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Blog posts of '2014' 'October'

TASTES & TRADITIONS: GIVING THANKS - FARM-TO-TABLE

By Mara Papatheodorou, Your Tastes & Traditions Expert

‘Tis the season to be thankful. November 1621 is when the first Thanksgiving meal took place in Plymouth Massachusetts. Governor William Bradford organized a “giving of thanks” celebration to honor the New England Colonials successful transition to the New World. He invited the neighboring Wampanoag Indians to join the meal as a thank you for teaching the Pilgrims how to cultivate and harvest the land for food and crops. Then like now, it was an abundant feast but at that first gathering there was no turkey, stuffing or pumpkin pie! The sharing of delectable dishes lasted three days and guests ate what they sowed, caught and hunted. Fare included lobster, rabbit, chicken, beans, eggs, corn, mushrooms and onions. Hence the start of the Farm-to-Table movement!

Today, that concept is thriving. Chefs eagerly source the purest of pure and the freshest of fresh ingredients from farmers, fishermen and purveyors to cultivate and create their culinary sensations. We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!!

      

For a modern and inspirational seasonal dish, check out this month’s featured spotlight with Executive Chef Jason McClain. His Chef’s creation includes lobster, corn and chanterelle mushrooms just like the first farm-to-table celebratory feast!!  

As a professional chef, you are guaranteed a perfect outcome for your own Farm-to-Table creation when you use Matfer’s Exoglass® Pelton Spatula, Exal Aluminum Non-Stick Baking Sheet, and Exoglass® Skimmer!


MATFER IS THANKFUL FOR  200 YEARS!

And we’re celebrating with over 200 Prizes and 200 Winners! 

What better way to create your culinary masterpieces than when using Matfer tools in your professional kitchen.  To celebrate Matfer's Bicentennial there are over 200 FREE Matfer must-haves available as prizes for you!! Enter the Matfer Celebrates 200 Years Contest Today!  

CHEF SPOTLIGHT: JASON MCCLAIN

   

Matfer Bourgeat is delighted to feature Executive Chef Jason McClain in this month’s Chef Spotlight. At the Jonathan Club, Chef Jason McClain has revolutionized the menus and created a phenomenal rooftop herb and vegetable garden that is the talk of the town. For an autumn harvest twist, Chef Jason McClain highlights his Maine Lobster & Sweet Corn Agnolotti that combines the sweetness of the corn with the earthy flavors of shaved chanterelles and truffle nage using a few of his favorite Matfer tools!  

Q: As an established Executive Chef, what inspires you?
A: The freshest of fresh seasonal ingredients. I am so fortunate that I am able to cultivate partnerships with amazing local purveyors whose philosophies match our high standards. Those ingredients allow me to create dishes that appeal to the diverse tastes of the Jonathan Club members.

Q: What is the story behind about your renowned rooftop garden at the Jonathan Club?
A: This has been an amazing project to do. I love that I can take the freshest of herbs and vegetables straight from our rooftop to our tabletops! The position of the roof has just enough shade and sun to allow the vegetables and herbs to thrive. It’s an urban greenery wonderland that emphasizes the farm to table concept.


Q: You are in charge of all of the dining facilities at the Jonathan Club, from two major venues (downtown and at the beach) as well as private events, large and small. How do you do it?
A: I have a fantastic team and we all work together to make sure everything we do is a success. They all know I work by three must-do principles that are posted throughout the kitchens. They are: Source the Best Ingredients. Cook with Passion. Taste the Difference. By following these principles, we succeed.

Q: What is it about the Matfer products that make a difference to the outcome of your different entrees?
A: Matfer products are great! Early in my career, my pastry chef friends all used these incredible whisks that I noticed while I was cooking savory dishes. They were Matfer. I started using the whisks and the spatulas and then the pans in my preparations and everything came out perfectly. The items are durable and classic yet modern. If you want the best outcome you need to start with the best of everything from the tools to the ingredients.

Q: What are your favorite Matfer must-have tools?
A: My must-have and go to Matfer tools are the Rigid Whisk and the Exal aluminum Non-Stick Baking Sheet. Also, the Exoglass® Pelton Spatula - it is durable, lightweight an easy to use!

   

   

Above: Chef Jason McClain using Matfer Bourgeat's Exoglass® Pelton Spatula, Exoglass® Skimmer, and a Fisher Scaler.

Q: What was an essential part of the process when creating your Maine Lobster & Sweet Corn Agnolotti dish?
A: A drying rack is such a simple yet perfect tool to make perfect pasta. The air-drying prevents the pasta sheets from sticking which makes cutting the squares for the fresh agnolotti so much easier. And then when stuffed and sealed, the pasta is soft and delicate before cooking. The grater curled my chanterelles beautifully!

 

 

For precision of placing the kernels of corn & the garnish chef Jason McClain uses Matfer Chef Tweezers in style.


Q: What is your favorite entrée to prepare?                                                                         
A: I love crafting great food with terrific fresh from the garden vegetables and herbs. Besides the Maine Lobster & Sweet Corn Agnoloti, I’d have to say Surf and Turf is fun to do because I get to prepare the best of both, a hand selected Waygu Filet or Dry Aged Rib Eye with a Crab Cake or ½ Main Lobster. And the members love the combo whether downtown or at the beach.

Q: The poet William Blake became famous for the quote” The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest” - Do you agree?
A: Absolutely! I have the best job in the world. I am very thankful. I love creating dishes for the Jonathan Club members that are creative as well as classic using prime ingredients.  I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.


About Executive Chef Jason McClain
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Jason McClain, Jonathan Club Executive Chef, creates unique and delicious dining experiences for members to enjoy. He has earned high accolades during his tenure at the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in Philadelphia, as Chef de Cuisine at the Four Seasons restaurant Fifty-Seven Fifty Seven, as Chef/Owner of 8 ½ his restaurant in Miami Beach, and as Assistant Executive Chef at MGM Grand Resort. At the Jonathan Club, he has revolutionized the menus and created a phenomenal rooftop herb and vegetable garden that is the talk of the town.