Sunday, 29 May 2016

Get To Know The Chef - Matt Gabbitas

Who? Matt Gabbitas - Head Chef, Masa, Derby

1) When did you first realise that you started to have an interest in cooking?

"Many chefs fall in love with baking and cooking as a child with the parents and grand parents for me this was not the case, infact as a child and my early teens I would avoid being in the kitchen as much as possible! At 16 I got a job at a local hotel whilst studying business, one night the kitchen were short and I was asked to step in and help, this is were the love affair began!"

2) When did you first start working in a professional kitchen?

"16. After a few weeks of helping in the kitchen at the Posthouse Forte Hotel, I decided to end my Business Studies and take on a full time apprenticeship and I've never looked back."

3) What's your favourite dish to cook?

"I love to cook lots of foods, when working in North Yorkshire the amount of feathered Game I would get in from mallards to woodcocks that was absolutely fantastic and working at masa with my suppliers to ensure we get the best beef around and the most fantastic crabs and turbot, to the dishes which I create with my teams. I also love to make our homemade breads and our own receipe black pudding But my favourite dish to cook is Bavette of Derbyshire Beef cooked sous-vide and glazed in balsamic and soy with caramelised onion puree, Duck Fat Onions, Chanterelles, leek & sausage Wellington, garlic & escargot butter."

4) Are there any particular ingredients that you like to use and why?

"Mushrooms! I absolutely love them, to the point for my birthday my chefs brought me a kit to start growing my own oyster plourettes! I love the different varieties, the tastes, how with each season the selection of mushrooms changes the next few weeks are great with morels and st George's mushrooms bang in season, the verity of colours and how they can lift a dish to the next level! I really believe in pairing the right mushroom to enhance a dish rather than just having 'wild mushrooms' on a menu."

5) What's your perfect comfort meal?

"Takeaway Pizza! After a long day at work a pizza is defiantly my go to comfort food!"

6) What's the best piece of advice that you've been given by a fellow chef?

'you are only as good as your weakest link, invest in your team' 

7) What do you consider to be the most important piece of equipment to have in the kitchen?

"All bits of kitchen equipment are important from my waterbaths to my 12 year old Wusthof chefs knife but the most important part of my kitchen are my Sous Chef Jack and Pastry Chef Richard, without them my vision of dishes would never make it on to the plates never mind to the customers!"

8) If you hadn't become a chef, what would you like to have been doing as a career?

"I've never really thought about it, I'd never planned to be a chef, I sort of fell into it and fell in love with it at that time i had real idea what I wanted to do and I imagine that would still be the case if I wasn't a chef."

Big thanks to Matt for taking part in Chef Sundays! 


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