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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Chef's Choice: Matthew Daughaday of Taste, Part 2

Posted By on Wed, Sep 12, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Page 2 of 3

Your favorite restaurant elsewhere? Recently I went to the Purple Pig in Chicago. I really like what they're doing. It reminds me a lot of what we're doing here at Taste -- really flavorful small plates. Also Torrisi in New York City. It was hands down the best meal I've had in a long time. They serve traditional Italian specialties. You basically pick your protein and everything else just kind of comes out. There were five or six little antipasto plates, the pasta course, entree and dessert and everything was really simple. One of the things that stands out was a dish showing the five stages of pickling, so there were cucumbers -- some quick pickled, some fermented -- but still super flavorful and delicious. They also did mozzarella stretched to order -- a plate of freshly stretched warm mozzarella with olive oil -- insanely delicious.

Your favorite food city? San Francisco. You can get the same product here that you get out there but there it's just so much better. And there is so much variety from casual to fine dining out there. One of my favorite places out there is a banh mi place that was in one of the worst parts of town, run by two ladies in their sixties or so, and there was always a line out the door. Best sandwich in San Francisco.

Favorite recent food find? It's not really "new" but I've really had a thing lately for beef tongue. I've worked with it before and now I am working on a pastrami beef tongue which will be on the menu in the fall with more of a Moroccan set of flavors. Beef tongue has been an item that I am interested in and been playing around with recently.

Most essential ingredient in your kitchen? It's got to be salt. The difference between food being OK and food being awesome a lot of times is that it has been seasoned properly.

Name five words to describe your food. Flavorful, Simple, Creative, Approachable -- man, though, I hate that word and, um, well, I make food so that people will enjoy it. I mean, as much as I love making food if it's not good or if it's not what people are looking for that takes away from the experience of cooking for me -- from the joy.

What is one food you dislike? Food where there is no passion in creating it. I have no problem going to dirty little diners but if someone doesn't care at all about what they're doing it's no good to me.

What is a food you cant live without? Pasta. From simple to complicated, it can be delicious. It's just one of those things I'll always eat.

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