From judging the Food Network’s hit Chopped to winning a prestigious James Beard Award at 32, restaurant owner and celebrity chef, Scott Conant, is a dominant force in the culinary world.

We sat down with “The Maestro of Pasta” to talk about how he fits in sleep between running several successful restaurants, being a TV regular, and raising a family.

What’s keeping you up at night right now?

Scott: Business. At the end of the day there’s always a lot to contemplate. I actually got to a point where if I have an early wake up call time like for a shoot, I get so stressed out that I’m not going to get enough sleep that I actually don’t sleep because I’m too nervous. My wife makes fun of me!

What do you wear to sleep?

Scott: I actually don’t like sleeping with covers, so I wear pajama bottoms and a hoodie. I like the A.C. on.

Go-to late night snack?

Scott: I love popcorn popped in extra virgin olive oil with sea salt.

How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

Scott: On average between 6 to 8.

Last dream you remember?

Scott: I don’t know if I can tell you that! Well, a little backup. I’ve never dreamt in my life. I’ve had sleep apnea for as long as I can remember and I just got surgery, so I can finally sleep. I was waking up on average 32 times an hour, so you can’t really fall into a deep sleep. Now I’m having these crazy dreams that are vivid and colorful and insane and I’m waking up and feel like I need to sleep again from all the activity from my dreams.

What else do you do in your bed besides sleep?

Scott: My daughters love to play in bed with me, which is one of my favorite things to do. They come in the morning and climb into bed with us. Those are my favorite parts of the day.

What makes you fall asleep?

Scott: I like to say mantras if I can’t fall asleep. It always calms me.


How does sleep impact your day?

Scott: I’m such a lover of sleep. I love it. It gives me something to look forward to throughout the day. Something about crawling into bed at the end of a long day is so comforting and nice.

What is your bedtime ritual?

Scott: I make sure I take my vitamins just before I go to sleep. Other than that, I’ll go in and kiss my daughters if I’m not traveling.

How do you deal with stress?

Scott: I’m a stress eater. I wish I was one of those people that goes to the gym when they get stressed, but I eat. I particularly crave carbs when I’m really stressed. You’ll see me noshing on a bagel walking down the street!

Why is being a chef important to you?

Scott: You know, I started cooking at a very young age, when I was 11. I started working full time when I was 15. I’ve never stopped, so for me it’s how I self-identify. It’s not what I do, it’s who I am. It’s a lifestyle for me, not a career. I 100% self-identify by my career choice.

What do you want to be when you wake up?

Scott: Rich. Really, really rich!

What city do you sleep in?

Scott: My name is Scott Conant and I sleep in New York and Scottsdale, Arizona.


This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.   

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