Thursday, October 20, 2011

Next Up at the Pop-up: Chef Matt McCallister

On November 6, 2011, Matt McCallister becomes the sixth guest chef in the Cafe Momentum pop-up dinner series. The dinner takes place at 6 pm at Hibiscus, and wine is included in the $100 price for the five-course meal. Below is the menu:

Spiced Fennel Salad
Crème fraîche and Meyer lemon

Acorn Squash Soup
Kale chips, pine nuts, and pancetta

Suckling Pig Porchetta
Spelt pilaf with pickled radish, pumpkin seed sauce, and raisin

Beef Duo
Encrusted oxtail, spinalis, squash flavors, rosemary, and mushroom Armagnac sauce

Cheese Curd Tart
Cranberry-sage mostarda and black pepper-honey ice cream

About Matt McCAllister
Matt McCallister’s culinary career began at the age of 15, when he worked for a mom-and-pop Italian restaurant in his hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona. He planned to later attend the Culinary Institute of America. 

In 2005, after enjoying a fine meal at Stephan Pyles’ namesake restaurant, Matt approached Stephan about the possibility of working for him. Following a brief trial period, Matt worked as a line cook and, during the course of 18 months, progressed rapidly through all line cook positions until he was promoted to sous chef in 2007. In 2008, he was promoted to executive sous chef.

In 2009, Matt became the executive chef at Stephan Pyles. Upon promoting Matt to executive chef, Stephan said, “Matt is a hardworking, exceptionally talented chef with laser-beam focus. In my 26 years in the restaurant business, I have seen only one other person with as much raw and natural ability.” The press took notice too. While executive chef, Matt received two back-to-back 4-star reviews in the <i>Dallas Morning News</i>.

Currently Matt is consulting on the soon-to-open Campo Modern Country Bistro in Oak Cliff, overseeing kitchen operations and the menu, which will focus on European influences such as French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish, reminiscent of the Mendoza Province near Buenos Aires.  Most recently, Matt spent time honing his skills and learning new techniques in the country’s top restaurants, including McCrady’s in South Carolina, Alinea in Chicago and Daniel in New York City.

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