Q&A with Fuse Chef Scott Pelletier
Since opening Fuse Bistro in the fall of 2011, Chef Scott Pelletier has been scouring New England farms to layer locally produced flavor in his signature dishes, and in the bar’s creatively infused cocktails. From herbs and proteins to produce —including hydroponically grown lettuce from a year-round greenhouse in Andover — Fuse strives to deliver the freshest take on your plate.
Why do you choose to work directly with farmers for your ingredients?
I like to support local farms so that we’ll have more of them. I think the food tastes a lot better because I will literally pick it from the farm that day and it will be on the plate being served anywhere from six to 24 hours later. It’s also so much better for you. Everything is organic and we don’t have all the pesticides in our food. The farmer’s really care about what they grow and it shows in the end.
What inspires you about your work?
It’s different almost every day. I don’t really ever get bored. We have different foods and produce to work with as the seasons change, and we get different customers in so we’re always meeting new people.
What’s your favorite dish on Fuse’s menu right now?
Probably the steak and frites. I’m a meat eater and I use only grass-fed beef, which I really like. Cows are meant to graze on grass and the end result is meat with less cholesterol and fat. I also serve it with arugula from Mill City Grows and a red wine demi glaze.
What do you consider the world’s most perfect food?
I had this awesome experience when I was working at a resort in New Jersey. I went out on a boat with one of my friends whose father was a fisherman. We caught a yellow fin tuna, got back the dock, skinned the fish, rinsed it, cut little pieces with a sushi knife, put a little bit of salt on it and ate it right there. It was awesome.
When you’re not cooking at home or at Fuse, where do you like going out to eat?
I go eat at my friend Tommy Grella’s place, Prelude, in Methuen. His food has big, bold flavor.
Shopping outside the grocery store seems daunting for some. Any tips for shopping at local farms and farm stands?
Go to the farmer’s markets. You can pick up a whole meal there from vegetables to meat and eggs and just have fun with it. Interact with the farmers. They love to talk about the foods they’re growing. One of my favorites is the Newburyport Market. This time of year you can make a day out of it and pick up all the fixin’s for dinner, stash it in a cooler, and go out to Plum Island after.
What’s your one wish for local food in the Merrimack Valley area?I wish more restaurants would support local farms because I don’t want to eat at my restaurant 100 percent of the time. And I wish I could get more stuff year-round. A few more greenhouses that operate all year long would be awesome.
45 Palmer St., Lowell | 978-323-0424 | fuse-bistro.com