Zachary and Pauline Scott
Photos by Mark Carosiello
Sharing a conversation with Zachary Scott grants one with an occasion to explore the passion for his vocation that he has honed since adolescence and the enthusiasm for true connections that has motivated his 35-year existence. Having helped to open four restaurants, he reveled Jan.4 when marking the beginning of business at The Living Room Cafe, 701–03 S. Fifth St.
“There are many things in life to consider yourself fortunate for having,” the chef and co-owner said from the Queen Village establishment. “This is definitely one of those gifts that leaves me thankful.”
Along with wife Pauline, who dubs herself the head coffee bean butler, and business partner Jeff Giangiulio, the Art Institute of Philadelphia alumnus has succeeded in offering a locally sourced progressive menu with roots in his childhood, during which, for a time, his mother essentially ran a restaurant in their home.
“I remember deciding at 13 that I wanted to oversee a coffee shop,” Scott said of the sort of teenage ambition that 22 years later still makes him eager to prepare plates. “Being the head idiot in charge, I love seeing the receptivity to our model because it’s a health conscious, environmentally aware approach that we’re taking.”
That method of meaningful execution comes through not only thanks to the menu’s set items, which are available for those with catering needs, as well, but also the very generous possibilities that the do-it-yourself add-ons provide. Those components have proven a hit for the cafe over its nearly eight-month existence yet are not alone in making Scott and his bride a potent pair.
“We love to see this space as a platform to enlighten and stir community evolution,” the former figure, who lives right above the venture, said of bonds with, among others, non profit organizations, including Mighty Writers, 1501 Christian St. “It’s OK if you just want to make a buck if that’s who you are, but we see our role as being one that’s a bit more cognizant of needs other than nutritional ones.”
When patrons peruse the cafe’s creations, they will find that Scott holds allegiance to The Preston & Steve show, and it is that affinity for the radio program that led him to share the recipe for The Preston.
“Like all the regular items and the do-it-yourself family, this one won’t have you saying you’re still hungry unless, of course, you want another have at it,” Scott, who will open a market within the cafe this month, quipped of the $12.95 choice. “We like to think everything here is comfort food, so it’s no secret that having this dish be a fulfilling experience is important to us.”
1 loaf of sliced bread
1/2 pint of Living Room Café Bourbon Blueberry Jam
1 apple of your choice
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1/4 cup of toasted coconut
1/4 cup of toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 quart of half and half
1 cup of sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray the bottom of a deep, half hotel pan or an aluminum half tray that is at least four to six inches deep with nonstick spray. Cut the loaf of bread in half. Take one slice of bread, lay it flat, and cut it on a bias (This means diagonal but not corner to corner, just like one would do when cutting a grilled cheese sandwich). Make the whole loaf like that.
Take two bottom halves of bread, and stand them up in the pan against the back side. Take two top pieces, and stand against first two pieces, and repeat until all pieces are standing snug, two by two, until the pan is full of standing pieces all shingled nice and neatly.
Slice the apple up into thin pieces that do not need to be uniform. Toss with the cinnamon, and fit the pieces wherever you can between the shingled bread slices. Drizzle the jam over the top uniformly, and drizzle maple syrup over everything, too. Sprinkle the coconut and the walnuts. Thoroughly blend the eggs, milk and sugar and pour over the slices. Cover with foil, and bake for 60 to 90 minutes depending on your oven. Scott noted preparers may find that starting at 400 degrees and turning down to 350 45 minutes in is a good idea or that baking it at 350 straight through but turning it 90 degrees half way through might do the trick. SPR
The Living Room Cafe
Owners: Jeff Giangiulio and Zachary Scott
Opened: January 4, 2016
701–03 S. Fifth St.
Photos by Mark Carosiello