My F&W
quick save (...)
Best New Chefs

Matt McCallister on Cooking with Christmas Trees

Best New Chef 2014 Matt McCallister Photo © William Hereford

Matt McCallister of FT33 in Dallas is one of Food & Wine's amazing 2014 Best New Chefs. Here, he reveals his current obsessions.

Subway Tiles
We have a process for creating dishes. There’s a wall of white subway tiles in the dining room. I write ideas on them, which turn into recipes. When I was in Portland, Oregon, I went to Pok Pok. I came home and wrote “Thai chicken” on one tile. On another, I wrote “killer tomatoes.” That’s how Grilled Chicken with Asian Marinated Tomatoes came about.

Michel Bras
Michel Bras’s Essential Cuisine was game-changing for me. I’d watched a video about him and did some research and said, “I want this book.” I dropped $400 to get a first edition. I don’t really read cookbooks—I look at the pictures—but I’ll open Essential Cuisine to learn a technique.

Christmas Trees

I’m a self-taught chef, and I’m stubborn. I will just keep trying until I figure out how to do something. I taught myself to use a centrifuge and to make charcuterie. And I figured out how to make a pine tincture from my Christmas tree, using 100-proof vodka. I also used the tree to make pine oil. I serve both the tincture and the oil with a fried-trout dish.

DJ Dieselboy

When I was a teenager, I played a lot of drum and bass. Dieselboy (Damian Higgins) is an icon. He came into FT33 one night. I went up to him with one of our brand-new, custom-made charcuterie boards and I said, “I know this is cheesy, but can you sign this?” And I gave him my Sharpie.

Related: Modern Techniques for Home Cooks
2013 Best New Chefs' Simplest Recipes
More Recipes from F&W's Best New Chefs

You Might Also Like powered by ZergNet


Add A Comment

    Add a Comment

    See our terms
    You must be logged in to comment. or
    You might also like
    The Dish
    Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
    The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
    F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.

    Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.

    Join celebrity chefs, renowned winemakers and epicurean insiders at the culinary world's most spectacular weekend, the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 19-21.