Faces of Carson: McNamara brings heart and soul to the Sage Cafe

Carson Tahoe Health cook Scott McNamara prepares an order in the kitchen of the Sage Cafe on the first floor of the hospital. He was asked to temporarily remove his mask to show his dimples.
Ronni Hannaman

The heart and soul of any restaurant is the kitchen staff, whether at a favorite local eatery or the fanciest eatery.
Too often, these kitchen wizards remain anonymous as they work diligently behind the scenes to hone their skills and prepare dishes to order that will earn rave reviews. The frontline staff – the servers – set the tone for any good restaurant, but it’s up to the cook or chef to create and prepare meals that keep diners coming back again and again.
Meet Scott McNamara, a cook who knows any kitchen well after starting out as a busboy at a Gardnerville casino in high school before learning the art of washing up from David Walley in Genoa, a task he has carried out for three years before being asked to take training as a cook preparer and then as a cook. He even did his time as a waiter to get a better idea of ​​customer expectations.
His training led him to what he considers to be his finest profession. For the past six years, McNamara has been seen cooking up delicacies for those looking for an affordable, well-prepared and healthy meal at Sage Café.
Unless you are affiliated with the Carson Tahoe Hospital as one of the employees in need of a food fix, or have wandered into the cafe after visiting a patient, you may not have not even to have heard of the Sage Café or seen McNamara show off his sautéing skills, for which he has built a solid reputation according to Erin Hanna-Butros Meyering, marketing and communications director of the medical complex. Note: Her sautéing skills are temporarily suspended pending the hiring of additional cooks.
Although I have not met him before this interview, he comes highly recommended as the person who personifies the caring staff employed at the medical center that makes us all CarsonProud. His champion is CTH President and CEO Alan Garrett, who should know hospital rates since he’s been associated with hospital management for over 30 years and has no doubt eaten his fair share of food. hospital.
While it’s hard to see his dimpled smile behind his obligatory mask, you can get a sense of McNamara’s personality as he happily cooks a meal while kibbitzing and joking with a guest. At the height of COVID, he says, “I was so proud of our kitchen staff who kept up the morale of our dedicated employees through our food offerings.” During the shutdown it missed the general public and regulars who are always welcome to enjoy the cafe between 7am and 7pm daily.
He especially enjoys cooking for new dads who seem dazed, hungry, tired and overjoyed from a long night of waiting for the birth of their baby.
“Although I don’t have any kids of my own yet, I love watching new dads who don’t know what to order, so I make them our famous Breakfast Burrito.”
McNamara laments, “Hospital food gets a bad rap, but at the cafe we ​​create fun dishes like our popular Turkey Melt, and I would compare our food to any restaurant in quality and taste.
In six years he has never got tired of eating or cooking and loves his job saying, “Ours is not just another kitchen and this job is not just another kitchen job. I so appreciate the team and the perks of working at the cafe where we all step in to ensure our diners keep coming back.
McNamara is a local boy born in Lake Tahoe, raised in Gardnerville, working in Carson City and since 2019 a first-time homebuyer in Dayton that he shares with his wife and dogs. In his spare time, he enjoys baking his own version of Mrs. Field’s Hershey Marble Cookies.
As celebrity chef and restaurateur Thomas Keller once said, “A recipe has no soul. As a cook, you must bring a soul to the recipe.
Scott McNamara brings soul to everything he does, and we’re proud to present another great Carson face.

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