jack Warner Estate in Beverly Hills and at a filming location in Malibu where “Dallas,” “The A-Team” and many other movies and commercials were shot. Additionally, he catered backstage parties at the Universal Amphitheater as the owner of Market Street Catering and worked as the Bay Area restaurant critic for America Online.