Luther Scott’s Airline Chicken is probably better than the mass-produced meal or snack you had on your last flight.
Scott, a Pensacola State College culinary arts student, won a silver medal at the SkillsUSA Florida 2023 State Leadership and Skills Conference held April 10-13 in Jacksonville.
At the competition, Scott had to create an airline chicken dish with two sides. He chose green beans and fondant potatoes. (If you’re like us and thought that airline chicken is just chicken served on a plane, it’s a specific cut of chicken – skin-on boneless breast with the drumette attached to make it fancy looking.)
In 2022, he finished third at SkillsUSA Florida State Leadership and Skills Conference. Scott graduates in December and plans to open a high-end jazz-themed restaurant in Pensacola. In addition, Luther received the Molly McGuire Culinary Arts Endowed Scholarship and the Cantonment Rotary Club Culinary Arts Endowed Scholarship.
Currently, he is a line cook at one of Pensacola’s most prestigious eateries ─ Restaurant Iron. Scott has worked in the food industry for 15 years, starting at Taco Bell as a 19-year-old.
“He was more than a seasoned cook coming into the program,’’ said PSC Culinary Arts Program Director Chef Jimmie Langham. “He just needed the degree to help him out in the upcoming years. He has a lot of good ideas. If I retire, I may go in with him.”
Scott has been experimenting with creating hot sauces and said PSC’s culinary arts program helped him, especially on the business side of the culinary world.
“This program has helped me understand the business as a whole – even looking at agriculture and food souring and things like that,’’ he explained. “I didn’t come here to learn how to cook. I came to learn the business side and hone my skills.”
So why did Scott’s Airline Chicken stand out among similar offerings at the SkillsUSA competition?
“It’s attention to detail,’’ he said. “It’s utilizing the techniques I learned here. And seasoning. Seasoning is an art.”