In the Kitchen With: Scott Jaeger of The Pear Tree Restaurant


Growing up working in professional kitchens alongside his military cook father, Scott Jaeger quickly realized he wanted a career in cooking. “At nine or 10, I got to tag along, do jobs and just be involved with the kitchen,” he recounts. “I liked that feeling of accomplishment and adrenaline.”

Eager to learn more, Jaeger took an apprenticeship straight out of high school, working under Bruno Marti at La Belle Auberge in Vancouver’s Ladner suburb — a position he credits with sparking his love of food. “His passion for the industry, for what we do, and overall love of product were the biggest things I took away from Bruno,” he says.

In 1993 the young chef crossed the pond to spend a year in the kitchens of London, England — learning from chefs such as Marco Pierre White and Nico Ladenis. Jaeger’s international culinary journey also included stops in France, Switzerland and Australia, before returning to his native B.C.

Upon his return to Vancouver, the chef took on a consulting position in 1998 which — as fate would have it — led him to meet his wife and partner, Stephanie at The Granite Cafe. Together the pair opened The Pear Tree Restaurant in Burnaby, B.C., where they continue to serve contemporary Canadian cuisine. Both restaurant and chef have received recognition, including awards from The Georgia Straight and the B.C. Restaurant Association. The Pear Tree is also a perennial winner in Vancouver magazine’s annual restaurant awards with a menu that highlights seasonal, local, organic and sustainable ingredients. The restaurant offers items such as a lobster cappuccino, a bisque foam served with dashi custard and poached lobster ($17), Lois Lake steelhead served with pomme dauphine and butternut squash ($29), a char-grilled organic beef tenderloin served with braised beef short rib, celeriac purée, Sieglinde potatoes and root vegetables ($39) and a caramelized poached pear served with a hazelnut crumble for desert ($12).

The chef’s culinary achievements extend far beyond his restaurant’s 18-year tenure — he is also a gold medal culinary Olympian and represented Canada at the Bocuse d’Or in 2007. Jaeger is heavily involved in the culinary community as president of the Chefs’ Table Society of B.C., a member of Chaîne de Rôtissseurs and a mentor to young chefs. L’Abattoir’s Lee Cooper and 2015 Jeunes (Young) Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition winner, Michael Christiansen are among those who have spent time in chef Jaeger’s kitchen.

Reflecting on his career, Jaeger says he considers The Pear Tree his greatest accomplishment. “It’s not just about being in business and serving guests,” he explains. “The cooks that have come through this kitchen are probably my best accomplishment, in the sense that we’ve had a good environment where good young cooks have been able to come to learn and carry on to do great things.”

Volume 48, Number 9

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