The Hilton Santa Cruz/Scotts Valley breakfast just got a bit sweeter. Eduardo Macotto, the hotel’s newly-appointed head chef, isn’t shy about the quality of his signature pancakes.
“Our pancakes are the best pancakes in Santa Cruz,” he said. “They are completely homemade.”
Of course, Macotto’s plans for the Hilton’s Stonehouse Bar and Grill involve more than just tasty flapjacks.
“This is a place where I can really focus on sustainable and organic food,” said Macotto. “We’re doing an incredible job with out meat, fish, poultry, (concentrating) on what’s local, sustainable, organic.”
Chuck Ryder, director of sales and marketing for the Hotel, said, “We’re so fortunate to live in this area with such great produce around that we can utilize. Now that Chef Eduardo is here, we’ve seen a big increase in localized ingredients.”
It wasn’t the green-centered community of Santa Cruz, however, that brought the chef and his wife to Santa Cruz two years ago.
“My son got accepted to Pacific Collegiate School in Santa Cruz,” Macotto said of 14-year-old son, Nicolas. “He loves it there.”
Macotto’s first job locally was at the Toll House Hotel in Los Gatos, where he helped to completely redo the restaurant’s menus. The chef additionally has nearly 13 years of experience from jobs he held on the east coast prior to his move.
Macotto credits his mother for his interest in cooking.
“My mom was very sick when my siblings and I were younger,” he said. “She wanted us to prepare ourselves in case we were left on our own, in case anything happened to her. I had two brothers and myself. Each brother had a different job to do. I was assigned to do the cooking, and that’s how I discovered it.”
In his spare time, Macotto works for a University of California, Santa Cruz-based program that educates underprivileged kids about cooking. “We host between 30 and 40 kids. (UCSC) has its own gardens, so we pick anything that’s in season for the meal. We try to be organic and vegetarian, teach(ing the kids) to do a little bit of everything. We teach them how to do a good meal, a healthy meal.”
In terms of his future, the chef “sees himself at the Hilton for the long haul.
“I enjoy (cooking),” he said. “I have a passion for it. I love to see people smile after a good meal. One of the best things for me is a plate that goes out full of food and comes back empty. That’s the best for me.”
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