Yesterday we spoke with Chef Matt Carter of The Mission and Zinc Bistro about some of what he loves about the culinary industry. Today he enlightens us about foie gras and lets us in on one of his biggest indulgences.
What is the worst experience you have ever had dining in a restaurant? Well, I guess most of my issues are fairly common to any and every restaurant at some time or another so I don't really mark them down as bad experiences. Cold food, underseasoned food, late food, wrong food, bad server - the list goes on. I think the worst was a birthday dinner for a girlfriend. The food came out way late and was very undercooked. When we wanted to send it back for a refire, we were told that the kitchen had left for the night, including pastry, so no birthday dessert. I offered to go cook it myself to no avail and then proceeded to have a conversation/screaming match with the manager on why I should not have to pay for something I didn't and couldn't eat...not pretty. I pissed off everyone including my date. Don't take shit from anybody.
If you weren't in the kitchen, where would you want to be?
I think that my creative process goes in several directions. I am kind of a gadget geek - computers, audio, tv, optics, guns, illumination devices, basically man toys. I have a few inventions I'm working on now in that general genre, so I think as long as I'm creating, executing and achieving goals I'm pretty happy.
What other hobbies interest you aside from cooking?
Anything outdoors, from river rafting to skiing, shooting for sport, cars, any and all man toys
Carter talks about good times in Vegas after the jump.
If you could only eat from one food group for the rest of your life, which would it be?
Probably poultry because of its versatility and overall health benefits. I cant live on twigs and berries. Beef would be up there, but probably not so good on the digestive track after 20 years of daily intake; that goes for foie gras and caviar as well.
What are your plans for the future?
Cook, create, challenge - that encompasses it all. I love this business and plan on cooking forward until my legs fall off.
How do you think linecooks and sous chefs who have worked with you would describe you?
As a friend: very intense, loud, demanding, but instructive, loyal, protective, and real.
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If you haven't tried this then you're really missing out?
Its not all too common, but one of the best things you can put in your mouth from texture to flavor is foie gras. Don't think about it - just eat it...on everything
What is the best part about what you do?
Observing naturally happy customers, i.e. in the restaurant, or in the street when people don't know who you are. Celebrating with my staff after a kick ass night or week, relishing that common achievement of a goal is a great high.
What is your biggest indulgence?
I like to do a 24-hour Vegas run every couple months. I eat at five to six restaurants, gamble until I'm broke and then hit the spa.
Come back tomorrow for the recipe for Carter's Black Cod with Tomato Nage. And if you missed out on part one yesterday, go back and read it now.