Scott Howlett had it easy when growing up — he had a mom who loved to cook! But, through life’s journey, he found himself attending cooking classes and becoming obsessed with life in the kitchen. Now, passionate about cooking, Scott Howlett is executive chef of Dino’s Backstage, the sophisticated supper club located in Keswick Village in Glenside, PA, that is getting raves from critics and from guests.

Co-owners Dino Kelly-Cataldi and Michael Kelly-Cataldi dreamed up Dino’s Backstage and The Celebrity Room, the deluxe restaurant, bar and cabaret in Keswick Village, Glenside, PA.

Howlett, who worked for several Ritz-Carlton restaurants and others up and down the east coast, brings great knowledge to Dino’s as the former owner of his own restaurant the past six years. He loves making soup in the winter and is providing A basic stock recipe so that chefs at home can make their own culinary creations. Find his all-time favorite Butternut Squash Soup recipe below.

To Howlett, cooking doesn’t have to be complicated – especially when it comes to making soups at home. “What could be better than warming up with soups in the winter!” he said recently. “It’s a homey and cozy food that can be quite simple to make when preparing it for a family or friends.” Explaining his style of cooking, he continued, “I don’t overthink cooking and try to keep it simple. I’m a big fan of seasonal foods and the flavors should just speak to you. For example, when making butternut squash soup, you should taste the squash. Same thing works for Puree of Mushroom soup. Don’t use too many spices just some herbs.” When it comes to the basic stock, he said, “I make my own stock and here it can cook all day. For people to make it at home, it can take only an hour or two by boiling vegetables and chicken bones.” He does say, lots of home cooks use chicken stock off the shelf and as a basic, that’s fine for, too.

Speaking of winter, Dino’s Backstage is fortunate that their chef doesn’t have to worry about getting to the kitchen when there’s inclement weather or a bad snow storm! He happens to live in one of the renovated apartments above the restaurant.

Below are two soup recipes that will allow chefs to freeze and store to use through the winter. Each recipe is enough for 20 servings.  Please note an unexpected ingredient in the stock – cloves! It’s the twist that makes Howlett’s soups a standout!

Chicken Stock


  • Chicken Bones – 5 lb.
  • Spanish onion – 4 cups (diced)
  • Celery – 2 cups (diced)
  • Carrots – 2 cups (diced)
  • Bay Leaf – 6 each
  • Thyme(fresh) – 4 oz.
  • Cloves – 4 each
  • Whole Black peppercorns – 2 oz.


  1. Place all ingredients into pot
  2. Cover with COLD water (about a gallon)
  3. Place on high heat till it comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.
  4. Strain, skim off fat from the top and reserve.

Butternut Squash Bisque


  • Butter – 10oz.
  • A.P Flour – 10oz.
  • Garlic Cloves – 6oz.
  • Spanish Onion – 4 cups (diced)
  • Celery – 2 cups (diced)
  • Carrots – 2 cups (diced)
  • Chicken Stock – 1 gallon
  • Butternut squash – 4 lb.
  • Heavy Cream – 2 cups
  • Honey – 4oz.
  • Sage(fresh) – 1oz. (leaves only)
  • Thyme(fresh) – 2oz.
  • Vanilla Bean – 1 each (split in half)


  1. Split butternut squash in half, remove seeds
  2. Bake at 400F for about 90 minutes till slightly browned and fork tender.
  3. Remove from oven, let cool.
  4. Then remove skin and reserve meat.
  5. In a large pot, saute the garlic in butter till golden brown.
  6. Add onion, celery and carrot to pot and continue to saute till translucent.
  7. Add flour to pot to make roux then add rest of ingredient.
  8. Bring contents of pot to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes.
  9. When done, remove thyme stems and vanilla bean
  10. Puree soup in blender on HIGH.
  11. Serve in 8oz. bowls and garnish with Toasted pumpkin seeds and white truffle oil.
  12. Makes over a gallon of bisque.

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