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5 Questions for Matt Antoun

June 4, 2012 |  8:00 am

Chef Matt_001

Chef Matthew Antoun has never been to culinary school. Instead, he spent time cooking in 11 different restaurant kitchens, including Thomas Keller’s Per Se, and the West Branch French restaurant, both in New York City. In 2010, after leaving Per Se, Antoun returned to Los Angeles to start his own catering company, Modern Art Catering. He has a start-to-finish approach to cooking, making all his own oils, sauces, pastas and breads. For the summer, Antoun is headed off to Paris to expand his knowledge of Parisian food.

What’s coming up next on your menu? Our own artisan breads, sous vide vegetables, a charcuterie station.

Latest ingredient obsession? Lately I've been obsessed with pea tendrils, heirloom carrots and spices, especially ras el hanout, which is a Moroccan form of curry. I've also been pretty obsessed with the idea of natural plating using soils and freshly picked produced that is barely changed in form from its original state in the ground or on a tree. 

What restaurant do you find yourself going to again and again? My favorite restaurant in L.A. is Red O -- I order the pollo en mole poblano. Rick Bayless is incredible. 

The one piece of kitchen equipment you can’t live without, other than your knives? A spoon -- we use it for tasting, plating, saucing, creating quenelles and decorating. 

The last cookbook you read –- and what inspired you to pick it up?  "Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook" is the last cookbook I read. I bought it because of the stunning photography and the incredible use of seasonal produce to create fine dining at its best. This is the kind of food I aspire to create. 

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-- Jenn Harris
twitter.com/jenn_harris

Photo: Chef Matt Antoun. Credit: Hugo Martinez.

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