Verbena has been a career long dream of mine. I’ve always worked towards a single goal, to be better today than I was yesterday. Until recently I’ve only repeated one dish in a professional kitchen. Verbena is the platform for me to express an unwavering desire for new ideas, new flavor combinations, new methods, and new people. Key employees and key ingredients remain within the growth spectrum and are pushed towards their own limitations in order to show them that they are better than they originally thought. I’ve seen line cooks that have worked for me become successful restauranteurs, successful chefs, and better people overall. Watching that growth gives me the sense of nurturing and refinement that the very creative and meticulously detailed people seek. Removing barriers, breaking old habits, and restructuring the existing into something better is the goal. It’s not just a piece of fish, it’s not just a cup of coffee, it’s not just any mundane day of the week. It’s something special. Always.
We look for great things in order to provide great things. I have roughly 36 chairs and 365 days a year to make an impact. However, those aspects are received, whatever that means to someone, it is something notable. Life interacts with a kitchen. Life gets in the way of life sometimes, that “just” happens. What we do with those moments, those snippets of tarnish as well as those with glow, are determined by how and what we have learned. The best cooks make mistakes. The worst cooks grow. And balance is achieved. When balance is achieved, consistency can be maintained. We (I) will never say, day one was my best. That’s foolish and unrealistic. I will say that on any given day I will never stop pursuing my own personal best. I pray I never reach my potential. I never want to plateau. Even now I strive for a better dice, a cleaner reduction, transparent braising liquids, employees with less stress, a strong work ethic instilled by the collective group, a growing network of higher caliber of professionals.
I don’t settle. I accept.
About 20 years ago I was introduced to Lemon Verbena, the not so sweet makes you want to taste sweet but flavor is green, citrusy, crisp and short in finish. It feels kind of strange on the tongue like it has micro hairs on the leaf leaving the tongue “feeling” dry. But has this odd yet appealing lemon flavor on the front 2/3 of the tongue. This put in place what I thought was a great intent towards cooking. I had no idea what was about to happen…
I set out to find the best kitchens I could locally; none of which were any good. I thought, there had to be something better. I am from a very small town in Delaware county called Aston. Until recently, food and cuisine has not been on anyone’s mind or at the fore front of any movement. It just doesn’t exist yet. I’m very proud of where I’m from because we help our neighbors, I carried this with me and never knew it.
I cooked in every bad kitchen I could tolerate. There had to be something better. I worked endless hours cutting my teeth. I continuously made contact with as many people as I could, becoming well versed with the “everything happens for a reason” clause. And in turn, met a young Chef ten year my senior. He was cocky, precise, and new how to retain a phenomenal set of cooks. Impact. My first real kitchen. My first real gig. I was going to rehab in the morning and working 14 hour shifts until 2am.
I would go to the rehab facility at 7am. After an hour of recovery talk, which for anyone who’s been there, well, you know…I would start my shift between 9 -10am. Except for the occasional I’m- not -your- friend- knock- on the car window from Chef if I had falling asleep. No excuses. Ever. Verbena was a long way off in the future. I couldn’t visualize it yet, but it was there. A sort of misty vision, a thought with colors. I knew I had to change my life. And the Chef in front of me hated how bad I was and I loved him for it. I knew the next ten years was going to hurt and I didn’t care. I made next to nothing. I didn’t care. I wanted to be better. Somehow, I knew if I found something remotely close to being good within myself I could double down on myself, and one day I would be able to stand in my own kitchen and cook nice food. Food that causes knee jerk reactions, smiles, deep breathes, and the occasional culinary joke. Impact.
Those ten years, ha! I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything. My goal was to surround myself with the best people doing the best things. Wanting more is very different than doing more, you actually have to do it. There’s no faking it. I had to go with what I was good at doing. That became kitchens. That became the dream.
So, after a few long weeks, countless pots of coffee, an endless stream of my own signature on every shape of paper the mind can imagine, I am another day closer to the once misty vision. The one with perfectly cooked fish. The platform for me to relearn values as well as teach them. That same dream of neatly arranged kitchen equipment measured within a quarter of an inch tolerance. That picturesque mosaic of personalities buzzing around my restaurant with ghost like finesse.
I want my restaurant to progress as much as I did. I want my restaurant to become progressive but never lose sight of what we are actually doing.
Over the past few months I knew someone at some time would ask me about my story. And all I could think about was butter fried capers, crisp organic chicken skin, a wicked floral scented soda, a myriad of curveballs that only a few people will catch. The awkward(s). The rough necks pushing to refine. A mirror’s edge on soft carbon steel. Those sounds that only exist in kitchens. The cooks that actually talk to the food they are cooking. Those images, those aromas, those hospitality professionals with rigid standards, and a bone deep thirst for what we do, that’s what drives us.
I sit here at 2am just to answer a simple question that someone ask me. “What does Verbena mean to you”?
I hope I get to present that answer for a long time…
At 39 years old, Scott Morozin holds a monumental presence within the food industry, even when he’s not running the pass. His culinary prowess commenced at age 24, where he attended the Culinary Institute of America, one of the most renowned cooking schools in the world. Upon graduation, Morozin worked on the lines of prestigious kitchens in Philadelphia. There, Morozin acquired his influence of cooking in a high volume kitchen, but also found his true passion: cooking. Mediterranean cuisine was his calling, which led Morozin to another established fine dining restaurant, Espuma, where he flourished under James Beard nominated chef Jay Caputo. It was at this time where Morozin further pursued his favorite oceanic ingredients by crafting elaborate plates and further maximizing his culinary talents in such a reputable restaurant. Morozin's genius expertise in cooking gained recognition which led to successful careers at Philadelphia restaurants Gayle, Mid-Atlantic, Rae, and R2L. His advanced mastery as a chef led him to other kitchens as both Chef de Cuisine and Executive Chef, featuring respectable cuisines. Despite working in one of the most competitive industries in the world, Morozin’s career truly blossomed as he obtained high-profile positions that were only given to the truly dedicated. “Cook with heart and soul and everything else will fall in place” said new restaurant owner and executive chef, Morozin. To his beliefs, being an accomplished chef is more than just being passionate and talented in this line of work. His code in the kitchen does not only entail superb cooking flair, but it embodies the need for respect, fairness, and patience, which many can not obtain. Morozin has built a credible reputation from the ground up, which any aspiring chefs can learn and hope to be apart of. Now, with a restaurant of his own, Morozin finally gets the chance to design and curate the plates he could only dream of when he worked under incredibly talented chefs as a young line cook. Verbena BYOB located in Kennett Square, PA, offers a seasonally inspired menu while taking advantage of local farms and organic produce. The talent, passion, and originality are heavily woven inside each plate and take your tastebuds on an authentic journey to keep you coming back for more.
Verbena Expectation Ours Couldn't Be Higher. At Verbena, we are presenting refined American Cuisine in an intimate setting. We offer our guests a high standard of cuisine and service with only 36 seats on our dining room floor. We source our products locally whenever possible and as we grow, we will present to our guests a continuous evolution in fine cuisine. Our Culinary Creativity At Work.