matthewkopfler@gmail.com
______________________
chef matthew kopfler, a new orleans native, grew up cooking the creole and cajun classics for which south louisiana is famous. he left new orleans after hurricane katrina to attend the culinary institute of america and to cook in new york, nantucket, and boston. in 2010, he returned to new orleans, bringing with him his classical french training and a desire to revolutionize the culinary landscape of his hometown while honoring its beloved food culture.

August 24 Baie Daunkie Vegetable and Wine Dinner

 
/amuse/
Watermelon & Graham Beck Sparkling Rose'
“nigiri” style, cured watermelon, coconut rice, agave- mint granite, petite shio.

/1st/ Celery & Reyneke Sauvignon Blanc
caramelized celeriac puree, marjoram poached celery stalk, gorgonzola-walnut croquettes, apple matchsticks.

/2nd/ Salad & Big Easy Chenin Blanc
fresh salad greens, local herbs, curried yogurt vinaigrette, sliced pears.

/3rd/ Carrots & Wildekians Pinotage
anise poached carrots, honey glazed carrots, salt roasted carrots, coriander-cured carrot ribbons.

/4th/ Eggplant & Secateurs
charred eggplant coulis, seared eggplant steak, “marchan de vin” sauce, pommegranite jewels, cucumber- yogurt.

/5th/ Stonefruit & Klein Constantia Desert Wine
grilled stonefruit, vanilla cream, mint.
 
 

Eggs, Eggplant, Carrots.

 
 

So here's what's going on.

Eggplants are amazing, and when sliced length-wise, the flesh to skin ratio is greatly increased.  Next step, score the eggplant with cross hatch marking a little below the surface. Mixing together some spices with salt and sugar, its a curing process, removing some water from the inside and flavoring the remaining vegetable parts.  Seasoning in the picture above was provided by my bastardized harissa.  Caraway, cumin, fennel seed, coriander, and whatever else was lying around the kitchen or garden made there way into the mix.  Once seasoned, I left the eggplants at room temperature for two hours, marinate brah.  Once marinate, the eggplant was patted dry, extremely dry, seasoned and seared in some oil.  The flavor profile on this particular eggplant was lamb, no shit, somehow with the mix of spices and the integrity of the eggplant, lamb appeared on my palate.  Pay no mistake though, its not fucking lamb, no fat cap that tastes like grass. 

Why put an egg on top of an eggplant? The name eggplant has the word egg in it, so I used an egg.

The carrots were a pretty cool condiment.  The same harissa spice was mixed with some siracha, shaved carrots, and radish sprouts direct from the garden. Left for a few days, the sprouts, with their minimal flesh to water ratio, relented and gave way to release their phosphorus phunk into the mix.  After two days in the fridge, the mix was potent and could almost make anything taste better, or at least more ethnic.

Yeahyouright.

Caroline's Birthday Menu: Five Courses of Fibonacci



a spoon of flower.


fresh cow cheese, domestic blue cheese, caramelized pineapple

ham hock, shrimp, okra, gumbo, sardine cream, bread, fennel
egg yolk mash, fried artichoke, parmesan flank roulade
cauliflower fricase, burnt broccoli, pea tendrils, pine nuts, pecan

squid, snow peas, tomato, olives, capers, cress sprouts




(photo credit: brian han)


Dinner With Degas. February 12, 2014. Cocktails @ 6.30pm. Dinner @ 7.00pm.

DINNER WITH DEGAS FEATURING
CHEF JACOB CURETON AND LAFCADIO HEARN
 
 
 
Lafcadio Hearn's Creole Cookbook (published l885) interpreted by Chef Jacob Cureton served in
the Degas House Grand Parlor
 
Immerse yourself in a true Creole experience as Chef Cureton recreates the Creole hospitality of
Edgar Degas and his New Orleans family, the Mussons.  Enjoy a seven course meal, music by
Elizabeth Nicol, and conversation surrounded by the spirit and art of Edgar Degas.  “I am honored
to bring my art to the home of another great artist,” Chef Jacob.
 
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
 
Absinthe Cocktail 6:30 PM, first course served at 7:00 PM
Degas House, 2306 Esplanade Avenue, New Orleans
 
 
Cost:  $78 per person
To Purchase Tickets:
 
 
Call Degas House at (504) 821­5009
 
(See Menu Below)
 
You may bring your own wine. There will be no corkage fee.
Reserve Now!  Limited number of tickets will be sold.
 
SO.uthernMOD.erne
à la Maison Degas
A Tribute to Lafcadio Hearn’s Creole Cook Book
~
“Eggs with Browned Butter and Vinegar”
beurre noisette whipped yolks
smoked paprika and grapefruit gastrique
deviled quail egg
steen’s cane syrup
toasted hazelnuts
~
“Parsnip Fritters”
crispy parsnip
pickle-roasted pecans
butternut and rutabaga pickles
citrus beet vinaigrette
red sorrel and arugula
~
“Rabbit Soup”
rabbit mouselline dumpling
dry vermouth-rabbit broth
candied carrot ribbons
crispy carrot tops
rabbit bacon bits
peas
~
“Turnips to Cook”
brandy pork cheek crépinette
tender turnip greens
brandy braise reduction
warm turnip purée
hollandaise
~
“Red Fish a la Provençale”
redfish goujonettes
butter-bay leaf poached sweet onion
meyer lemon velouté
crispy capers
~
“To Preserve Pears”
entre-deux-mers preserved bartlett
salt-roasted bosc pear sorbet
sliced d’anjou pear
local soft cheese
fried Brazil nuts
~
“Maizena Cake”
brown butter cornbread chiffon
praline bacon crumble
frozen blueberries
popcorn anglaise
Chef Jacob Cureton

music and food.

i like music.  i like food. and to me, they are one in the same.  it is just a difference of one hitting on the ear and the other on the palate.  each one in its own right can affect a person.  i listen to a lot of music, and always have since a young wee little l'enfant.  growing up the music i listened to was what my father enjoyed, and it was/is a pretty wide array of bands.  i can remember listening to the toto song 'roseanna' riding around, in my head it is sunny and i am in the back seat.  the memorable part would be playing the drum solo on repeat fifteen times in a row.  that memory has shaped the way i listen to music even to this day.  the music i like has layers, gracefully placing new sounds into the original score, until it has peaked with the crescendo. good music has a purpose, good beats, good harmony, good temo, and above all, good words.

correlating this to food, i have worked in a lot of kitchens all over the country.  the music of a kitchen is a pretty good barometer of what the food or personality of a certain kitchen feels like.  some kitchens choose not to have music, respect.  i have never been more focused on my food and thoughts in relation to cooking than in silence.  there is nothing to fill the air, but your own passion.  other kitchens choose to listen to angry heavy metal-type music.  this is not my style, and often felt like i was in a psychology experiment: taunted by insecure cooks for being the new guy, the stress of working the line, and the overtone of angry loud music. eventually the kitchen would win, and i would take my cooking and bad jokes elsewhere.  the best kitchen music is something you can dance to/with.  while in the service of the vegetables, a dance of flavors and ideas seem to coalesce into beautiful food.

i do not have the ability to share my thoughts in completely understandable words, yet.  but just like cooking the more i write, the more i am able to express my thoughts in a readable manner.

keep reading, its only gonna get better, brah.

cheers!

to toque or not to toque?

  

a chef is a man/woman of many hats.  drill sergeant, caregiver, teacher, adversary, and most of all cook.  an interesting question was being talked about yesterday on the social media.  are baseball caps acceptable for chefs to wear?  and the response, interesting.  first off, let me give my answer.  i can wear whatever the fuck i want, and it does not change the character of my food.  and. i am never wearing a neckerchief again in my life.  my craft is about transforming or interpreting natural ingredients into something edible, and hopefully ahmazing. so the abstract of my answer: if you don't want to eat my food because of the cover on my head, good day, and i wish you all the best. it is a shallow notion.

but. my business is not like other cooking businesses.  i have no boss, no clients to constantly entertain.  i cook food for people who appreciate my effort, passion, and skill. people who eat at resturants, want to see something that makes them feel better about spending their hard earned dollar. understood. a chef wearing a toque has an air of fancy, and it is comforting to know that the person with the tall hat made something special for each and every guests.

so.  i understand.  it makes people feel better, and i accept that.  but there are plenty of men/women wearing the paper or cloth toque with no interest in your happiness or enjoyment.  they just want to get to the otherside of the shift, and get wasted.

antonine careme invented the toque out of necessity.

ask the next touqued chef is they know of antonine careme. he has shaped the way the western world has cooked and eaten for 200 years.

because it matters.

lets talk about stock.

stock.  it is the foundation of some amazing flavors which you have tasted over the years in restaurants and is something that has taken hundreds of years to develop.  is stock evolutionary or religion? I think it is a little of both.  the religious aspects of stock making present themselves in the feeling of making a great stock over a few days.  the evolution is the process of how we make stock today as opposed to, say, when antonine careme made a stock.  the older French cuisines relied heavily on the roux to thicken a sauce.  so the majority flavor of these sauces, served at these elaborate dinner, was derived from stock.  continuing through to today, and we see there are several ways to thicken sauces and add flavors to the plate without the use of roux, but the principle of making stock brilliant has not changed.  for all of the definitive people about words out there, I may use the word stock interchangeable with a tea of sorts with some products.  not, for instance, a meat or poultry tea, but vegetables are not held to the same cooking temperatures or time lengths in order to mazimize the flavor from them.  a vegetable "stock" for me, includes the freshness of the intended ingredient.  why else cook something, if not to represent it in its purest form?  the vegetable, no matter how minute on a scale, has lost its life.  cook it well.  celery should taste like celery, and onions, well, like onions.  it is not the duty of a chef to show off his/her talents, rather, step aside and allow the nature of an ingredients shine.  its. just. that. simple.

what are the key components to stock making?  there are a few speaking/cooking points that are simple but absolutely necessary for the best possible outcome.  the main protein must be browned to golden color (or dore) before adding it to the water.{for a brown stock; for a white stock, the protein should be thoroughly rinsed, and dried} the water must be gold. brought up to boil, turned to slow simmer, degrassier, depouillage, remove the solids after they have given all they can. discard. reduce to desired consistency. to make great stocks, it isn't about the ratio or the recipe, its about the execution of the idea.  the correct heat, the correct skim, the correct seasonings are the three things that will take a stock from ordinary to amazing.

when I was cooking at a restaurant up, over, beyond the mason Dixon line, the chef explained to me that a spoonful of veal glace at this particular restaurant costs around two dollars per spoonful.  and that is not even counting the chef's personal pride in the sauce, which might be worth more than money, and at times, maybe not.

so.  if you learn how to make stock, it can take you into whole new worlds of food abilities.

tangible skills are the new trend, that have been around for, ever.

keep cookin'

books.

if you can tell time by looking at the sun each day, you have an amazing skill.  but with death comes the end of that skill.  if you are able to look at the sun long enough, and with the right vision, you can build a clock.  in building the clock, a individual's skill can be passed on after they are no longer with us.  i read that in a business book under the parable of clockbuilders versus time tellers.  i think it was success: built to last.

i used to not like books.  mainly because it is a chore and people always told me what to read.  but after coming into contact with some smart people, and being a little bit competitive i started to read about something i love, food.  i also read a lot about business, philosophy, and psychology.  they all seemed to make sense.  one tying into another, each one adding new insight into the other subjects.  reading about food from a century ago is transcending, a bit of a time machine in a shared craft.  making a stock the correct way allows me to feel connected to the overtone of progressive gastronomic endeavors.  i have not contributed in no way shape or form to this overtone, yet.

i got some pretty cool books for Christmas: mugaritz, coi, faviken, to the bone, daniel, d.o.m., i heart new york, modern french cooking.  i started with paul liebrandt's take on being a chef.  the beginning bodes well for it being a pretty cool book.  anytime someone is confident enough to bear there soul on paper, and also allow their pure emotion show on a plate, its a good read.  the other interesting point was the marco pierre white references in the beginning.  i read white heat while riding a subway train every morning at five thirtu to manhattan from Brooklyn, and it made me feel cool for doing it.  these real tales of the kitchen life also shed light on the subject of not being in the kitchen, and the connection that you are always there, tasting, looking, thinking about the food, how it should look, what the lighting should be, what it should smell like.  it is a sensation that can only be felt and not necessarily explained.  and thankfully i am able to feel and recreate the flavors and emotions which best describe what i am trying to say about the ingredients and how i want to present them.

the flavors for 2014 are going to be brash but simple, good looking and flavorful.

hope to cook for you soon.

Why become a chef?


It has never been my goal to become a chef, but rather to learn how to cook really well.  The story of my great grandmother cooking crawfish bisque for two days is a folk-like memory stuck in my mind of an individual I am directly related to but have never met.  It is the bond of food which allows an individual to talk with the past, and create the future.  There are no shortcuts to great cuisine, and there never have been, it is a combination of curiosity and drive which create future cuisine to be passed to the next generation.  After leaving New Orleans, I landed in Hilton Head, South Carolina.  My girlfriend at the time was working for her father’s restaurant on the island and was pursuing sommelier certification.  It was at her father’s house, where the book “The making of a chef:  how to master heat at the CIA” made an appearance.  I read the book, and while searching for something to do, realized I could learn at a place, argue with the instructors (in a valid researched way), and travel cooking.  It was in the environment of the May River, amazing obscure French wines, and conversational family meals that solidified me in the culinary profession.  Having grown up on great food, at the time, what I had known to be the best food in the world, and then discovering the European aspect of dinning it was a smooth transition in the pursuit of gastronomy. 

plating, its my jam.



food is simple.

for those who might read this, yeahyouright.  i like to cook food, and find that cooking easier for me than speaking, or communicating in general.  putting the hours into studying my craft has seemed to pay-off.  not necessarily in a financial sense, although, as an old friend once told me, everything i need, i have, everything i want, i can get.  so what has the pay-off been?  it has been a calm confidence in a tangible skill.  having focused a tremendous amount of energy, money, and emotion, i am fluid with flavors.  and this isn't an overnight sensation.  i did not go to cooking school, and subsequently get kicked out, to become a chef.  i went to cooking school in order to polish the raw emotion and add some science to my repertoire.  the amount of people that pay attention to food has grown incredibly since i was a young L'Enfant.  people are crowding into a once looked down upon profession, and their motives are their own.  but my motives, cook the best food, meet the most people, and affect my community in a positive way. 

why did i write this?  i have been called a lot of things in my life, but arrogant has been at the top of the list.  i like what i do, eat it. so if you read this, much appreciated. 

keep tuned in.

giving thanks.

this time of year always emphasizes a recap of sorts on your life.  what have i accomplished since this time last year?  i am not a historian nor an academic, so the way i measure my years may be a bit different.  for instance, the simple ability to say the name of the business i work at without thinking (too much) has only taken three months since the first miss pronunciation. noice.

so what do i have to be thankful for? pretty much everything.  but at the basis...i have a roof, i have a dog, and i have a kindrid spirit.  over the last year i have learned more about dyslexia.  this understanding has allowed me to convey my ideas/thoughts in a better way and also has made me feel special(and not stupid).  with this understanding now focused on food and wine, which  have been always there, but now fully developed in understanding, it feels good.  it is hard to explain my thankfulness for food, so i just gave to show people every time i cook. 

i really want to thank the people that have helped me realize my abilities, in spite of me.

everyday is a thankful day. 

lookout 2014, im gunna 4ya.



food.

so writing is one thing and cooking is another.  but what about eating? i like to eat more than i like to cook.  more being a very relative word, i mean they're both pretty fucking amazing. and the words help, because then people get to find out what to eat, how to eat, where to eat, and what not to eat.  tying all of this together is the fact that i have been eating around the city, yaknow just to see whats out there.  and the city is doing really well.  the food is varied all over the city.  where we were once under the impression, or at least i was, that a filet with crabmeat and béarnaise was the grandest of cuisine to be had in the city.  today i had a slider at a coffee shop, pasta/pizza at a "restaurant", coconut milkshake at a juice bar, and then finally a little more coffee at a "starbucks." all of this whilst running into two peeples i hadn't seen in a good while.  so after all this discussion, what does any of it mean.

do things well, because it matters.

#yeahyouright #words

am i a cook or chef?

if you are able to read my grammatically incorrect words without being offended, noice.

i have cooked food all of my life.  but have only become a chef in the last three years.  it looks like cook is a verb and chef is a noun.  cooking involves the process of coaxing flavors from ingredients with heat, salt, and flavorings.  cheffing involves the process of coaxing the talent of those young people who have decided to care enough to listen. 

gastronomy is the art and science of cooking and drinking. art being interpretation and science being constants. 

so moving forward, i am cooking food as a chef.  everyday i learn something new.  i am not sure what all of it will lead to, it is fun in the present. 

just try to grow some food, and eat it.

cook soon!

Angel Egg

a once devilish egg, smoked salmon, radish leaf, garlic cream.


katrina, brah.

if you like to read well written things, look somewhere's else...
so, this is me.  august twenty eighth two thousand five.  standing in the middle of broadway, i felt invincible.  looking back it was probably the crown royal.  but there i was facing the storm.

i used to live on the corner of sycamore and short street, near the claiborne carrollton intersection of town.  this picture was taken from the neutral ground.  it was so sunny outside the day after the storm hit.  water started to rise.  the perspective of this picture seems to be ninja destruction.  the sun was shinning, the water wasn't that bad at the time, and everything seemed like it was a normal storm. ninja.
having to seek more supplies from a nearby neighbor, we tried to drive down the street. no go. then we tried to drive through the park. no go. the storm created obstacles. they were everywhere, physical and mental.  but maybe that is why new orleans people differ, it is not about the obstacle in your path, but how you respond.  necessity is the mother of invention.
this was my favorite picture of the thousands that i took.  it is simple, ironic, and deep.  it is in an evacuation sign during a storm.  the sign is pointing up.  do you evacuate with a higher power, or just continue going straight, to river road?
destruction was everywhere.  a building fell on top of this range rover in the central business district.  riding around the city, with no rules but a moral compass was a pretty powerful experience.  right and wrong were not held together by police or the governing body, but by the constitution inside each person to do the right thing, or not, there was plenty of both.



the storm wrecked most of the city, but strengthened some friendships.  i had the good fortune of being friends with some pretty solid people.  with no power, no answers, the only real thing that we had was perspective. and some rain was not going to compromise the perspective.


yobreaux.com was something a group of friends and i had started throwing around the phrase before katrina. most of the t shirts got washed away, lost or just not here, so please be on the look out.  if you happen to see a yobreaux.com shirt, coozie or visor, know what it means, to miss new orleans.

trying to hold up a tree. it was all ready tilted, and i just posed for the picture.  please do not think i held up this tree.  it was merely a photo opportunity.

and so, we left new orleans for a little while, and discovered a whole new universe, AMERICA.

i did not know that today was the anniversary of a storm that hit new orleans in 2005, but after reading various social media outlets it became apparent, today was the anniversary of hurricane katrina, brah.  wow.  what to say about the storm that affected people, good and bad.  i have a story, but so does everyone. survivor guilt was the weirdest feeling for a while.  people had lost so much. i didn't have anything at the time but a dog.  i mean, i had a lot of stuff, clothes, electronics, kitchen equipment, but nothing that can not be replaced, except for my dog.  so the story goes, i stayed in new orleans until wednesday i believe.  i was given shelter by some very good people, and beyond shelter, there was a comfort in being with family and friends that seemed to be the lasting memory or feeling.  after spending a week or so with these very good people, i ended up going on a road trip.  originating in florida with an original destination of pittsburgh, so that i could see my family.

the first stop and the last stop were the same place.  lexington kentucky.  we were taken in by new orleans folk who happened to attend kentucky for college.  wow. kentucky was green and beautiful.  for some reason the road trip seemed to break down the notions or expectations i had of other places in the united states.  sites, sounds, and the food were all different than i had eaten, and thought the world to be.  after the storm, i realized the world wasn't flat, and other cultures exist outside of new orleans.

after kentucky the journey continued to the northeast.  tune in for the next installment, on what happened in the north east.  it isn't exciting, but it was too me.

my pennsylvania trip.

for those about to read, i salute you.

last week i had the opportunity and pleasure to visit the great state of pennsylvania. wow.  america is such an amazing place, and i think sometimes we overlook our own beauty.  i grew up in new orleans, a very complex and simple place with whisps of europe throughout, architecture, food, words, street names, everywhere.  having been to a few places in the united states of america, it seems sometimes we are not united as one, but comparing our town with another town.  in the comparison, often times the simple things are taken for granted, and the larger more trackable data points are the information we use for the comparison.  so #JOMO. the joy of missing out.  with new orleans in my mind, waiting comfortably for me to return, pennsylvania was just pennsylvania. a state with wide open spaces of green, grey, and white.  the smells at night where tarragon, hay, and fresh cut grass, with the arid climate the wind just seemed lighter than the humid origin i had come from. (comparison) at night they had fire flies. no shit. fire flies, not the owl city song, but actual bugs that light up at night.  

with all the smells and sunsets fresh on the dome, it was just in its general nature that i started to cook.  i/we cooked a different meal every day, and sometimes a lunch idea or late night snack came to fruition from the leftovers.  the highlight of the meals, aside from the simple fact i was cooking for family, in a cool place, was the opportunity to play sous chef to my niece's chef du cuisine skills for a night.  what matters most, isn't the taste of the food, although it was outstanding, but the interaction of two generations, one learning from the next, and hopefully making an impression on one or the other that will carry on.  two sauces, five cooking techniques, three courses, and home made bread.  the recipes can be written on paper, and anyone could have had the same food, but.  WE cooked the food, ate the food, and enjoyed the feeling of having a family dinner together. no comparisons, a present moment that created a memory, and you can not read that off of a paper or computer screen, but.  you can create your own moments and memories by turning off your phone every now and again, and pay attention to the very cool things that are in front of all of us. 

#(hashtag) also want to give a shout out to a great group of friends that hosted a stellar sunday football experience.  knowing people for a long time is pretty cool.  without any pretense, good people are good people.  hope to cook for all of you soon.

#(yeahyouright)

CHEERS.

Mushroom. Cut.


it was chaotic.

one of my brothers works in town with the movie industry.  those of you who know the "super-fan" know.  he is working on a film about primates and how they might rule the world one day.  and so last sunday we hosted some of the good people in town working on the movie.  it rained. but fortunately we hade enough room, enough wine, and enough good food to keep the people happy.  i was fortunate enough to be accompanied in the kitchen by a new orleans legendary farmer and chef, so our arsenal of fresh ingredients made for a very enjoyable evening.  best dish of the night in my opinion.  avocado, corn, peas, tomato, shallot, cucumber water, lime.

i have a few ideas in the works for upcoming events.  including an homage to old school new orleans rap.

#yeahyouright #superfanbrother #planetofthekopflers #farmfood #figrosepetalbluecheesehoney.boom

Fresh Farm Food Delivered

Delivery:  Tuesdays. Evening.

Food Info: Creative local food tailored to you's and your's specifications.

Quantity:  Four Meals.

Availability:  Four Client Openings.

Email:  matthewkopfler@gmail.com

Meals Include: Protein, Vegetables, Starch(or not), Salad, Bread, & Dessert.

Pricing: Value Specific Fare Dependent on Needs.


Recipe:
Fresh Local Ingredients
Classical French Technique
Boarding School Attitude
Native of New Orleans (Lakeview, brah)
Cooked up North
Knowledge Gypsy
#yeahyouright






Second Event

June 23, 2013

6pm-8pm.
Five Course, Twenty Five Dollars, Twelve Seats.
BYOB.
Fresh Thoughtful Food.

Tickets:

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/408373

(HASHTAG)#YEAHYOURIGHT



First Event

June 16, 2013
Five Courses. Twenty-Five Dollars. Sixteen Plates.
Sunday Summer Super Supper Series @ Six pm.