Simplicity, consistency and quality equal success for Chef Matt McPhelin, owner of Maize restaurant in Perkasie and Celebrity Chef at the Doylestown Food Market’s third annual Celebrity Chef Farm-to-Table Dinner, September 17, 2017 at Bucks County Audubon Society at Honey Hollow in New Hope.
McPhelin spent many years in restaurant kitchens throughout Philadelphia and later in Doylestown learning all he could about every aspect of the restaurant business before opening Maize eight years ago. Although he had many opportunities to become an executive chef or head up a kitchen, he turned them down.
“I was more worried about learning than position,” McPhelin says. “I wanted to get to know everything about every position and be very good at each.”
With experience, inspiration and amazing instincts, he created his own food culture at Maize. Everything on the Maize menu is made from scratch using locally sourced ingredients. Main course options can range from Duck Breast with roasted pear to Lavender Pasta. Savory starters and satisfying desserts round out the menu. Chef’s Choice tasting menus are available as well.
“Simplicity is the key,” says McPhelin. “If you put too many ingredients together, it draws away from the flavor of the food.”
Fresh and seasonal are the highest priorities for McPhelin. He makes daily visits to local farms to pick out whatever is best that day before deciding on his menu. Though much of the bounty is during the summer and fall, McPhelin relies on other sources such as greenhouses and hoop houses that extend the growing season even into the winter.
“In the summer, people go to farmers markets,” he says, “but once fall comes, people are not aware that the farms are still producing good things.”
McPhelin says that the most important thing – and biggest challenge – for any restaurant is consistency. With all the things that could happen on a daily basis, he puts in a lot of hours himself working on the line, making sauces and cooking the meat, to ensure there aren’t different interpretations of the same menu items.
Meet Chef Matt McPhelin and enjoy his creative cuisine at the Farm-to-Table Dinner. Tickets are available online.