Restaurant Week conceptualiser Stephanie Scott hailed as 'trailblazer'
Tributes are pouring in for Stephanie Scott, managing director of SSCO Event Management, following her death. The conceptualiser of Restaurant Week has been hailed as a "trailblazer" and one of the "greatest contributors to our culinary scene".
"I am heartbroken. Steph gave so much in ways so many would never know. A more giving person you could not find," Danielle Terrelonge, managing director of DRT Communications, told The Gleaner.
"Stephanie taught me [about] excellence no matter the cost or time or hard work. No matter the challenge, she rose. She was my friend, an encourager, a mother, my most prized client. Jamaica has lost one of [the] greatest contributors to our culinary scene," said Terrelonge.
The DRT head, who worked with Scott to produce Restaurant Week, said the annual event's growth was attributable to Scott.
"Our last staging of Restaurant Week had over 100 restaurants from just over 10 in its first year. She built it, fought for it, and allowed so many Jamaicans the opportunity to enjoy the very best of Jamaica," she said.
"A very sad morning for my family, having received the news of the passing of Stephanie Scott. She was a dear friend and godmother of our daughter, Victoria," tweeted Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Daryl Vaz.
In a post to Instagram, host and speaker Dr Terri-Karelle Reid paid tribute to her "dear friend".
"She was my forever cheerleader. Always telling me that there was no one like me," said Reid. "Thank you for all you did for your family, community, and country."
Jean Lowrie-Chin said Scott was a wonderful daughter.
"This is heartbreaking. Stephanie was such a trailblazer and the most loving daughter to her parents," said the founder and managing director of advertising and PR agency PROComm.
Scott founded SSCO in 2001 and served as its managing director until her death. The event management company's clients included several local and international companies. Among projects that she has coordinated locally were the 21st Century Fox film Knight and Day, starring Tom Cruise; the 40th birthday for Icelandic businessman Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson; and Scotiabank's Golden Cleats Awards.
CREATING RESTAURANT WEEK
However, one of her most important projects was Restaurant Week. Sponsored by The Gleaner, the annual culinary event, previously known as Kingston Restaurant Week, began in 2005 and grew over the years to include a number of restaurants, patrons, and sponsors. Scott was passionately involved in every step of the process and was known as a stickler for details and excellence. Through her initiative and hard word, the week-long event became a celebrated success.
"We had the privilege of partnering with Stephanie on Restaurant Week. Her passion for the event and anything she did was unmatched. When she walked into a room, the energy immediately increased. She always gave her best, and her drive for perfection was reflected in her work," said Garfield Grandison, general manager of The Gleaner Company (Media) Limited.
Before event management, Scott graduated from the University of Toronto and was a Montessori teacher for 29 years.
She is a mother to two sons and a proud grandmother.
In a 2016 Outlook interview, Scott said that she loved watching her grandchildren grow.
"I love being reckless with my grandchildren. Being free to watch the little miracles and accomplishments as their personalities and lives evolve without the distraction of responsibility and over [the] anxiety that often comes with being the parent. There is something special about seeing them as living examples of their parents and all their family before them," Scott said.