The Austin Chronicle

Gardner Hosts Matt McCallister

By Virginia B. Wood, July 22, 2015, 1:30pm, On the Range

Chef-owner Andrew Wiseheart continues the Gardner guest chef dinner series by inviting respected Dallas chef Matt McCallister to join him in the kitchen on August 4.

Matt McCallister is the chef and owner of FT33, D Magazine's Restaurant of the Year in 2013, as well as the upcoming Filament that is slated to open in Dallas' Deep Ellum neighborhood this fall. He was recognized by Food & Wine magazine as one of the Best New Chefs of 2014, and he was a two-time semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef Southwest in 2014 and 2015. Austinites may also remember chef McCallister from his informative presentation on canning and preserving seasonal produce at the Austin Food & Wine Festival back in April.

"Matt is one of the first guys we met when we started doing food festivals and chef events around the country. Now he's one of my best buddies on the festival circuit," Wiseheart told us this week. "He invited me to be a guest chef at FT33 a couple of years back, and I'm excited to return the favor and have him cook with me. One of the things that inspires me most about Matt's cooking style is his focus on building the in-house pantry in order to be able to offer a wider variety of foods."

In our conversation today, McCallister explained that focus, saying, "The growing seasons here are often so short that we're always looking for some crafty, creative way to showcase great ingredients as long as we can." He also disclosed that most of the dishes he's planning to present at the Austin dinner have some element of preserved or fermented food as a component of the dish, adding, "I've just gotten some apples in from McKinney. I'm thinking I'll revisit a dish for this dinner that I made the first time Andrew and I cooked together."

Wiseheart says there will be a reception with passed appetizers and sparkling wine before the meal, and then each chef will present three courses with optional wine pairing suggestions. The guest chef dinner will be the only activity at the restaurant that evening, so guests are encouraged to interact with the chefs during the meal and even take a peak into the kitchen if they are so inclined. Seating will be at communal tables. The dinner is $75 and optional wine pairings are $35. Make necessary reservations online.

Guest Chef Dinner
Tue., Aug. 4, 6pm
1914 E. Sixth, 512/354-1480

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