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CHEF SPOTLIGHT: MARISSA GERLACH

A CLEVER CHEF AND HER PIG
Matfer Bourgeat USA CEO, Alain Stammler couldn’t hold back a hug for this month’s featured Executive Chef Marissa Gerlach when she created a mouthwatering Terrine!

Matfer Bourgeat Featured Spotlight with Executive Chef Marissa Gerlach

Matfer Bourgeat CEO Alain Stammler and Executive Chef Marissa Gerlach

Executive Chef, Marissa Gerlach’s winning approach to cuisine has developed through commitment and determination as she cooked her way up and through celebrated award winning restaurants in Sonoma and Napa. She has worked at Cyrus alongside Chef Douglas Keane, named one of the top 10 chefs of Food and Wine Magazine, 2010 and later at The Restaurant at Meadowood, a three stars Michelin dining room and resort. Chef Gerlach then returned to her hometown as Chef De Cuisine at the Ritz Carlton, Laguna Niguel, which was named 2011 Restaurant of the Year by Rivera Magazine. Vista Valley Country Club and its members now benefit from Chef Gerlach’s expertise and delectable creativity.

Marissa Gerlach Chef Spotlight Terrine

INTERVIEW: 

Q: As an established Executive Chef, what inspires you?
A: The farm to table movement. Growing up in California with a Mom who loved to cook, we’d have fun in the kitchen together. I came tounderstand early on that the state is a mecca of phenomenal ingredients that can turn into memorable dishes. And I am inspired by that every day and each time I go to an open market to shop for vegetables, produce, meats and seafood.

Marissa Gerlach Executive Chef Matfer Spotlight Exopan Meat Pie Mold

Q: What do you like about being the Executive Chef of an impressive dining room like that of the Vista Valley Country Club?
A: I really enjoy developing menus for our club members that highlight the freshest of elements that are found in Vista Valley’s backyard. It is a very fulfilling give and take exchange of experiences. They trust me to try new appetizers and entrees and I trust them to be honest about what they like and don’t like. I make sure I combine classic choices with innovative touches.

Q: You are in charge of all of the preparations at the Club, from meals in the restaurant to private events and special tasting menus. How do you do it?
A: I am very lucky. No Executive Chef can be anything without the support and backup of their team. The most important lesson I learned about being in a professional kitchen was working together to create success. We learn from each other. I have been so fortunate to work with and learn from remarkable chefs. At the Club, I look upon it as a group effort and I have a strong, very hands-on team. We work really well together.

I love seasons and create daily and weekly menus accordingly that will intrigue and I hope delight the club members’ palates. The special tasting menus and evenings are also such a joy to present. Wine pairing dinners are always a big hit and I am really looking forward to our upcoming Pork & Pinot event. I’m excited that I will get to serve a pork terrine with summer vegetables similar to the recipe I’ve just developed for Matfer and the Club’s March menus!

Q: Your Truffle & Mushroom Pork Terrine with Spring Green Garlic, Peas and Mustard Greens is gorgeous. How did you develop it?
A: I love braising, curing and embracing salt of the earth elements! I became enthralled with the French passion and method of making terrines all year long. Putting them together and implementing diverse seasonal ingredients is a wonderful challenge for me. I look at preparing a terrine as creating a piece of edible art on a plate. Not fussy, just delicious and beautiful where I can mix and match flavors and colorful sauces that intrigue guests. They are then pleasantly surprised with their first bite and finish it all off. I smile when I see an empty plate come into the kitchen after service!

Matfer Featured Chef Spotlight Marissa Gerlach Vista Valley Country Club

Excellence Casserole in Featured Chef Spotlight with Executive Chef Marissa Gerlach

Mater Bourgeat Excellence Casserole

Matfer Bourgeat Featured Chef Spotlight with Marissa Gerlach - Terrine Territory

Q: What is it about the Matfer products that make a difference in your preparation and results of your various dishes?
A: I trust Matfer products. They make my job so much easier. I can then get on with cooking and creating. The items are timeless yet keep evolving with chefs’ needs and wants. Matfer products were always in the Michelin kitchens I trained and worked in throughout my career. I learned and knew early on what a difference using them makes from start to finish of a recipe and its final result.

Matfer Bourgeat Featured Chef Spotlight with Marissa Gerlach - Terrine Territory

Q: What do you think of Matfer's Exopan Steel Pie Mold, Black Steel Round Crepe Pan, Black Steel Round Frying Pan, Bourgeat Excellence Casserole and Bourgeat Sauce Pan and the Stainless Steel Ladle?
A: They are all amazing especially since they allow me to work so well with hot and cold items throughout the process of making a terrine. Right now, the front runners are the two Matfer Steel Round Sauce Pans and the phenomenal Steel Meat Mold. I love that no matter what type of terrine I make, it always comes out just right with no sticking since the side latches open and the bottom slides out. Both the Black Steel Round Crepe Pan and the Black Steel Round Frying Pan are also fantastic. The size and shape of these pans are perfect because they are sturdy and easy to handle. The black steel holds heat well and evenly which makes them ideal for searing.

Matfer Bourgeat Black Steel Frying Pan in Featured Chef Spotlight with Executive Chef Marissa Gerlach

Matfer Bourgeat Black Steel Crepe Pan in Chef Spotlight with Marissa Gerlach

Matfer Bourgeat Meat Pie Mold in Chef Spotlight with Marissa Gerlach

Matfer Meat Pie Mold Featured Chef Spotlight with Marissa Gerlach

Q: What are your favorite Matfer must-have tools?
A: I always rely on the Matfer whisk and the ladle no matter what I’m preparing. And I think the Matfer Orange Mitts are a cool color! It’s fantastic that they keep my hands and arms so safe from burning especially when I’m concentrating on removing something hot from the oven or stove.

Matfer Protection Oven Mitts in Featured Chef Spotlight with Marissa Gerlach Matfer Bourgeat Stainless Steel Ladle in Chef Spotlight with Marissa Gerlach

Terrine - Matfer Spotlight

Q: In 1851, Alexis Soyer, an established 19th century French Chef said, “Pork-no animal is more used for nourishment and none more indispensable in the kitchen; employed either fresh or salt, all is useful.” Do you agree?
A: Yes! I’m thrilled with this quote on so many levels! I’m a big fan of pork. And I have such respect for the classical French approach to food and preparation. I aspire to that. This tradition of using all of an animal to create numerous dishes was lost for a while and I treasure being part of that revival. It is nature at its best with new specialties all of the time.

Q: On a personal note, are terrines your favorite thing to eat?
A: Well, I always taste and try everything along the way of developing and testing my recipes before I serve them. So I happily eat a lot of slices of terrines! But being a Californian, I love any kind of fresh fruit and I adore heirloom tomatoes.

Marissa Gerlach Terrine

TOOLS FOR THE TASTE

As an inspirational chef, you are guaranteed a perfect outcome for your own modern terrine creation when you use Matfer's Exopan Steel Meat Pie Mold, Black Steel Round Frying Pan, Bourgeat Excellence Casserole and Bourgeat Sauce Pan, the Stainless Steel Ladle, and Matfer's Black Steel Round Crepe Pan.  

INTERESTED IN BEING FEATURED IN THE MATFER CHEF SPOTLIGHT?
If you are a professional chef and would like to be considered for the Matfer Chef Spotlight. Contact Us! 

TASTES & TRADITIONS OF CHOCOLATE & VALENTINE’S DAY

By Mara Papatheodorou, your Tastes & Traditions Expert

LOVE IS IN THE AIR!

Matfer Bourgeat Taste and Traditions Valentines Day

St. Valentine was a priest who in 270 AD defied Roman Emperor Claudius II‘s ban on marriage during wartime and married young lovers in secret. For this, he was jailed and executed on February 14th. While in jail he had written a love letter to the jailer’s daughter and signed it Valentine with an x, the sign of a kiss in medieval times. In 1537 English King Henry VIII declared February 14th St. Valentine’s Day and it came to America in 1629 when the Puritans arrived from England. Today, romance still abounds and Cupid, the Roman God of Love and the son of Venus the Goddess of Love, obliges.

No celebration is complete without hearts and chocolate, the sweetest aphrodisiac of all. The love affair with chocolate began with “xocoatl”, a drink cultivated from the seeds of the cocoa tree by the Aztecs and Mayans over 2000 years ago. This creamy concoction provided strength and vigor to Cortes and Casanova and soon European noblemen and ladies enjoyed sipping the intoxicating luscious potion.  Chocolate truly does contain phenylaline, the chemical that is produced in our brains when falling in love. It remains the number one candy choice worldwide. French chocolatiers were the first to create the bon-bon (good-good), a creamy centered piece of confection elegantly encased in chocolate. And in the late 1800’s, Englishman Richard Cadbury produced the initial heart shaped box containing chocolates as a romantic gift for the day. Embrace and enjoy this exquisite delight no matter what the shape.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

On Valentine’s Day, chocolate is the number one choice for a romantically divine dessert. But there’s more to this fantastic finale than just chocolate that will make loved ones’ hearts sing and their taste buds swoon. Check out the enticing sensational surprises created by Executive Pastry Chef Kriss Harvey!

As an inspirational chef, you can sink your heart into creating your own delectable Valentine Day’s Dessert when you use Matfer's Chocolate Heart Molds.    




CHEF SPOTLIGHT: KRISS HARVEY

Matfer Bourgeat is thrilled to feature Executive Pastry Chef Kriss Harvey, The Bazaar by José Andrés at the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills, this month in our featured chef spotlight.

Dessert master Kriss Harvey brings unique flavor combinations, avant-garde techniques, and more than twenty years of experience to the pastry menus at The Bazaar by José Andrés at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. He studied at the famed Cacao Barry Chocolate Academy near Philadelphia under the tutelage of Master Chocolatier Pascal Janvier and then went to Paris to study with legendary pastry chefs, Christophe Felder at the Hôtel de Crillon and MOF Emmanuel Ryon of École Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil. He continued his international experience in Spain, working with Pastry Chef Oriol Balaguer at el Bulli and Oriol Balaguer Pastry. He also studied with MOF chocolatier and candy maker, Pierre Mirgalet.  Kriss has had pastry positions at The Ritz Carlton in Washington, D.C., NoMi in the Park Hyatt Chicago and at Bartolotta Ristorante Di Mare at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas.

For a Valentine decadent dessert that will be forever remembered, Chef Kriss Harvey created beautiful heart masterpieces with his Chocolate Lovers Cake for Two and his Warhol inspired Chocolate Heart Bons Bons.

INTERVIEW:

Q: As an established Executive Pastry Chef, what inspires you?                                                                                               

A: Chocolate and all that I can do with it. I can and do mix and match flavors with the chocolate as a base, an encasement or a topping.  I continue to be inspired to present an unexpected delightful surprise for patrons’ palates when they take that first bite of chocolate with an added flavor or element. For example I use the finest vanilla from Bora Bora because its purity makes that big of a difference. This is why I love making bons bons so much. I can keep changing their interiors and their exterior whether dark, milk, bitter sweet or white. I source the purest of ingredients that can create profound flavors with chocolate. I use everything from lemon verbena to banana ganache and amazing blends of caramel.

Q: Why are you so drawn to chocolate?

A: To me, it is one of the greatest ingredients ever. It is a worldwide element and flavor that appeals to almost everyone and the results can be magical. I am intrigued by cocoa’s remarkable ancient history and how international cultures use it differently. We can all relate to it but still learn about it from each other.  I love that chocolate unites us all. It makes the world a sweeter place.

Q: You are in charge of all of the dessert preparations at the SLS, from the various restaurants to the private events that are large and small. How do you do it?

A: For me it is all about embracing and respecting that opportunity to serve each and every guest and to always be proud of what we serve.  I believe in mentoring and I encourage the team of seventeen that work for me to give it their all. I give to them and they give to me and we give to the guests together. When you enter my pastry world, I require full on dedication where you jump in all the way. With that kind of interest and commitment we are all on the same page and deliver stunning results that blow our patrons away. We are always striving above and beyond to create and deliver mouthwatering desserts of the utmost quality.  I have a great team that I know love and respect what they do so it is a win-win situation for all of us.

Q: How did you come up with the Chocolate Lovers Cake two? And those phenomenal pieces of art heart bons bons?                      

A: I love Valentine’s Day. Come on what says love, romance and divine decadence better than chocolate cake and bons bons?! They are especially alluring when infused with the passion fruit center for the Lovers Cake and the various fruit and caramel fillings in the bons bons. They are idyllic indulgences!

Kriss Harvey's Chocolate Lovers Heart Shaped Cake for Two Matfer Bourgeat Feature

Kriss Harvey Matfer Chocolate Lovers Cake for TwoKriss Harvey Matfer Chocolate Lovers Cake for Two

Q: The bon bon bar is an SLS phenomenon. How did it come to be?

A: As a chocolatier, I think of chocolate as pieces of art so for me each bon bon is a seductive piece of art. I am an Andy Warhol fan and he loved interpretation within repetition and I share that philosophy. His work inspires me and my canvas is the bon bon. The bon bon bar became a unique showcase for our guests to pick and choose pieces. Suddenly, they wanted bons bons as gifts and memory boxes so we created the bons bons bar. I am always adding new flavors, shapes and colors to the chocolate choices.

              

Kriss Harvey Bon Bon Matfer Bourgeat


Q: What is it about the Matfer products that make a difference to the outcome of your various desserts?

A: Matfer products are the best. It amazes me that they manage to always offer better ones year after year. I am an equipment nerd and drool at the diverse items available in their catalog. I am a perfectionist and require the perfect tools to do what I do. There is no room for error and Matfer guarantees that for me. The elements are durable and innovative and the attention to detail for each piece is impressive whether it is their smallest spatula, super scraper, fantastic funnel or perfect pastry bags. I began my official pastry work training in France and was introduced to them then. I have been using their various items and dessert molds my entire career.

Q: What do you think of the Matfer’s Heart Cutters, Chocolate Heart Molds, Rubber Spatulas, Scraper, Automatic Funnel, Strainer and Hemispherical Bowls?

A: They are all terrific. I love that the cutters are so easy to use and that the molds are seamless so there are no lines on the chocolate when you remove them. The fitting on the funnel is perfect so there is no dripping or leakage with that ideal rubber stopper. Everything is easy to use, tap out and clean.

Q: What is your favorite Matfer must-have tool?

A: The different sized spatulas and scraper. I am loyal to my spatulas and still have some of my originals! They are that durable!!

Q: What do you consider the ultimate classic dessert?

A: Believe it or not, it is not chocolate! The ultimate classic dessert is the Canele de Bordeaux (French pastry with custard center). It was one of the first desserts I learned to make and it took me 15 years to make it perfectly.  I’ve only taught 5 others to make it the way I do. I only make 12 every three days. That’s it. When they are gone they are gone. They seem to be very much in demand!  I use Matfer’s Copper Canele molds to create the perfect Canele.

 

Q: And your favorite dessert to eat?

A: Canele de Bordeaux or a dark bitter chocolate bon-bon. I have a sweet tooth!

Q: Judith Olney, the renowned chef and author of the Joy of Chocolate said, ”Chocolate of course is the stuff of which fantasies are made. Rich, dark velvety smooth fantasies that envelop the senses and stir the passions. Chocolate is madness; chocolate is delight”. Do you agree?

A: Yes, yes, yes! Definitely! It baffles me when people don’t like chocolate! It is romantic. It is sexy. It is sensual. It is everything!! I see guests’ reactions all of the time either over dessert or over at our eye-catching bon bon bar. They become enamored, delighted and giddy. Those types of reactions always thrill me. It keeps me wanting to do more and create more for that ultimate extra-special dessert experience.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Tools for the Taste:  
As an inspirational chef, you can sink your heart into creating your own delectable Valentine Day’s Dessert when you use Matfer's Chocolate Heart Molds, Heart Cutters, Rubber Spatulas, Scraper, Automatic Funnel, Strainer and Hemispherical Bowls.


INTERESTED IN BEING FEATURED IN THE MATFER CHEF SPOTLIGHT?
If you are a professional chef and would like to be considered for the Matfer Chef Spotlight. Contact Us!

TASTES & TRADITIONS: GETTING ROOTED FOR A HAPPY & HEALTHY NEW YEAR

By Mara Papatheodorou, Your Tastes & Traditions Expert

Root Vegetable Medley Salad Chef David Padilla Matfer Bourgeat USA

Happy 2015! The end of one year and the arrival of the next bring renewal and restoration, hope and commitment to what lies ahead. The most popular resolution every January 1st is to lose weight and to make healthy choices. And since the evolution of humankind, root vegetables have been making a mark as an essential part of a well-balanced meal and culinary regime. From the Eastern Mediterranean to Northern Europe to Asia and America, these almighty vegies have always been present. They were the first to be farmed in Ancient Greek, Roman and Viking times. Scandinavians, Russians and American Colonials relied on them to carry their appetites through harsh winters. Hence the root cellar! Parsnips are cousins to carrots while bountiful beets and regal radishes are loaded with vitamins and nutrients that add vigor to your system and joy to your palate. They grow deep and sprout slowly arriving on the plate with beauty and grace becoming the true prince and princess of the vegetable kingdom.

Beauty is in the eye of the root vegetable and this ravishing root vegetable medley salad is a sight to behold. For a healthy happy start to 2015, see what earthy cousins galore come together to create this show-stopping stupendous dish created by David Padilla, Executive Chef, On Rodeo Restaurant LUXE Hotel.

David Padilla Matfer Chef Spotlight

As an inspirational chef, you are guaranteed a perfect outcome for your own vegetable creation when you use Matfer’s Mandoline 2000SSwing Salad Spinner, the Hemispherical Mixing bowls and Exoglass® Lime Green Tongs.

CHEF SPOTLIGHT: DAVID PADILLA

Matfer Bourgeat is happy to feature Chef David Padilla, Executive Chef, On Rodeo Restaurant LUXE Hotel, Beverly Hills, California in our Chef Spotlight this month.

Chef David Padilla

As an executive chef, you know that the purest of ingredients makes the difference in the flavor and flair of a dish. For a fresh twist and healthy start to 2015, Executive Chef David Padilla has taken root vegetables to a whole new level. Separate but united, he has mixed and matched carrots, radishes and parsnips together in his refined Root Vegetable Medley Salad.

INTERVIEW:
Q: As an established Executive Chef, what inspires you?
A: Freshness and purity. I love vegetables and citrus. They intrigue me as much as they inspire me. I grew up on a farm and have been surrounded by these elements all of my life. At age 5, I was picking radishes from our garden and popping them straight into my mouth! Authenticity matters and I look for that from every angle when I’m sourcing ingredients to developing recipes and menus. And I love citrus trees. They are so Californian and whether it’s a Meyer lemon or other citrus juice, it always adds zing!

Q: What do you like about being the Executive Chef at a luxury hotel like LUXE?
A: I want our guests’ hotel dining experience to be a delectable and memorable adventure. Here we are on Rodeo Drive amidst the most iconic fashion designer boutiques in the world and I want to honor that in the restaurant in an elegant understated way. High quality cuisine and high fashion walk in parallel universes.

Q: You are in charge of all of the preparations at the LUXE, from meals in the restaurant and room service to private events and special tasting menus. How do you do it?
A: I believe in mentoring and great training. Teamwork and respect are vital to running a happy and successful kitchen. I have a terrific team and we work together well. I work directly with my purveyors as well as paying attention to seasonal produce that catches my eye and gets my culinary brain going. I am fortunate that I can develop classic delicious dishes for the restaurant and then be a bit more daring with tasting menus and private events when the clients are open to that. It is fun to always go for the WOW factor whether for daily or specialty menus.

Q: This Root Medley Vegetable Salad is stunning. How did it come to be?
A: There’s something very appealing about the heart and soul of root vegetables. After all, they come straight from the earth’ soil. They are real and hearty yet refined. I love their versatility. As members of the vegetable family, they are related but have diverse tastes and textures. And that is fun! This allows me to vary the way I prepare each one to bring them together to create a new dish. Some are raw, roasted, slice, diced, pureed or curled. It feels like a great way to wake up the palate naturally and to start taste buds off right in this New Year.

Root Vegetable Medley Salad Chef David Padilla Matfer Bourgeat USA

 Chef David Padilla Matfer Bourgeat USA Matfer Bourgeat USA David Padilla

Q: What is it about the Matfer products that make a difference in your preparation and results of your various dishes?
A: Matfer products are stand-alone perfect and of the highest quality. They keep up with the evolution of a modern professional kitchen. They are strong and durable, refined and reliable. I expect and need that from the instruments I use when prepping, cookingand creating. The Matfer items never let me down.

Chef David Padilla Matfer             Chef David Padilla Matfer Bourgeat USA             David Padilla Chef Matfer Bourgeat USA

Matfer Bourgeat Salad Spinner

Q: What do you think of the Mandoline 2000S, the Swing Salad Spinner, the Hemispherical Mixing bowls and Exoglass® Lime Green Tongs?
A: They are all terrific for different reasons. Each one does exactly what it is designed to do and even more than that! The Mandoline is awesome because its base is stable which keeps your fingers safe and it adjusts to do different levels of thinness and thickness when “shaving” “slicing” the ingredients whether the beets, carrots, parsnips or radishes. The Salad Spinner fluffs up my arugula nicely and I like the feel and sizes of the mixing bowls. The tongs are flexible and firm at the same time that lets me pick-up and perfectly place an ingredient or garnish.

Q: What are your favorite Matfer must-have tools?
A: They are all terrific for different reasons. Right now my must-haves are the Mandoline and the tongs. The Matfer Mandoline is the best one I’ve ever used and it allows me to continue to develop beautiful dishes with vegetables and fruits And the Matfer tongs are fantastic! They are much better than cooking tweezers and the cool lime green color means I never lose them!!

David Padilla Chef Matfer Bourgeat UA

Q: The renowned American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The greatest delight the fields and woods minister is the suggestion of a mysterious relation between man and the vegetable. I am not alone and unacknowledged. They nod to me and I to them.” Do you agree?
A: This is exactly my philosophy. Amazing new tastes occur every time a fresh vegetable enters your mouth. Each bite is a new tasting experience. There is something beautifully simple and sacred about how ingredients grow from the soil and arrive in the kitchen to get to the table. I am excited to always embrace these natural elements in a beautiful healthy and delicious way to create memorable dishes. I wish everyone a happy, healthy and flavorful 2015!

Use Matfer’s Mandoline 2000SSwing Salad Spinnerthe Hemispherical Mixing bowls and Exoglass® Lime Green Tongs for your own winter vegetable creation.

Chef David Padilla 

About Chef David Padilla

As a graduate of the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena California, David Padilla, Executive Chef at the Hotel Luxe and On Rodeo Restaurant in Beverly Hills, has always embraced his native California roots in his lifestyle and approach to cooking. During his formidable career, he has developed his impressive culinary creativity and skills at other established California restaurants that include Fig at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel, Gordon Ramsey at the London Hotel, the Hillcrest Country Club and West at Hotel Angelino. He is also an annual participant at the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival and the Los Angeles Star Chef Rising Dinners and Galas.

CHEF SPOTLIGHT: SALLY CAMACHO MUELLER

Matfer Bourgeat is happy to feature Chef Sally Camacho Mueller, Executive Pastry Chef, Jonathan Club, Los Angeles, California in our Chef Spotlight this month.

Sally Camacho Mueller  

As a pastry chef, you know that divine desserts leave a lasting impression and chocolate hits the mark. For a holiday twist, Executive Pastry Chef Sally Camacho Mueller has taken a classic and added a California touch with her Pistachio Opera Petit-Fours and Mendient Mint Chocolate Discs.

INTERVIEW:
Q: As an established Executive Pastry Chef, what inspires you?
A: Sugar! I love creating desserts with sugar, fruit, nuts and chocolate. Desserts make me happy! I like to see people happy when eating desserts!

Sally Camacho Mueller

Q: You are a master of Chocolate Making and Sugar Decorating with lots of accolades to show for it. What is it like to be in those competitions?
A: It is an honor and a happy challenge!  I like coming up with new ideas and inspirations of what to do with desserts. It is a different kind of sugar rush!  I am so fortunate to have worked with terrific teams along with international pastry masters throughout my career and in the various competitions. The Valrhona Chocolate Regional and World Competitions were particularly amazing.

Q: As a specialist in sweets, how do you incorporate the herbs and fruits that grow in your renowned rooftop garden at the Jonathan Club?
A: I am so lucky to have this terrific garden at my fingertips.  It is so much fun to be able to be creative with the fruits and herbs for desserts for our members. I enjoy doing the classic cakes and pastries but I love the delicious opportunity to do a seasonal specialized ice cream or tart that has a unique twist combining the sweetness of the freshest of fruit or citrus with the unexpected bite of a fresh herb like mint or rosemary.

 Sally Camacho Mueller  

Q: You are in charge of all of the dessert preparations at the Jonathan Club, for two major venues (downtown and at the beach) as well as private events, large and small. How do you do it?

A: Pastry is precise and takes discipline. I have a great team and we plan everything out in advance. What we serve in one venue may differ at the other depending of course if the menu is casual or more formal. I love doing the spun sugar, chocolate or gingerbread display centerpieces for our special events. It is always a joy to impress our members with presentations that wow them. And petit fours or some sort of disc or bon bon at the end of a meal leaves a lasting delicious impression. It’s that final taste!

Sally Camacho Mueller  Sally Camacho Mueller

Q: What made your version of the Opera Cake different to prepare?                                                                        

A: The Opera Cake is a classic yet festive dessert especially with the addition of gold leaf. In this instance, I love the California twist of adding pistachios instead of almonds to the chocolate ganache of an otherwise traditional opera cake preparation. And petit-fours allow you to have one or more!  I always like to offer an extra bite of chocolate for our club members at the end of a meal so I make chocolate discs with different components each time. For a holiday touch, I like adding sprigs of fresh green mint from the roof garden to these chocolate discs.  

Opera Cake Opera Cake

Opera Cake  Opera Cake

 Sally Camacho Mueller Sally Camacho Mueller

Sally Camacho Mueller Sally Camacho Mueller

Q: What is it about the Matfer products that make a difference to the outcome of your various desserts?
A: Matfer products are beautifully made and easy to use. I am very discerning with my ingredients and my materials when I work. The high quality of their products is an added boost of confidence especially when working with chocolate. It is a fantastic ingredient but can be temperamental to prepare properly. I don’t worry about that when using Matfer items. I know I am going to get a refined ideal result.

Sally Camacho Mueller Sally Camacho Mueller

Q: What are your favorite Matfer must-have tools?
A: The different sized Elveo Spatulas, the Flat Pastry Brush and the Edgeless Baking Sheet.  


Matfer's products are durable and precise which is vital in pastry and chocolate making! The precision of their rings with no seams and the Chocolate Tablet Molds are impressive. The firm yet flexible spatulas with temperature control make all of the difference when I am working and swirling chocolate. For the Pistachio Opera Petit-Fours and Mendient Mint Chocolate Discs, I used Matfer’s Kits for Making Chocolate Tuiles & Discs, the Elveo Thermometer Spatula, the Elveo High Temperature Rubber Spatula, the Flat Pastry Brush, and the Smooth Edgeless Sheet.

Sally Camacho Mueller

Q: The famous Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz said, ”All you need is Love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt”.  Do you agree?
A: Definitely! Love and dessert, especially chocolate go together! Remember that chocolate contains the “love booster” chemical phenylaline that is produced in our brains when in love! And I love making desserts of all kinds for our members to enjoy throughout the year.

About Chef Sally Camacho Mueller
A graduate of the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and the International School of Confectionary Arts, Sally Camacho Mueller, Executive Pastry Chef at the Jonathan Club, is truly a dessert specialist. During her established career, she has further cultivated her impressive skills at Wolfgang Pucks WP24, the Hotel Belair, the Fairmont Turnberry Isle in Miami, Bradley Ogden and the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas and the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. She was named one of the Ten Top Pastry Chefs in the United States by Dessert Professional Magazine and  has won numerous awards as well as placing second in Top Chef Just Desserts.

TASTES & TRADITIONS: THE HOLIDAY SEASON & A SWEET FINALE

By Mara Papatheodorou, Your Tastes & Traditions Expert

 THE TASTES & TRADITIONS OF THE CHOCOLATE OPERA CAKE

The holiday season has arrived and with it comes the decadent delight and appreciation of a sweet finale. And at this time of year, the most popular finish of all seems to involve chocolate. The classic Opera Cake with chocolate ganache makes taste buds sing! It hails from famed French bakery Dalloyau, whose baking heritage goes back to 1632 in the royal court of Louis XIV.

The family gastronomy business continued and in 1802 the Dalloyau Patisserie opened on Rue Fabourg St Honore where it still is today. In the mid 50’s as a tribute to an Opera Ballerina, a patissier from Dallyou created a layered rectangular pastry consisting of sponge cake soaked in coffee syrup, made with almond cream and topped with chocolate ganache.  To this day, it remains an eternally classic fantastically French dessert. 

Chocoholics rejoice as the rich chocolate ganache remains present in this modern interpretation of the Opera Cake but a traditional element has been replaced. See what it is!

As a professional chef, you know that divine desserts leave a lasting impression and chocolate hits the mark. For a holiday twist, Executive Pastry Chef Sally Camacho Mueller has taken a classic and added a California touch with her Pistachio Opera Petit-Fours and Mendient Mint Chocolate Discs. Read More >

As a professional chef, you are guaranteed a perfect outcome for your own chocolate creation when you use Matfer’s baking tools! See our Kits for Making Chocolate Tuiles and Discs and other great Matfer chocolate products!


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! 

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.

Featured Spotlight - Patrice Mora

This month, in celebration of our 200 year anniversary, we are proud to feature Patrice Mora, President of Matfer Bourgeat Group. We spoke with Patrice about the history of Matfer and what we have to look forward to in the next 200 years!  

Q: Approximately how many product innovations has Matfer created over the course of its 200 year history?

A: We have created more than 20,000 products in the course of our history.


Q: What was the first product Matfer Bourgeat ever created?

A: Matfer’s first product ever created was a made to measure (custom) copper pastry mold.


Q: What is the longest standing product that Matfer still sells?

A: Our Tin pastry molds!


Q: Who is using Matfer products today?

A: Leading executive chefs and pastry chefs from the finest culinary arts programs, restaurants and hotels worldwide use our products. We are proud of our client base that includes customers such as The Four Seasons®, The Wynn® Las Vegas and The Culinary Institute Le Notre (Houston, Texas).


Q: Matfer is celebrating over 200 Years of Innovation and it is still going strong! What is Matfer Bourgeat most proud of?

A: I would have to say our Exoglass® product line. It is a new generation of molds that is exclusive to Matfer. The material’s extra heat resistancy keeps its original shape and will not lose its form. And the Exoglass® mold has excellent heat diffusion for the most complex recipes.


Q: You mentioned there have been over 20,000 number of product innovations from Matfer over the course of your history. What does Matfer use as a basis for new product innovation?

A: We base our new product development upon creation, direct feedback and suggestions from executive and pastry chefs who use our products.


Q: Are there any new product innovations Executive and Pastry Chefs can look forward to this year?

A: We are looking forward to releasing our new wedding cake mold and stand this year.


Q: If there was one thing you would like new to Matfer chefs know about your products . . what would it be?

A: I believe new as well as current chefs who use Matfer products would be interested in knowing about the introduction of new materials such as Exoglass® that we offer within our product lines.


Q: Looking into the next 25-200 years . . . What is Matfer most excited about?

A: We are truly excited about the opportunity to continue to support fine pastry and cuisine worldwide.


JOIN MATFER AS WE CELEBRATE 200 YEARS WITH 200 WINNERS!

We've cooked up some great prizes to celebrate Matfer's 200th Anniversary!

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!  Click here