Chef Matt Hart of Hawk & Hound will be a featured chef at our Farm to Table Dinner on August 30, 2020.
Chef Matt first moved here in 2006 to attend Prescott College, left briefly to work in San Francisco and then moved to Colorado where he attended the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. He returned to Prescott at the end of 2015. Chef Matt’s passion for cooking revolves around cooking seasonally, so he utilizes the freshest ingredients to make his favorite dishes. He loves cooking with colorful spring and summer vegetables, which explains why earthy, versatile beets are his favorite vegetable.
Human connection is what drives Chef Matt’s passion for food: “Even if we don’t understand it all of the time, I think that food is our universal language. It helps us to understand culture and history, while also informing so much of what we do on a daily basis, even if we don’t realize it in the moment. That idea that food is this thread that connects us all through our differences and helps us to understand one another is a big driving force for me when it comes to cooking.”
Supporting local agriculture is what PFM is all about, so we asked Chef Matt why it’s important to him. He said, “I’m pretty sure that I could talk about the role and importance of local food systems and agriculture all day! For starters, I think that local food has a tremendously positive impact on your health and how your body interacts with your environment. It is also such a great way to build and maintain the community in a way that benefits everyone. The social and financial benefits aside, the simple act of cooking and sharing a meal invites people to interact with each other, let their guard down and support each other among many other things. There is a big reason that different meals, smells, and flavors make people nostalgic, and I think those feelings are made even more potent when they start locally.”
Chef Matt has participated in the Farm to Table Dinner in the past. With the 2020 event rapidly approaching, we asked him what he’s most excited about: “I’m most excited about being able to collaborate with the other chefs. Each time that we meet to plan, even if it is brief, we’re able to play off of each other’s ideas and we push each other and learn from each other in such a fun way that it gets me more excited to cook every time.”
The pandemic has affected people in many ways, so we asked Chef Matt if he found a silver lining: “Many of my favorite meals are those that start without a plan or a trip to the store to gather ingredients and are made more with a playful sense of flavor, backed solidly with technique. Throughout the pandemic, I went out and shopped for food far less than I have in a long time. That meant making more with less while still focusing on flavor and how to use as much of every ingredient as possible. My pantry, fridge and freezer have never been as well-stocked with pickled, preserved prepared food than they have the last several months.”
We can’t wait to see what Chef Matt’s creativity brings to the Farm to Table Dinner this year!