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Blog posts of '2015' 'October'

Autism Speaks to Los Angeles Celebrity Chef Gala, October 8, 2015

By Mara Papatheodorou, your Tastes & Traditions Expert

Matfer Sponsors Autism Speaks to LA Celebrity Chef Gala

Blue is bold and “Light it up blue” is the motto for the amazing charity Autism Speaks. Founders Bob and Suzanne Wright have worked tirelessly for over a decade to shine a blue light to spread awareness and understanding of autism through research, education and acceptance.

Matfer was a proud sponsor of the Autism Speaks to Los Angeles Chef’s Gala on October 8, 2015 where blue lights shined and blue ribbon delectable dinners were created by award winning culinary masters. They all were there to cook because each one of them, like Matfer, believes in giving back to make a difference. And what a difference they all made at this memorable fundraising occasion, the event raised over 1.25 million dollars for Autism Awareness! 

Matfer Sponsors Autism Speaks to LA Celebrity Chef Gala

There were 56 tables and each hosted by a celebrity chef who prepared a custom designed four-course meal tableside for 10 to 12 guests. Every chef was presented with a bright blue Matfer gift bag that contained Matfer professional chef tools to prepare their various delicacies. Inspired by the blue event theme, a blue spatula and spoon were also included in each bag.

Chef Susan Feniger - Matfer Sponsors Autism Speaks to LA Celebrity Chef Gala

Chef Rick Moonen - Matfer Sponsors Autism Speaks to LA Celebrity Chef Gala

Chef Jet Tila - Matfer Sponsors Autism Speaks to LA Celebrity Chef Gala

Chef Govind Armstrong - Matfer Sponsors Autism Speaks to LA Celebrity Chef Gala

The chefs’ camaraderie and sense of fun was alive and very merrily apparent at the Matfer sponsored photo booth. It was a magical evening with Conan O’Briann as a humorous host, and a live musical performance by P!NK.

Host Conan O'Brian At Autism Speaks to LA Celebrity Chef Gala - Matfer Sponsors Autism Speaks to LA Celebrity Chef Gala

Singer P!NK at Autism Speaks to LA Celebrity Chef Gala - Matfer Sponsors Autism Speaks to LA Celebrity Chef Gala

We were thrilled to meet Chase Bailey from Chase 'N Yur Face, an inspirational young man who has his own cooking show on YouTube is creating his own culinary journey with a great deal of passion for food and humor! 

Matfer Sponsors Autism Speaks to LA Celebrity Chef Gala - Chase Bailey from Chase 'N Yur Face

Matfer has been very pleased to feature some of this year’s participants in recent Chef’s Spotlights on their Passion for Taste Blog. These include Brendan Collins of Birch, Susan Feniger of Border Grill and Mud Hen Tavern, Vanessa Mendoza Johnson Pastry Chef of Plow at the Ritz Marina Del Rye, Joachim Splichal of Patina and the Patina Group and Jet Tila of Stir Market.

We would like to thank Autism Speaks for the opportunity to sponsor the Autism Speaks to LA Celebrity Chef Gala. And thank you to all of the participating chefs, it was an honor to support you at this incredible event! 

Photo credit: Susie Fiebich Photography

WAREHOUSE SALE!

CHEF SPOTLIGHT - JOACHIM SPLICHAL

By Mara Papatheodorou, your Tastes & Traditions Expert

Joachim Splichal Matfer Chef SpotlightJoachim Splichal Matfer Chef Spotlight

Master Chef and culinary icon Joachim Splichal is widely recognized as a major contributing force in the culinary world and an innovative maverick in the California dining scene. The recipient of numerous awards and accolades, among his highlights are his induction into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America and them naming him Best California Chef. He is the Chef and Founder of Patina, the Michelin Starred Relais & Chateau Property in downtown Los Angeles. Splichal then created the Patina Restaurant Group in 1999. It now boasts approximately 60 restaurants and food service operations throughout the United States offering impeccable cuisine and service. The City of Los Angeles hails him as an official “Treasure of Los Angeles”.

INTERVIEW:

As one of the country’s foremost culinary masters, what inspires you?
Authenticity. From the beginning of my career to now, what inspires me is the ability to maintain the highest quality of dishes and service in all of my endeavors. The finest food punctuated with impeccable service is my goal each and every time. This has always been my philosophy. Creativity and consistency together are vital to deliver a memorable experience to the dining patron from start to finish.

Joachim Splichal Matfer Chef Spotlight

How did your cooking background prepare you for your restaurant journey and success in the United States?
I come from Spaichingen, a small village in Germany, and my parents owned a hotel there. I learned from the bottom to the top. I liked the business and initially trained in the hospitality industry in Switzerland. In France, I had exceptional experiences by working at two star Michelin La Bonne Auberge in Antibes and then with leading chef Jacques Maximin at Chantecler at the Hotel Negresco in Nice. I went on to three-star Michelin L’Oasis in La Napoule. When I was invited to cook at the Regency Club in Los Angeles, I was ready for a change so I came to the US and my cooking career here began.

It was in the early 80’s before the farmer's markets craze really took hold. But my classic French training and love of market produce there transferred easily to California where fresh items were abundant allowing me to push forward with a lighter approach to dishes. This was already happening in France but it hadn’t quite reached here yet. Timing was everything. I think being young and bold and daring gave me the courage to be playful and more innovative with cuisine than Americans had been used to from European chefs. I learned a lot and rode the restaurant rollercoaster of success and mishaps when I moved on to Seventh Street Bistro and Max Au Triangle. By the time I opened Patina in 1989, I had the passion and business acumen to give it my best efforts on every level in and out of the kitchen.  When I partnered with Nick in 1999 to form the Patina Group, I was clear by then that fine cuisine, service and genuine hospitality was what I wanted to continue to do with any other restaurants I developed.

BOURGEAT COPPER SAUCE PAN

Matfer Paring KnifeMatfer Fish Knife

Bourgeat Copper Sauce Pan

As one of the most extremely successful chefs and restaurant owners in the country, what continues to drive you in today’s culinary world?
Being a chef and a restaurant owner is the life I have chosen and truly enjoy. A committed work ethic is everything blended with the reality that running a restaurant is a business. Culinary excellence is an art form but having a restaurant is not only about presenting fresh beautiful food. It is about balance and how to do that well along with acknowledging that profit and loss are a real part of the equation. For me, the future is in our next generation and that is why mentoring is such a vital part of my career. I am very proud of that accomplishment with the chefs that have trained with me over the years in the Patina Group. Whether they’ve stayed or moved on to other places, they’ve taken knowledge and ability with them as they find their way in the culinary world. I will always develop creative concepts that can work. New menus and restaurants need to please the patron so they return. But it must make sense upfront and behind the scenes too. This philosophy keeps me interested. For example, I’m excited that we have just renovated and reopened Nick & Stef’s, our excellent steakhouse restaurant in downtown Los Angeles.

 Fish Knife

The Patina Group has also become recognized as bringing delectable dining experiences around cultural venues. How did that come to be?
I like the synergy of landmark dining within a cultural venue. Fine art or music compliment fine dining. And fine dining doesn’t mean heavy or stuffy. It means fresh, creative dishes that complement the setting. I’m obviously very proud about Patina becoming a Relais & Chateaux property and our Michelin star but I am extra pleased that it does so well at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. That move was a real leap of faith! And now we have Ray’s & Stark Bar at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Leatherby’s Café Rouge at the Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, and Tangata at the Bower’s Museum in Santa Ana, In New York, we have many cafes at places like Rockefeller Center yet Lincoln Ristorante at Lincoln Center and Grand Tier Restaurant in the stunning Metropolitan Opera House are special destinations too.

Bourgeat Copper Sauce Pan

Your gorgeous Tuna “Cake” is a part of your special events menu. How did it come to be?
To me this tuna cake is the ultimate culmination of my French training and my fortunate long career in California. It resembles the classic look of a layered French Napoleon dessert yet it is surprisingly a savory appetizer using superb Californian ingredients like the Grade A Tuna, fresh avocado, red onion and chives. I love the use of the yuzu sauce as an Asian touch. It is one of my favorite signature dishes to make.

Joachim SplichalJoachim Splichal

In your opinion, what is it about the Matfer products that make a difference in preparation and results of your various dishes?
High quality and precision. Matfer is a French company. I trained in Europe with a lot of that training time in France. In Southern France, when I worked alongside my mentor Jacques Maximin at Chantecler he only used Matfer. It is what I have always used in all of my kitchens. They have everything. The high quality of their products has never wavered. I know what I’m getting and the chefs I now mentor and train know what they are getting. I like the precision of their knives and their copper items.

The global businessman Bob Goshen says, "Leaders should influence others in such a way that it builds people up, encourages and educates them so they can duplicate this attitude in others." Do you agree?
Yes. Leading by example is what I believe to be the highest form of training and advice-giving. Showing someone how to prepare a dish is far more effective than just handing him or her a recipe card. From the interaction of cooking together, a relationship forms, trust is established and it encourages the “trainee” to take ownership of the newly learned talent.

Pairing Knife  Joachim Splichael with Giesser Messer Fish Knife

Joachim Splichal with Geisser Messer Fish Knife

Personally, what do you like to cook at home?
Anything with fleur de sel gris. It is the perfect salt, simple yet profound. And I like going to the farmers market to see what’s fresh and then making those side dishes with steak or roasted chicken when I eat with my sons.

Joachim Splichal with Matfer Exoglass Spatula

Joachim Splical Matfer Chef Spotlight

Geisser Messer Pairing Knife Joachim Splichal Matfer Chef Spotlight

Joachim Splichal Matfer Chef Spotlight Tuna Tempation

Matfer supports the charity Autism Speaks and so do you. Matfer is sponsoring this October culinary event by providing utensils for the participating chefs. You will each be cooking at a table on that evening. What is your connection to Autism Speaks?
We can all help each other by giving our time and abilities to make a difference. Children are our future. Deep in our hearts, every parent, including me, wants their children to be happy and healthy. Some are healthier than others. For those who need extra help to have a better life, it is clear that research and support infuse that positive development. I am impressed with what Autism Speaks does as a charity and I am pleased to be involved. To cook to support this purpose is very fulfilling to me.

More about Joachim Splichal

Splichal’s restaurants have likewise been lauded by some of the country’s most discriminating restaurant and food critics. The Michelin‐starred Patina relocated from Hollywood to Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2003, emphasizing Splichal’s commitment to performing arts and cultural centers, and received a rare four‐star review from the Los Angeles Times in 2010. Other recent highlights from among the restaurant group’s
holdings include Ray’s & Stark Bar at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Lincoln Ristorante at New York’s Lincoln Center being named two of the country’s Best New Restaurants in 2011 by John Mariani in Esquire; Leatherby’s Café Rouge at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, CA, receiving a three-star review from the Los Angeles Times; PRG’s prestigious catering division executing the Creative Arts and Primetime Emmy® Awards—the largest seated catered meal in North America—for 16 years. In addition, PRG’s catering division being chosen from over 10 high‐profile competitors to cook for newlyweds Prince William and Kate Middleton at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles during the royal couple’s tour of California.


TOOLS FOR THE TASTE

As a master chef, you are guaranteed an outstanding outcome for your own fish-friendly appetizer when you use Matfer’s Exoglass® SpatulaBourgeat Copper Sauce PanParing and Fish KnivesHemispherical Bowls and Chef Tweezers.

TASTES & TRADITIONS: TUNA TEMPTATION

By Mara Papatheodorou, your Tastes & Traditions Expert

Matfer Taste and Traditions Tuna Temptation

Let’s talk tuna! Sliced or diced, raw or cooked, fresh or canned, this mighty fish of the sea makes an impression in a myriad of ways. As cousin to the majestic mackerel, there are numerous varieties of the species. Whether alluring albacore or ahi, also known as yellowfin, beautiful bigeye, bluefin or bonito or speedy skipjack, by any given name, it is all tuna. The actual word derives from the Latin word “thunnus”, which is the formal name of the group yet it was the Spanish American derivation of “tunny” that when shortened became tuna. The ancient Greek description “as a fish that rapidly darts along” is ideal. Sleek and fast-they can cruise up to 55 miles per hour and big or small- they can range from 10lbs to 1000 lbs.

These salt watered finned swimmers are a delicious force to be reckoned with and have a stronger more robust taste than whitefish. Tuna is also a healthy mecca for good protein, omega 3, Vitamins A and B12. An important part of the fishing industry, they are at home in the Mediterranean as well as the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans,

As early as the 1800’s, the American canning industry discovered that sardines and then tuna were solid staples that preserved well with water or oil and sealed in cans. San Diego and San Francisco became centers for the industry especially since the California coastline was abundant with the two types that canned best--albacore and skipjack. They were a prominent part of soldiers’ diets during World Wars I & II and by the 1950’s, canned “tunafish” had found its established place at the American table and in cupboards. Tuna fish salad (mixed with mayonnaise and relish with or without lettuce), sandwiches or melts and casseroles became regular items on diner menus or at home meals.


The appreciation of finer tuna evolved as more Japanese migrated to the United States. Although centuries old, the raw fish sushi phenomenon gained global momentum during the 1970’s when sushi bars began opening in the United States. Ahi or Bluefin are noted high-grade sashimi or sushi served on its own or on rice. Restaurants of all types now offer thinly sliced pieces or diced tartare as an appetizer. Grilled or pan-seared tuna steak and filets are also now respected choices at fine dining establishments where chefs showcase this delicious aquaculture star.

TUNA TAKES THE CAKE!

Matfef Chef Spotlight Joachim Splichal

Tuna takes the cake with this magnificent Master Chef’s savory multi-layered masterpiece! Similar to a Napoleon, his captivating creation is as appealing to the eye as it is to the palate. Read more in our spotlight with Chef Joachim Splichal.


TOOLS FOR THE TASTE

As a master chef, you are guaranteed an outstanding outcome for your own fish-friendly appetizer when you use Matfer’s Exoglass® Spatula, Bourgeat Copper Sauce Pan, Paring and Fish Knives, Hemispherical Bowls and Chef Tweezers.