Meet writer Scott Haas

Updated: Dec 1, 2020

Scott Haas is a writer, clinical psychologist, and the author of four books.

The winner of a James Beard award for his on-air broadcasts on NPR's Here and Now, he holds a Ph.D. from the University of Detroit and did his doctoral internship at Massachusetts Mental Health Center, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital.

He holds a doctorate in clinical psychology, and works 100% consultatively in Roxbury. In his free time, Scott writes a monthly jazz column for the Bay State Banner. Scott is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but works in Japan three to four times each year.

Scott enjoying beer and potato Rösti in a quaint inn nestled in the Swiss Alps.

Tell us a little about how you got started writing?

I started writing about food forever ago, in the mid-1990s, and began by reading Marcella Hazan and practicing each of her recipes from her first two books dozens of times until I could cook them without thinking about amount and type of ingredients.

From there, I was lucky enough to work professionally in Gordon Hamersley’s restaurant for three months on the grill station as a line cook; the idea was to write a backstage look at the bistro book, but then Tony Bourdain’s great book came along and the world certainly didn’t need a lesser work and one far more restrained by the chef.

I worked next at Da Silvano, on 6th & Houston, in West Village, NYC, where the owner, Silvano Marchetto, hired me to write his cookbook and history of his restaurant. Da Silvano was the classic downtown hangout for rock stars and writers, from Rihanna to the Stones, and I was there two years.

Silvano taught me the importance of buying the best ingredients you can afford, and how to cook pasta. Our book was published by Bloomsbury.

My third work experience in restaurants was at Craigie on Main; I was there observing and cooking for a year and a half. The result was a book: “Back of the House: Secrets of a Restaurant,” published by Berkley/Penguin. I learned how to use a pressure cooker there, about floor-kitchen dynamics, and how to cook very fast.

My current book is all about Japan; its day-to-day life, and there is a long chapter on its cuisines. The book is called, “Why Be Happy?” and it is published by Hachette (July, 2020); excerpts have appeared in Forbes and The Boston Globe.