Charlotte’s freshest catch and sushi.
Executive Chef Scott Wallen and his team take the freshest catch from fishermen across the country and forge remarkable, Asian-inspired dishes each day. They also source the very best in American beef, lamb, pork, and fowl to create exciting riffs on Pacific Rim traditions. The restaurant’s full sushi bar features a variety of artful rolls, as well as sashimi and nigiri, all prepared with the freshest fish on the market. Grab a seat in Upstream’s comfortably chic lounge to indulge in local craft beers, inventive cocktails or fine wines while noshing on shareable small plates. With a passion for fresh seafood and local ingredients, interesting wines and spirits, and exceptional hospitality, Upstream is a must-visit in Charlotte.
About Scott Wallen, Executive Chef
Scott Wallen was raised on the waterfront of Lake St. Clair in New Baltimore, Michigan, a small Midwestern town where he spent a lot of time fishing for freshwater perch and walleye and gained a lifelong appreciation for fresh fish. His fondest food memories were watching his grandmother, who grew up in rural Kentucky, prepare perfect fried chicken, dumplings, cornbread and chocolate chip cookies.
Trained at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, N.Y., Wallen’s first professional cooking experience was at the Wolverine Country Club in Michigan in 1997, working for two CIA graduates who continued his post‐graduation training. That experience led him to continue the mentoring tradition and foster young cooks to become leaders in their field.
Wallen’s 18‐year culinary career has taken him from Michigan to Illinois to Nevada to North Carolina working at restaurants including Wolfgang Puck’s contemporary Postrio Bar & Grill in Las Vegas where he served as sous chef for four years.
In 2003, Wallen moved to Charlotte and began an eight‐year association with Harper’s Restaurant Group as chef de cuisine, followed by executive chef at Upstream in Philips Place. He also helped to reopen Zink American Kitchen in South Charlotte.
Wallen returned to Wolfgang Puck in 2011 to open the first Wolfgang Puck’s Pizza Bar in Charlotte. He went on to launch other Pizza Bars in Greensboro NC, Palm Desert, CA and Tokyo, Japan. In September, 2014, Harper’s Restaurant Group welcomed back Wallen to serve as the Executive Chef of Upstream and as the Corporate Chef of Harper’s Restaurant Group.
Wallen’s favorite ingredients to cook with? Scallops, black sea bass, wild mushrooms, pork, fresh grouper and heirloom tomatoes. Guests will find many of these on Upstream’s daily menu.
Although he loves snowboarding, exercising and golfing, Wallen spends most of his spare time playing or making pasta, sushi and “anything sweet” with his children.