Mattison’s Articles in the Press
[Synergy] Scientists, Students And Salads In Space
by Philip Lederer, Monday, January 18, 2016
Pine View School students received a visit from NASA this past Friday, when a panel of scientists arrived to discuss their work with the agency’s Vegetable Production System and survey the students’ own botanical work in the school gardens, done in partnership with local chef Paul Mattison. Local entrepreneur Ed Rosenthal joined the panel to discuss the special fertilizer produced by his company, Florikan, which became an integral part of NASA’s mission to grow edible produce in space. “Through collaborative efforts like this,” a Pine View official said to the students, “anything is possible.” With hundreds seated in the school auditorium, NASA scientist Gioia Massa delivered a presentation on the various challenges facing food production on the International Space Station (ISS) – eliciting the proper ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’ with demonstrations of fluid mechanics in zero gravity – as well as the sweeping benefits of gardening in space, beyond nutritional value. As part of the station’s Bioregenerative Life Support Systems, the vegetable gardens NASA plans to grow would affect atmosphere, water processing and even stress relief, said Massa. “You’re trying to mimic what happens on Earth, but in a closed environment,” she continued, “using biology to support the humans.” Following the presentation, the panel—Massa, Rosenthal and NASA scientists including vegetable engineer Nicole Dufour and postdoctoral fellow Matthew Mickens—engaged in a brief question-and-answer session, fielding queries on everything from trees in space to how to get a job at NASA, before heading outside to the gardens. Under the direction of Mattison, Pine View students have been growing the same varieties of vegetables grown or planned for growth on the ISS and using the same time-released plant fertilizer made locally that NASA found so effective to use in space. “Where else but America could a family-owned business develop a product that NASA would eventually use in space,” said Florikan founder Rosenthal. “That’s the American Dream.” Scientists and astronauts have made great strides, Massa said, but problems remain in need of solving. Sharing visions of lunar colonies, she challenged the students. “There’s still a lot of work for you to do in the future.”
The Sarasota Observer
Pine View School hosts experts from NASA for discussion involving growing and harvesting plants in space.
by: Amanda Morales Staff Writer – January 2016
NASA scientists landed at the Pine View campus Friday morning for a presentation about the local-made plant fertilizer that is revolutionizing gardens in space and on earth. Classes of students gathered for the chance to ask questions and listen to how scientists from the NASA Vegetable Production System or “Veggies in Space” has successfully grown a variety of lettuce at the International Space Station. The first success for Veggies in Space came in August 2015 when astronauts harvested “Outredgeous” red romaine lettuce. Among the guests were Lead Veggie Scientist Gioia Massa, Ph.D., Matthew Mickens a NASA postdoctoral fellow, Veggie Engineer Nicole Dufour, Plant Physiologists Gary Stutte, Ph.D. and Raymond Wheeler, Ph.D. In the Pine View School garden students have been growing the same varieties of vegetables that astronauts are growing and eating in the International Space Station. They are even Nutricote a time-released fertilizer produced by Florikan, a company based in Sarasota. It’s the same fertilizer that NASA uses in its experiments. Florikan donated the fertilizer for Pine View’s garden and the same type of tomato seeds were planted to match the Veggies in Space program. Eighth grade student T. J. Cochran dressed for the occasion in a costume astronaut suit to propose his question to the guests. Cochran asked: “ What is the ideal frequency of visible or non-visible light to which you can grow plants best?” To which NASA postdoctoral fellow Matthew Mickens responded. “To answer your question as far as which wavelengths work best is actually what I’m doing, investigating what additional colors of light can plants use and whether they can optimize how much they grow as well as the nutrients and antioxidant content,” said NASA postdoctoral fellow Matthew Mickens, Ph.D. “This is actually ongoing research and I’m excited to be a part of it.” During the presentation students learned the challenges to growing plants on the International Space Station and potentially other planets that include light sources, hydration and zero-gravity conditions. “I was inspired when I was 12-years-old to come to NASA and to grow plants in space,” said Gioia Massa, Ph.D. and the lead veggie scientist at NASA. “My teacher was invited to Kennedy Space Center and involved in a program about growing plants in space…I was just so excited by that. I really wanted to be able to give that excitement to other students.” On the ground chef Paul Mattison began involvement with the garden at Pine View this year when his daughter Gianna began attending. He’s also involved with maintaining the garden at Phillippi Shores Elementary School and as seen first-hand what the difference the fertilizer makes in the garden at Pine View. In December the crops were planted at Pine View and were anticipating a February harvest. “This garden had plants twice as big as the ones at Phillippi [Shores Elementary],” Mattison said. “We wouldn’t have thought about harvesting until about February but we’ve already harvested. I’m rapidly learning so much about the science of it and it’s amazing.” Scientists tasted the fruits of students’ labor with a packed lunch created by Mattison using the vegetables. “We have about five different varieties of lettuces and two different varieties of kale out of the garden and made a salad along with watermelon radish and quinoa with a little bit of chicken salad with grapes and avocados,” Mattison said.
Pine View School – NASA scientists talk vegetables with students
OSPREY – Giddy students and select parents gathered in Pine View School’s auditorium Friday to hear six NASA scientists and local fertilizer entrepreneur Ed Rosenthal talk about NASA’s Veggie Research Project. Project Leader Dr. Gioia Massa told students how plant growth could benefit future exploration and colonization of other planets by providing health in food, atmosphere, water and psychological well-being. She also explained the importance of sustainable food growth in the space program’s goal to send people to Mars within 30 years. “That’s where we want to go and hopefully many of you will be able to go with us,” she said. The six scientists also toured Pine View’s garden, where third-graders and eighth-graders simulated NASA’s veggie experiments by growing the same variety of tomatoes NASA plans to grow in the International Space Station. Students applied the same time-released fertilizer that NASA uses in its experiments. Florikan, a Sarasota-based fertilizer company, donated some of its specialized product to the school. “Where else but in America could a family-owned company develop a product that NASA ends up using in space,” Florikan founder Ed Rosenthal said. “That’s the American dream.” NASA successfully grew its first crop, red romaine lettuce, on the international space station using Florikan’s Nutricote fertilizer last year. Astronauts munched on leaves from the second batch after testing the first batch to make sure it had no harmful bacteria and was safe to eat. They made cheeseburgers with the lettuce one evening. Pine View students also saw success in their garden. In just four weeks, the plants at Pine View School’s garden grew twice as tall as plants in another school garden that were planted months earlier. “It tells me in a short time we can grow a lot more and have a bigger impact,” said Pine View parent and local chef Paul Mattison. He started the Pine View School garden in November with the hopes of introducing a variety of vegetables and food awareness to students. Eighth-grader TJ Cochran wore an orange NASA jumpsuit and an ear-to-ear grin to the presentation. Cochran has wanted to work for NASA since launching model rockets at a space camp in Miami at age six. He hopes to travel to Mars and beyond and to help discover whether there is life beyond our planet. “It’d be nice to know more about the place we’re in so we can know where we’re going,” Cochran said. NASA’s success in growing sustainable food has Cochran even more excited for the future. “It’s made my hopes go higher because now that we have sustainable food, we could go further.” NASA fellow Dr. Matthew Mickens is the team-member responsible for finding optimal lighting for plant growth. Much like when he was a kid, he experimented with lighting combinations, only this time his experiments are aimed at optimizing nutrient production and plant growth in space. “In the process of finding the right lighting for our astronauts, we’ll find the right lighting for here on Earth,” Mickens said. “It will be huge.” This is just one example of how NASA’s efforts to optimize plant growth conditions in space and agricultural efforts on earth influence one another. NASA scientists have also drawn inspiration from urban plant farms in highly populated Asian cities. The farms could be a model for future plant factories on Mars, where space is limited and where plants would be crucial for colonization. “In order to make that successful, we have to show this age that we’re going to do this in their lifetime because they are likely to be a part of that,” Mickens said. “We have to get them curious. They will be needed.”
by Cindy Cockburn – January 2016
Bar Tab: Mattison’s City Grille
by Wade Tatangelo, Thursday, December 3, 2015
Herald-Tribune – Ticket
I leave Herald-Tribune headquarters after work to walk Main Street in search of a Monday drinking destination and stop at the bustling intersection of Main and Lemon. Yeah, I have a sudden urge to visit Mattison’s City Grille. Nestled in the center of downtown like a place of sanctuary, Mattison’s has always been a favorite spot of mine, especially during these cooler months, especially during the awesome happy hour that runs 2-6 p.m. daily.
The drink menu has a bunch of $5 martinis that are made with Pinnacle vodka, which is fine, but all the advertised selections are too sweet for my taste today. I ask for a dirty gin martini and much to my happy surprise a glass brimming with mid-shelf Beefeater soon arrives. I figure there’s an up charge but nope, still just five dollars.
Think about it. There are not many places in downtown Sarasota serving anything, except macro beers, for five bucks. A stiff martini made with quality booze for five bucks is totally praiseworthy, and it’s not like you’re drinking in a dive. Mattison’s has one of the best settings in downtown thanks to that central location with a covered bar and outdoor dining area tucked away from the traffic by a classy fence and foliage.
But drinks aren’t the only five dollar happy hour deals at Mattison’s. You can choose from eight appetizers at that price, too. I have the “short rib sliders with caramelized onions, Swiss cheese and black truffle aioli on pretzel buns (photo above).” OK, they’re basically just little cheeseburgers on pretzel buns and I can’t really taste any black truffle aioli but they are definitely tasty and definitely a good deal. I also have the sesame chicken wraps with kimchi and a ginger barbecue sauce that could use some more of the advertised spice but, really, I am not complaining.
n fact, don’t be surprised to see me back at Mattison’s in the near future. A bonus to the martini and appetizer deals is the Sarasota-brewed JDub’s Up Top! IPA. It’s a hoppy masterpiece and priced fairly at $5.75 for a pint of the potent beer. Perhaps I’ll pair it next time with the tasty-sounding Cuban pulled pork sliders, which, yes, are also five bucks during happy hour.
Mattison’s City Grille• 1 N. Lemon Ave., Sarasota; 941-330-0440; mattisons.com
C’mon Get Happy
by Kaye Warr,Friday, November 6, 2015
SRQ Daily – Good Bite
There’s nothing more enticing than the lure of an outdoor venue with live music that serves an affordable and delectable happy hour menu. That’s why I was thrilled to find myself at Mattison’s City Grille this Tuesday afternoon enjoying $5 Cuban Pulled Pork Sliders with a habanero-mango glaze and apple slaw. I opted for a champagne split because, like the song says, I’m so fancy, but the list of $5 martinis includes everything from Sunrise to Chocolate. The pulled pork sliders are sweet and tangy and meaty; what more could you ask for? I only managed to eat my way through half of the tasty new creations on offer before good sense, and my waistband, prevailed, but I can attest to the umami yum of the Short Rib Sliders, which feature caramelized onions, Swiss cheese, black truffle aioli (pause to reflect) and toasted pretzel mini buns. The sweet Thai basil in the Steamed Mussels makes those a must, as does the spicy garlic sauce on the Kaboom Shrimp. I’m heading back for the Queso Fundido because, well, they had me at chorizo and the spicy ginger BBQ sauce elevates the healthy option of Sesame Chicken Lettuce Wraps to “to good to pass up” status. These specials are available daily from 2pm-6pm so do yourself a favor: go get happy.
by Kristine Nickel, Photography by Mark Sickles – October 2015
Herald Tribune’s Style Magazine
Forget about the “freshman 15,” (the number of pounds many students gain in their freshman year of college), as it pales in comparison to the social season in Sarasota.
With more than 450 events to grab your attention from October through May, you could be eating scrumptious, catered meals two or three times a day. Then there are the friends and family who drop in from colder climes and old friends who are only here during part of the year — all of whom give us even more opportunities for dining out. It’s enough to make you want to put your scales in the freezer, only to be defrosted in May.
It doesn’t have to be that way. While eating out is often cited as the primary reason for an unhealthy lifestyle, we’ve compiled the ultimate list of tips to defy that logic. Armed with this information, you have all the tactics you will need to mount your own personal strategy for surviving another season. Continue Reading
Local Chef, National Love – Good Bite
by Kaye Warr – Wednesday, September 9, 2015
SRQ DAILY Freshly Squeezed Content Every Morning
Here in Sarasota, Paul Mattison has been a household name since the early ’90s when he was the Executive Chef/Proprietor of Summerhouse Restaurant on Siesta Key. When my family came to America in 1996 and settled in Sarasota, we quickly became fans of both the gorgeous restaurant (sorely missed) and the exquisite food. When Chef Paul created the Mattison’s concept in late 2001 we followed en masse, and over the years we’ve watched him develop into one of Sarasota’s most beloved and successful restauranteurs. He’s also an integral part of our community—a philanthropist and an educator. Chef Paul and his team built a garden outside of Philippi Shores Elementary, where children learn about nutrition, meal-planning and cooking and enjoy the fresh fruits and vegetables that populate the garden. Whilst enjoying a tasty Kale and Quinoa Salad at Mattison’s Forty-One, we learned Chef Paul has now been recognized on a national level. Joining the ranks of such culinary luminaries as Charlie Trotter and Mario Batali, Paul Mattison has been invited as one of five top chefs in the country to participate in the Cakebread Cellars American Harvest Workshop in Napa Valley from Sept. 12-15. When Chef Paul returns from this once in a lifetime workshop he’ll be presenting a special six-course wine pairing dinner on Sept. 26 at 6:30pm featuring Cakebread Wines and a menu influenced by his time spent in Napa, reserve a seat quickly!
Mattison’s Forty-One, 7275 S. Tamiami Trail, 941-921-3400
There once was a little boy named Paul. He lived in New York, where his mom was a music teacher and his brother liked to play drums. Having access to music and arts education at home as well as in school was something Paul really treasured.
When Paul grew up, he moved to Sarasota, Florida and became an award-winning chef and restaurant proprietor. Now, as an adult who knows the value of arts education, Chef Paul
Mattison does his part by giving back to the community where he lives.
In addition to providing culinary classes and demonstrations for non-profit organizations, Chef Paul is heavily involved in fundraising for initiatives like the Any Given Child program right here in Sarasota County Schools.
Any Given Child is a national program initiated by the Kennedy Center and it focuses on assisting communities to build their arts education programs. “It’s our job to ensure access and equity to arts education for every child,” says Brian Hersh, the program director for Any Given Child at Sarasota County Schools. “Sarasota is one of 16 communities in the United States to have an Any Given Child program.” The program was chartered in Sarasota back in 2011 and after one year of collaborative community planning with various stakeholders such as art educators, school district representatives and local philanthropic organizations, the program began working with the individual schools throughout the county. The program’s three main goals are to enhance and expand the existing arts programs at the schools, create equal opportunities for arts education to all students, and present teachers of all subjects with the tools for arts integration.
“The arts is an essential element for a complete education,” says Hersh. Any Given Child brings arts to schools and students that may not receive it otherwise. “They’re all our children. We want to give every child the same opportunities we would give our own.” According to a study on low-income student success rates, “37% of students who are highly engaged in the arts are more than twice as likely to graduate college as their peers with no arts education.” Any Given Child not only promotes funding allocations to improving music and arts programs, but they also work with teachers to incorporate arts into all areas of education, using the arts to teach reading, writing, math, and science curriculums. Facilitating arts education throughout multiple subjects can potentially help students thrive in areas where they would typically perform poorly, and isn’t that kind of the goal of education after all – to help children learn and succeed in all areas of life?
Not to get all Whitney Houston up in here, but I believe the children are our future. And so does Chef Paul Mattison, which is why his upcoming Tour de France Wine Pairing Dinner event will not only be an amazing evening of delicious food and wine, but a fundraiser for this great cause. “It just made perfect sense for me to be involved and I am thrilled to be a part of this valuable non-profit,” says Mattison. “The Tour de France Wine Pairing Dinner is the first of many fundraising events for this organization and I am really excited and proud to be a part of it all.”
Check out Mattisons.com to view event details, purchase tickets and check out the mouth-watering menu (let the drooling commence).
Chef Paul Mattison Helps Sarasota Students Grow Sustainable Garden
By David Adkins January 30, 2015
Chef Paul Mattison helps students at Sarasota’s Phillippi Shores Elementary grow and care for a sustainable garden.
As if chef Paul Mattison weren’t busy enough with his eponymous restaurants, he’s embraced the care and feeding of both a sustainable garden at Phillippi Shores Elementary (where his daughter, Gigi, pictured with him above, attends school) and the students who are learning how to grow healthy vegetables. The 5,000-square-foot garden Mattison and the kids tend grows everything from zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, pumpkins and tomatoes to Swiss chard and collard greens, and some of the produce is used in school lunches. They even host dinners for kids and parents where chefs prepare and serve the school-grown food. “It’s made quite an impact on the school,” says Mattison, “and I couldn’t be happier.”
This might seem a little out of the ordinary for a post, but while it’s about last night’s Gala Event, “Friendship Around the World” it’s also a huge THANKS to a very talented member of the community, Chef Paul Mattison. He’s been an active supporter of the Friendship Centers for years, long before we moved to Sarasota and got involved. But, this post is different, because I’m not really writing to talk about his support as a philanthropist, but his skill set in the culinary world.
Last night three hundred people were part of an event with a sit down dinner. By all the industry standards of every big group dinner I’ve ever been to, it should have been what we refer to in the corporate world as “another rubber chicken dinner”.
Well, it was anything but that. The hors-d’oeuvres were outstanding for both the served and stationary items. I have no idea how many of those little potatoes stuffed with pot roast I ate or for that matter the meatballs or shrimp. Dinner was terrific and just as remarkable was the fact that 300 people were all served at about the same time. We were at the very last table in the back of the room and felt just as appreciated as the first table in the front! Even the salad came out as if it had been made to order. But, more impressive than dinner was Paul and his team. Paul was like a General in the field and his troops knew exactly what to do.
So, if you’re in the Sarasota area,you obviously know his restaurants. I loved the fact that last night he had things so under control, I was able to catch him and talk a little. I now understand he’s so much more than just a great chef – he’s a guy who puts his heart in his work, his friendships and his life. The Friendship Centers are so lucky to have him in the family.
sarasotafoodies.com – A-List: Review of Mattison’s Forty-One
25 March 2014 by msolu
We have a confession to make. One we hang our heads in shame over. So embarrassing. . .
Here goes . . . In trying to keep our readers happy, we often follow their suggestions for places they’d like to read about. Sounds innocent enough, doesn’t it? Not a bad idea, as it has us showcasing a lot of new and exciting bistros, eateries, and events that have popped up in Sarasota over the last two years. It’s a lot of fun, actually. But here’s where that becomes a problem. There are only so many days in the week, and we can only eat out so much before we miss blogging on a few of Sarasota’s absolutely best restaurants.
Today’s blog is a perfect example of this. We have to apologize for waiting until now to write about Mattison’s Forty-One, a South Tamiami Trail institution whose blog is (embarrassingly) long, long, long overdue. Seriously! I met Jill at Mattison’s Grille in downtown Sarasota. And our wedding was catered by Paul Mattison himself. He’s like family, for goodness sake! continue reading
You can feast on the cooking of chef Paul Mattison many ways. At streetside tables at Mattison’s City Grille in downtown Sarasota, or at Mattison’s 41 a few miles south. Or at Bayside before a show at Van Wezel, at swank weddings and society affairs along the Gulf Coast. Or at kids’ cooking camp, evening gourmet classes or on guided trips to Italy.
Or under a rain-soaked tent with hundreds of tired linemen and emergency power crews fighting to restore electricity after a hurricane. He may not be serving his artichokes Esther, but the big hot meals he serves are just as welcome for FPL workers and the hundreds rushed in from other states.
While the Red Cross and fast-food companies rush to feed civilians victims, utilities arrange with caterers, logistics outfits and occasionally independent restaurants to feed the workers who will restore power. “When we’ve got people working 15 hour in these conditions, we need to take care of them,” says Duke Energy spokesman Sterling Ivey. … continue reading
Herald Tribune, Style Magazine – Fit and Fab – Walk the Walk
January 2014 by Kristine Nickle, photos by Mark Sickles
Paul Mattison has always been an athletic guy. “I really enjoy all kinds ofsports,” he says. “I grew up snow-skiing in upstate New York, which I continueto love to do, and I like competitive sports, too.” The problem became one of time. With his burgeoning restarant empireand the addition of a wife and ultimately a young family, exercise took a backseat. “I found myself running around from restaurant to restaurant, and cateringjob to catering job. When I wasn’t working, I was with my wife and kids, of course.
Stress builds up and pretty soon it’s easy to let things slide.” Mattison wasn’t about to let that happen. “I’d always liked tennis, and who doesn’t want to be outside in our beautifulFlorida sunshine, especially when you spend most of your time indoors in a kitchen?” He joined a club near Mattison’s Forty One and his home and hasworked diligently to incorporate tennis into his life. “Tennis is great because it requires a certain degree of physicality and, for me, it engages my focus and intellect in a way that transcends into all other parts of my life. I really enjoy it.” A bonus for Mattison has been the interest his pre-school daughter has taken in the game. “Gigi loves playing tennis,” he says. “It’s amazing she can get the ball over the net, but she is really into the game. We go to the club and hit balls, well, in a limited way, but a really fun and family way.
I hope we can continue to develop our sport together because that would be really special.” Mattison believes in a breakfast of champions. “A balanced breakfast with plenty of protein keeps me going all day long, whether I am on the court or in the kitchen,” he says. “I love eggs and adding some carbs — making a hand-held breakfast is a great idea — and then an on-the-go fruit- or vegetable-based smoothy is really smart nutrition.”
Herald Tribune – Phillippi Shores creates a garden
November 12, 2013 by Jeff Tavers
Paul Mattison has been the inspiration in constructing a garden at Phillippi Shores Elementary School. Since May 2012, the garden has been part of a broader effort to educate children about nutritional choices and food preparation. Writer Robert Brault wrote, “In every gardener there is a child who believes in the Seed Fairy.” Adult believers and their children were out early Wednesday to work at the school. More than 10 pairs of hands grabbed shovels, rakes and wheelbarrows to move a compost and dirt mix into the 40 4-foot-8 raised-bed garden boxes that next year will yield broccoli, carrots and cauliflower to be served in the cafeteria.
Dana Abernathy, whose daughter Ella is in kindergarten at Phillippi Shores, shoveled dirt into the boxes as Ella’s 2-year-old sister, Lochlyn, assisted. “If a child sees a vegetable grow, they’re going to be a lot more interested in trying it, it and not pushing it off the side of their plate,” Mattison, owner and executive chef of Mattison’s Restaurants and Catering in Sarasota, said. He
became interested in beginning a program after learning about the national “Chefs Move To Schools,” started in May 2010, part of first lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to address childhood obesity. Once the garden is seeded, Mattison, who has the help of Jeff Scarbrough, sustainable agriculture director at Crowley Natural and Cultural Center in Sarasota, will turn regular maintenance of the garden over to 20 volunteer families of children attending the school. As part of the educational program, the school will also host a student garden club. “We can walk them through the garden, explain to them how things grow and what vegetables look like when they’re starting,” Mattison said. “I think they’ll get a lot out of it.” They also will get to eat the first crop of broccoli, carrots and cauliflower, which will be harvested in January, Mattison’s Events and Community Outreach Director Nikki Logan said.
Herald Tribune, Style Magazine – Ready, Set, Eat
November 2013 by Kristine Nickle, photos by Mark Sickles
Calendar? Check. Wardrobe assessment? Check. Appointment with personal shopper? Check. Hair and makeup strategy? Check.
No getting-ready-for-season list is complete without a look at the current food trends. Whether you are helping to plan some of this year’s parties and galas, will be entertaining at home, or are just plain curious, perusing the latest food trends should be on everyone’s to-do list. While you may not be thinking beyond where to go and what to wear, our town’s busiest caterers are scouring the national trends, juxtapositioning them with local inclinations and developing strategies for menus that will delight and dazzle the thousands of party-goers who will be exposed to their culinary creations this season.
On a national level, trends are pretty consistent across the country. Most of the top chefs are weighing in toward cultural, ethnic flavors. This diversity is evident as chefs learn about and use more Asian spices and cooking methods and add south-of-the-border techniques (think Argentina) such as special grilling techniques and methods of adding layers of flavor. Another huge national trend is the explosion of vegetables, which are now taking center stage on a plate rather than around a slab of meat or fish. Vegetarianism is a factor, but equally as motivating are costs.
Food costs have exploded during the past couple of years. It’s much more cost effective to use vegetables more frequently and in new and different ways. … In addition to his popular restaurants and Van Wezel venue, Paul Mattison is one of the area’s most popular caterers. For 2014 he sees trends as more ingredient driven. And, to test drive his intuitions about trending ingredients, he uses the frequent wine dinners Mattison’s Forty One holds to introduce new creations. … continue reading
Herald Tribune, Ticket – Eat Near: The wild brunch
Monday, April 22, 2013 by Cooper Levey-Baker
After three courses, I’m already well past full. But then our server brings over dish No. 4: a cylindrical nugget of fried chicken gently placed atop a small triangle of waffle and what tastes like blueberry crème. The whole thing is drenched in something called maple gravy, which tastes just as good as it sounds.
All of a sudden, I’m hungry again.
Today’s decadent midday meal comes courtesy of Mattison’s City Grille, once again offering its sumptuous Farm to Fork Sunday Brunch to discriminating locavores. The idea, now a few years old, is for Mattison’s to put together a short tasting menu featuring the best products available within 50 miles of the restaurant.
To do so, Executive Chef Paul Mattison and City Grille Chef Gino Calleja teamed up with the Suncoast Food Alliance’s John Matthews. Matthews in turn reached out to Sarasota CLUCK, because, hey, who doesn’t want fresh backyard eggs for brunch? CLUCK members, dedicated to standing up for area residents’ right to raise backyard chickens, donated eggs to the cause, and all proceeds will further the group’s educational efforts.
Matthews put together some of the best products available this time of year, and Calleja “bounced ideas around” with Mattison. They eventually developed a four-part menu that runs the gamut of breakfast favorites. The meal started out with a plate of griddled grits nestled beneath a patty of sausage and a delicately poached CLUCK egg, then continued with a super-soft salmon mousse dotted with a teaspoon of Mote Marine caviar. …
Sarasota has beautiful houses, great chefs and plenty of reasons to entertain. Chefs are in and out of houses hundreds of times during a season catering parties from large to small. We wondered just which kitchens have caught the fancy of some of our favorite chefs and why, so we went to Tommy Klauber of Fete Catering as well as two different restaurants – Polo Grill in Lakewood Ranch and Pattigeorges on Longboat Key; Paul Mattison of Mattison’s City Grill and Mattisons 41; and Jeremy Hammond-Chambers of Innovative Dining. We asked them: What makes a beautiful kitchen one a professional chef wants to work in? What are those elements? Is it the professional equipment, the layout, the space itself? What are the factors that bring about kitchen envy? Read on and you may just be surprised, and you’ll certainly love peeking into these spectacular kitchens.
Paul Mattison talking about I.J. and Valerie Pobers’ house on Siesta Key. The Pobers have a beautiful house on Siesta Key. We cater a large party there every year for Circus Sarasota, which they support, but it’s the smaller dinner parties that I really enjoy doing. Their house is a Guy Peterson modern house that invites the outdoors in. They have decorated it with wonderful antiques and art collections that create an amazing warmth and energy. The kitchen opens onto the dining room, and when I cook I feel almost on stage, with the ability to interact, yet remain separate. The kitchen is simple, but it has everything I need and that is a great space with a warm, energetic feeling. There are bigger and more technical kitchens in Sarasota, but this one has the energy that helps me do my best work.
Flavors & more Magazine – Regional Chefs Excel at Cookbooks, May 5, 2013, Volume 6, Issue 5 by Marsha Fottler
One of the best things about travel lately for culinary adventurers is the plethora of wonderful regional cookbooks written by local celebrity chefs. Collecting one in each city that you visit is a sure way to maintain a connection with the cuisine of that area. You cook from the book and recall good times. A regional cookbook is a memory keeper and a practical guide to expanding your repertoire in your home kitchen. Start collecting.
If your travels this year are taking you to the west coast of Florida (that’s the serene and lovely Gulf of Mexico side), you’ll discover amazing local chefs from Tampa to Naples. Working in and around Sarasota is the hugely popular young restaurateur and caterer Paul Mattison. Of Italian heritage, he generally leads a culinary tour to Italy in the summer months (he was married there one year), coming back with new recipes for his upscale-casual eateries in town and for his elegant catering business. But his specialties are created from locally-sourced Florida fruits, vegetables and seafood. His recipes entirely capture the taste and sustainable culinary style of southwest Florida.
Recently, Mattison published a cookbook called, simply enough, Chef. (Espichel Enterprises Publishers, $35). Within it’s pages, continue reading
April showers may have brought May flowers, but they also wreaked havoc on the first night of the 22nd Annual Florida Winefest, when, for the first time in those two-plus decades a “banquet on the block” was planned. A winemaker dinner event, the banquet on the block was a creative idea that spurred overwhelming interest: Close down one city block. Stretch banquet tables down the center of that block. Engage six superb chefs to prepare a multi-course banquet. Layer in free-flowing wine from just about every winery represented at the Winefest.
What could be more delightful?
Of course, any event planner worth their salt always thinks of the possibility of rain when considering an outdoor event. Still, history was on the side of sunshine. It had not rained on Winefest since the very first year when a downpour complete with copious lightning threatened the late jazz great Mel Torme as he crooned under a tent on the grounds of the Ringling Museum. Having been at that event, I distinctly recall thinking we might all be electrocuted, but would die quite happy sipping great wines and listening to a superb singer, but that’s another story.
In 2013, the rain merely forced the event into the banquet room at Mattison’s Forty-One, an adequate alternative to sitting on Lemon Avenue in front of Mattison’s City Grille. The idea of one contiguous banquet table was modified to suit the situation, and two long banquet tables took its place without sacrificing the conviviality. A little calamity always serves to bring people together, doesn’t it?
There was no sacrifice either on the food and service side. The six courses were brought to table efficiently despite the close quarters, and the food was certainly representative of the talents of the chefs and the quality of their restaurants. … continue reading
Hale & Bowdon Magazine
Florida’s Gulf Coast – Dining at Mattison’s City Grille in Sarasota