Jamestown Chef Matthew MacCartney Nominated for Food & Wine Award
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
The field of 100 nominees for The People’s Best New Chef includes 10 chefs in 10 regions across America. The chef with the most votes in each region will be named a finalist; the finalist with the most votes overall will be named The People’s Best New Chef.
An impressive résumé
MacCartney has been with Jamestown Fish since its inception in December 2011. Jamestown Fish is a casually elegant Rhode Island restaurant serving a European inspired seafood based cuisine. In 2012 and 2013, Jamestown Fish won the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, Rhode Island Monthly’s Best of Rhode Island in 2012, and numerous OpenTable Diners’ Choice awards.
MacCartney has worked in the dining rooms and kitchens of New York’s finest establishments, such as Restaurant Daniel, Gramercy Tavern, and Craft. He opened Craft in 2001 as the Beverage Director and was voted Best Wine Director in 2003 by the readers of Time Out NY magazine.
Early in his career, MacCartney worked in European kitchens that included Michel Guérard, a Michelin three star restaurant in France, and the world renowned Cibrèo in Florence, Italy.
MacCartney earned his B.T. in Hospitality Management/Culinary Arts from NYC College of Technology and studied at the Birmingham College of Food, Tourism & Creative Studies in Birmingham, England. He also earned a Level 4 Diploma in Wine and Spirits from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust in 2002, and in 2008 was published in Wine & Spirits magazine.
A main voice in the culinary world for more than three decades, Food & Wine is considered an authority on the best of what’s new in food, drink, travel, design and entertaining.
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Upscale Chefs go "Downscale"
It's an incredible expense of time and money to be among the best chefs around. All of those high-end ingredients cost an arm and leg and the pressure to stay on top is enormous. Most cooks began learning at the feet of their older relatives--moms and dads; grandmas and grandpas. It's this food that calls them back. We see local Chef Jake Rojas rejoice in dropping the tweezers and cooking those SoCal family recipes he grew up eating. Local faves Thames Street Kitchen embarked on a burger concept this year and Providence icon Chez Pascal has its "Wurst Window" serving homemade sausage and comfort food. They're upscale food is wonderful, but this might be their best!
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As we continue to pay the "processed food" price, our nation's food allergies continue to soar. Restaurants have been on the forefront of the movement towards options that take these allergies into account. The gluten allergy has taken the fore as bread and pasta and coated French fries became the first food victims of this allergy. Local establishments such as the Grange have taken gluten free to new heights with terrific vegetarian offerings. On the Hill, Pane e Vino has got an almost 40-item menu of gluten free options. It features everything an Italian meal could need without the worry.
Vietnamese as the "Go-To" Asian Cuisine
Every year it seems as though America "discovers" a new Asian country's food and gets hooked. This year it's the foods of Vietnam. Vietnamese food and ingredients have been a part of local Asian food for years now, but this time it stands on its own. Vietnam's food is highlighted by fresh, simple ingredients treated respectfully and flavorfully. Broths and noodles; lightly cooked meats and fresh vegetables all combine in a balanced meal. Locally we love Pho Horn in Pawtucket and Minh Hai in Cranston. Both are very good local versions of this wonderful cuisine.
Look...here's the problem with us Americans: we only eat the mild stuff. The muscle meat. It's chicken breast and tenderloin and striped bass filets. The problem with this style of eating is what it does to our ecosystem. Local fishermen used to be able to catch a bounty of swordfish BETWEEN the mainland and Block Island, now it's a day's trip to find them. Local chefs and fishermen are working diligently to bring back the mackerel and the sardine and the scup. Fish we have long since forgotten, but helped our forefathers thrive. Check out any of our top-notch "farm to table" spots--Persimmon in Bristol or Farmstead in Providence for example--to try a forgotten yet delicious fish.
As with most things food and beverage, the last 10 years have seen a move towards "smaller is better". Big box stores are gone and chain restaurants are suffering locally. It was only a matter of time until these ideas began making their way into our cocktails and boy are we psyched to see what the future holds. Locally we have Sons of Liberty in South Kingstown, producing small-batch whiskey, single malts and, even vodka. Our state features Coastal Extreme Brewery which makes Thomas Tew rum along with their Newport Storm beer. We've only gotten back into the distilling business here in Rhode Island in 2006 but we think tasty things are coming soon!
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