Food & Wine: Chef Matthew MacCartney
Photo courtesy of Jamestown FiSH

Matthew MacCartney

Matthew MacCartney

Restaurant: Jamestown Fish (Read a review)

Location: Jamestown, RI

Why He's Amazing: Because his fish-centric dishes take cues from classic French, Italian and American-immigrant cooking but they taste innovative and modern.

Culinary School: New York City College of Technology

background: Colicchio & Sons, Craft, Gramercy Tavern, Daniel (/sites/default/files/ew York City), Pasta Nostra (Norwalk, CT)

Quintessential Dish: Jamestown Fish Cookpot: lobster, clams, mussels, scallops, monkfish, leeks, tomatoes, saffron, garlic, hot pepper, Pernod, potatoes and chouriço

First Apprenticeship: At the two-Michelin-starred restaurant Hostellerie de Levernois, in Burgundy, France, at age 18. "You start there and the bar is set pretty high, and that forever affects your discipline in the kitchen and the way you look at restaurants."

Favorite Fish: Haute: black sea bass. Humble: sardines.

His Sommelier Side: MacCartney spent 10 years in the wine business, working on the beverage programs at Gramercy Tavern and Craft. "I'm always thinking about wines that will go with [my food]." MacCartney's vast list at Jamestown Fish includes bottles from the US and Western Europe, as well as regions like Lebanon and Hungary.

On His Signature Dish: "The cookpot is a compilation of the flavors I tasted, techniques I learned and places I visited over my career as a cook, and how harmoniously all those facets come together in one little red pot." The smoky, peppery sausage chouriço that MacCartney adds is a nod to Rhode Island's many Portuguese families. Local fish and shellfish give it "as we say in the wine world, terroir, or a 'sense of place.'"

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