Chef Matteo Silverman has been busy inspiring us with his unique and delicious take on plant-based cooking. We asked him to share his process for creating these dishes and any advice he would give the home chef.
“My inspiration is drawn from various areas. It usually starts with what is available on the farm or from other local farmers. Many times the dish will present itself after a walk through the garden or farmer’s market. The concept of the dish often evolves from there as complementary ingredients are usually grown or offered together throughout the seasons. Other times, I use cookbooks from inspiring chefs and authors as a springboard of ideas. The great thing about recipes are they can be used as a platform to get you to a place that you want to be. You can tweak them, add or subtract ingredients and refine to your liking. When dining out, other chef’s creations can be inspiring too. Especially in Sonoma County with the vast array of available produce.”
And for the home cook, chef Matteo suggests that you “experiment with the vast array of ingredients available and try out as many different cooking and food preparation techniques as possible. Taste everything and season food as you go. You need to build flavors as food is cooking. Read cookbooks and watch online videos. The resources available to us now are endless. So many top level chefs have instructive videos for the aspiring home cook to learn from.”
Below, are some of Chef Matteo’s dishes. From top left:
1. Braised Daikon with Watermelon Curry and Lime Relish
2. Cinnamon Poached Pear with Vanilla Bean Anglaise
3. Shaved Cucumber Salad with Cold Smoked Macadamia Nut Cheese, Black Sesame Rice Crackers and Sesame Miso Dressing
4. Watermelon Radish Ravioli with Thyme Scented Cashew Cheese and Basil Puree