Meet Executive Chef - Scott Skomal
Searching out and celebrating local ingredients is what fires Executive Chef Scott Skomal’s passion in the kitchen. As Executive Chef of Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel since 2011, Chef Skomal believes that the ingredients he sources locally have the greatest impact on the quality of the food the kitchen produces. Over time he’s grown an acute appreciate for local “finds” that he can focus on and build mouthwatering menus around.
Today a seasoned chef for more than 20 years, Chef Skomal was destined for hospitality at 15 years old, the day he dipped his hands into the world of culinary arts when he earned his first job as a dishwasher at a prime rib restaurant in Escondido, Calif., called Gentleman’s Choice.
Following that first foray, Chef Skomal attended Culinary school at Mesa Community College’ in Mira Mesa, near San Diego, Calif. Over the next 10 years, Chef Skomal graduated from Line Cook to Chef De Cuisine at Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina. In 1998, Chef Skomal left California for Sheraton Birmingham Hotel in Alabama, where he worked for five years and gained his first Executive Chef title. Before moving to Colorado in 2011, Chef Skomal was Executive Chef at Sheraton Overland Park Hotel in Kansas City for eight years.
Chef Skomal is a teacher at heart and considers himself a catalyst who can bring out the best in both people, and food. He’s able to mentor and help his team discover new ways and combinations for pairing local ingredients to create menus that astound. He credits his ability and passion for mentoring to the sous chef trainee program he was invited to join when he was just 21 years old.
In an effort to give back, Chef Skomal has brought his own training program to Sheraton, where over the last three years the program has been running he has promoted two sous chefs from of the program. He attributes part of his success to being able to let go and harness the creative and innovative power of the young minds in his kitchen.
Chef Skomal was voted the Chef of the Year award in 2005 as a part of the Kansas City Restaurant Association. Chef Skomal was also awarded the Manager of the Quarter in 2012 and 2016 at Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel.
His commitment to local, customized ingredients is what drove Chef Skomal to create the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel Test Kitchen. The program encourages guests to create their own menu by selecting specific ingredients that the kitchen then designs into a custom creation. Dishes are then paired with an original craft cocktail from the mixologist, followed by a custom dessert that rounds out a comprehensive meal that surprises and delights each guest.
Outside of his duties as Executive Chef, Chef Skomal is an active member of the Denver community. He dedicates his time to volunteering at his church and assisting with the Special Needs Ministry. Chef Skomal not only spoils his clients, but also loves to make his own cheeses and breads at home for his whole family to enjoy. He and his wife Betsy are the proud parents of four children, two biological children and two children adopted from China and Taiwan.