Cherie Scott is well known throughout the Boothbay area. She works full-time as the director of sales for Newagen Seaside Inn and Linekin Bay Resort, and is the mother of two young children.
An accomplished cook in her spare time, Scott specializes in Portuguese-Indian (Goan) cuisine. Born and raised in Mumbai, India, she has been writing a blog, Mumbai to Maine, since 2015.
On Dec 1, 2017, Scott received an email from the executive chef instructor of Stonewall Kitchen, Kate Ellingwood, inviting her to teach a class at the Stonewall Kitchen Cooking School in York.
“You were highly recommended to us from our frequent (and wonderful!) guest chef, Dana Moos, who raved about you ... we really like to diversify the types of cuisine that we serve here and I think your knowledge and skill set of Indian cookery would be a wonderful addition to our upcoming catalog,” the email read.
Scott said the email came “out of the blue,” and she was thrilled. “As you can imagine I was a bit taken aback as Dana had never mentioned anything about making this recommendation. I was so humbled, especially because I don’t consider myself a chef in any right, and Dana herself is quite the chef.”
“I thought of her because she is outgoing and full of spunk and charm,” Moos, an innkeeper and cookbook author, said in an email. “And when you teach the classes at Stonewall, it helps when you can be engaging with the attendees, and I think she would be ideal for that. I also thought it could be fun to have an ethnic class every now and then and so my contact at Stonewall Kitchen fully agreed.”
Scott was asked to teach two Indian cooking classes. She said it would be the perfect opportunity to showcase her blog with a ‘Mumbai meets Maine’ theme. She presented the idea to Ellingwood, and it was accepted with enthusiasm.
She recently shared her story of how she made the journey from Mumbai to Maine with Southport Central School students at the school’s annual Cultural Fair. During the presentation, Scott passed around her collection of Indian spices.
“The children seemed riveted,” she said. She promised them that next time she’d teach them to make a dish, and make them a batch of her “special chai.”
“I spent so many years becoming American I forgot what it was like to be Indian,” Scott said when recalling the school visit.
She had also been approached by the Rev. Sarah Foulger, minister of the Congregational Church of Boothbay Harbor, who asked if Scott taught Indian cooking classes. Foulger said her son’s birthday was coming up, and he loved Indian food. She wanted Scott to teach a class about his favorite dish, chicken tikka masala, for his birthday.
“I created a private class for him that I will conduct right here in my kitchen,” Scott said.
“Magical things happen in this kitchen that my husband built for me. It’s my Mumbai to Maine incubator. I literally created my blog right at my kitchen table a few years ago because my husband was tired of hearing me talk about Indian food. ‘Stop talking about it and go blog about it,’ he said. ‘Just make sure you save me a plate of everything you make.’”
Scott said she’s often approached by people in town asking if she might someday open an Indian restaurant, and there is a hint she may. But for now, with a full-time job and two children to raise, she’s not sure there are enough hours in the day. “In my spare time, I would love to share my passion for Indian food and its rich history with children in Maine.”
Her classes at Stonewall Kitchen will be on Aug. 30 and Oct. 27. Visit the Stonewall Kitchen website for more information.