Chef Eddie Matney has returned to a stove in the Valley. He recently took a gig as a head chef of Scottsdale's Estancia Golf Club and has been busy developing his menu.
Matney came to the Valley in 1986, when he opened Steamers Genuine Seafood. From there, he started a string of popular restaurants, including, most recently, Eddie's House in Old Town. Matney sold Eddie's House earlier this year and had since been cooking in Flagstaff at Forest Highlands Golf Club.
But no longer. Matney is back. And he's cooking some interesting food.
"Country club food has changed so much over the years," he says. "It's more sophisticated. It's fun. It's awesome because I get to cook and create again without worrying about all the other stuff."
His menu ranges from casual (burger on a Noble Bread buttermilk bun) to formal (Chilean sea bass, ahi tartare, and lobster bisque). It will change "often," evolving to match the bounty of the sea and land. He'll be cooking in his usual American-Mediterranean style, but plans to keep evolving from what he has done in the past. (Matney classics, such as bacon-infused meatloaf, will be offered as specials.)
Some of the dishes will reflect Matney's lighthearted approach to food.
For example, he's doing a burrata-two-ways, with one lobe coming fried. And not only fried, but breaded in popcorn and fried. He coats the cheese in flour and eggwash, dredges the ball in a "breading" of blended popcorn. It gets fried and hit with vinaigrette.
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"Some people say 'Chef, you're a little crazy,'" he says. "I know I am. It's crazy in a good way."
Other menu linchpins will include oysters rotating on a weekly basis, a tomahawk rib eye with beef from Sterling Silver Meats, and a Clamato Bloody Mary with actual shucked clams in the drink.
"I've always been whimsical in my approach to food," Matney says. "I want people to to have fun with the food, to have a celebration with food."
Unfortunately, the club's 120-plus seats and newly redone patio are not open to the masses. Matney says he hopes to brainstorm some way for nonmember fans to taste his latest dishes.