Little America Hotel Cheyenne, Wyoming
Get Directions

Change Location

Where would you like to visit?

Cheyenne, Wyoming Change Location
Established · 1952 ·





“Once it gets into your blood, it’s just kind of hard to go back. Once I started to learn, I just wanted to become a sponge.” 

Executive Chef Scott Whitfield has been leading in the kitchen at Little America Hotel for nearly 10 years. His career spans several states and a couple of decades. But it began, simply, with a desire to learn. 

“The story goes like this,” Chef says, “in the 11th grade, my guidance counselor called me into his office. ‘Scott, what do you want to do after you graduate high school?’ he asked. I had no clue, none.” 

That’s when the counselor suggested cooking, and the idea stuck with Chef Scott. Though it was suggested “out of the blue,” Chef Scott dove in. For him, it was the opportunity to learn that encouraged him. 

“Every opportunity I had, I just jumped in head first and tried to master the craft or just learn as much as possible.” 

Becoming a “sponge” served him well. After completing the culinary program at Johnson & Wales, he spent nearly six years working the restaurant circuit in New York City, including the NYC Athletic Club, mastering various cooking styles and cuisines. 

Chef Scott then decided to experience another side of the culinary landscape from the Big Apple, moving to Las Vegas in 1998. 

Beginning as a Sous Chef at the Rio, he worked his way up the ladder there before he took on other roles across the city’s casinos and resort kitchens, including the Red Rock Hotel, the Tropicana, Texas Station, and the Gold Coast. 

Chef Scott never lost his drive to soak up as many experiences as possible. In 2015, he brought his expertise to Little America Hotel in Cheyenne, where he continues to develop fresh, exciting menus, drawing on his “sponged-up” knowledge and inspiration. 


A New Take on the Classics: Creating a Style of His Own

Chef Scott has always taken inspiration outside of the classroom and the kitchen, too. 

“My biggest supporter was probably my grandmother. She was an excellent cook… and my number one fan.” 

Even when he was still in culinary school, his grandmother would brag to everyone, “My grandson is a chef!” Though, Chef Scott clarifies, “I was only a cook at the time.” 

From afar, Chef Scott also took inspiration from famous chefs on TV, including his favorite, Chef Masaharu Morimoto, of Iron Chef fame. He combines a fusion of Japanese tradition and classic French cooking. 

This in-between space of “fusion” cooking is where Chef Scott sees his own style. “Once I learned the basics of cooking, the rest, for me, is really just creativity.” Chef looks to everything for inspiration. From magazines to TV to past experiences, he takes it all in to create and materialize new ideas. 

“Basically, I take a classic dish, add a spin on it, and come up with something totally new.” 

Passing the Torch: Chef Scott Looks to the Future 

At this stage in his career, Chef Scott knows what his customers like.

Of Hathaway’s menu of Western-inspired staples, he says, “I personally like the Spicy Chicken Sandwich, but of course, my signature dish has to be the Short Ribs.” 

Chef is known for his bold flavors. He likes to put his passion for his craft on the plate. He’s proud of his long career, and that is evident in his cooking. 

As he looks ahead to the future of his career, he’s most excited about mentoring the next generation. As Chef Scott knows, “Finding a good mentor is not always easy.” 

That’s who he wants to be there for, those who are ready to learn and listen. To those, he would say, “Stay focused because your career is going to be up and down. You’re going to experience obstacles in life, but if you look at the big picture, you will have success.” 

Above all, he advises aspiring chefs to be a sponge, too. “What I mean by being a sponge is just try to get as much knowledge and experience as possible and try to retain it.”  

That’s the beauty of sponges. Once they’ve absorbed so much, they can transfer all the things they’ve soaked up over time. 

This is where Chef Scott sees his future, pouring into the next generation of curious sponges.