Photography by Kevin Thomas Garcia
Matthew Skrincosky has worked on shoots for BLEEP in the past, but for the first time, he takes center stage by creating a holiday feast you’ll be sure to copy for all of your festive gatherings. To celebrate, our favorite chef gathered with some artists and BLEEP contributors for an evening of delicious food.
You’ve said moving the New York is what opened your eyes to the possibilities in the kitchen. How so?
My mother is an amazing cook and my grandfather is a Navy Chef from WWII. I have always enjoyed good food, but [my experience was] very limited to my All-American upbringing. Being German and Polish, those were the only two “modifications” to my culinary experiences. So, moving to NYC opened my eyes to Thai, Mexican, Indian, Lebanese, French…the list obviously goes on and on. NYC is like a superfood itself. It has everything and it’s all so good and so good for you.
What have you done to hone and improve your craft?
I always love to try new recipes and I am notorious for studying several recipes that are similar and blending and molding them into my own creations and vision. I have always taken every opportunity to cook for someone or a group of people. It’s an amazing adrenaline rush as well as a great challenge (for not having ANY counter space, an “easy bake oven” and no storage) But my true step forward to becoming a respected professional was leaping whole heartedly and unabashedly into culinary school at the Institute of Culinary Education.
Describe your style of cooking.
Approachable, homey, farm-to-table, local, sustainable fare with a touch of refinement and finesse. I like to cook fresh and clean with touches of indulgence and decadence, because we all deserve treats (everything in moderation). I live a healthy, active lifestyle, and I want my food to reflect that. One of my favorite places is the farmers market. I plan on becoming well known at my local markets because building that relationship is very important to any farm-to-table chef.
Why do you cook?
Honestly, I cook whatever I think looks beautiful that day. [I cook] what inspires me, and drives me to create a gorgeous tasty dish which, at the end of the day, warms someone else, makes them smile, [makes them] remember an old childhood memory, or takes them away for a moment. I cook with love. Lots of love. My mother always does, and that’s the greatest driving force to my cooking. Love. Love of the food, respect for the food, love of the process, and love of the final product. Love of the people enjoying my cuisine.
Merguez sausage piggies in a blanket. Homemade pie crust finished spicy Dijon and thyme.
Fig compote and goat cheese Crostini finished with thyme and drizzle of honey.
Roasted brussel sprouts with bacon and cranberries.
Spiced turkey meatballs with butternut squash, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger finished with a mango jalapeño chutney.
Roasted butternut squash and mushroom Filo cups with a honey and thyme ricotta filling, finished with Parmesan cheese and chive.
Bosc pear and cranberry tart.
Originally featured in December 2014.
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