KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL: CHEF MATTHEW DOLAN

Previous PostHAUTE PARTNERS: LUSTRE PRECIOUS GEMS
Next PostTHE SCENE :: Bottega Veneta Reopens its San Francisco store

Chef Matthew Dolan has a storied culinary past, working under such famed chefs as Emeril Lagasse and Christopher Freeman and earning a Michelin Star as the chef de cuisine at Ravintola Demo in Finland. He exploded onto the San Francisco scene as executive chef at Garibaldi’s on Presidio and has finally achieved his dream of running his own kitchen at Twenty Five Lusk in San Francisco’s SoMa district. Twenty Five Lusk General Manager Chad Bourdon and Dolan met in culinary school and have partnered 12 years later with the New American eatery. We sat down with Chef Dolan to pick his brain about his newest venture, his inspiration and how he got his start.

 As the restaurant is still in its infancy, I have little free time, but when it happens, my first choice is to hang out with my beautiful wife and our two little boys at the park, the beach or even just at home.

How did you begin your career in the culinary world?

I accepted a position to wash dishes, work a deep fryer and assist in a casual restaurant’s kitchen.  I was hooked.  They didn’t seem to care that I was 14 (I might have claimed to be 16).

At what restaurants have you been employed at previously?

Café des Artistes in New York City; Tra Vigne in Napa Valley; Toppers at the Wauwinet on Nantucket Island; Emeril’s in New Orleans; Restaurant Demo in Helsinki, Finland; and Garibaldi’s on Presidio in San Francisco

What appetizer, entree and dessert is Twenty Five Lusk most well-known for?

We sell a lot of Yellowtail Ceviche with heirloom cucumber, pickled strawberry and Yuzu from our first course selections, our Chicken Fried Quail and Grilled Prawns are quite popular main courses, and [for dessert] our Vanilla Lime Posset and Salted Caramel Brownie with mint chocolate chip ice cream have remained as favorites.

Are you a world traveler? If so, how does that inspire your dishes?

Yes.  I’ve lived in the United Kingdom and Finland and traveled extensively.  Throughout these travels, I am always excited when I discover a new technique or combinations of flavors. A good example would be the use of vanilla in savory applications from a trip to France and the use of acidic berries with game dishes as you see in colder climates like Finland.

What else inspires your cooking?

The seasons and what is the best produce available. I am also making a concerted effort to not be overly repetitious, and I do focus on the ethics of consumption from a sustainability and origin perspective. These factors drive a lot of decisions but can also inspire.

When you’re not cooking at Twenty Five Lusk, where can we find you dining?

I love Foreign Cinema’s brunch (haven’t been there for dinner yet), the burger and a beautiful beer at The Monk’s Kettle for lunch. Spruce is a top choice for dinner, as Mark Sullivan always impresses me. Since my children were born however, take-out is the theme at home on a day off and we recently fell in love with Dosa on Valencia for that option.

What do you do in your free time?

As the restaurant is still in its infancy, I have little free time, but when it happens, my first choice is to hang out with my beautiful wife and our two little boys at the park, the beach or even just at home.

connect with haute living National
Loader