Matt Lambert Explains NZ Cuisine to New Yorkers
Matt Lambert, executive chef at The Musket Room in New York, explains New Zealand cuisine and the restaurant’s sophisticated take on it to Forbes’ contributor Jenny Nguyen-Barron.
Lambert also shares his point of view on what the quintessential elements of New Zealand food are; how it felt the moment he garnered that coveted Michelin Star and his top six New York City restaurants.
“Modern New Zealand cuisine is really fresh and honest as opposed to years ago. Traditional Kiwi cooking takes after the classic ‘British Isles’ style that settlers brought when they came to New Zealand, incorporating fresh ingredients available locally. I like to take what New Zealand dishes were and work on making them what they can be.
“Michael Meredith of Meredith’s in Mt Eden, [Auckland] is a huge inspiration to me. I worked for him for two years and he really taught me to take my cooking much more seriously, pushing me to create things I hadn’t even dreamed of before.
“This may sound corny but ‘love’ is really the quintessential [New Zealand] ingredient. Typical store-bought New Zealand ingredients like passion fruit are really tough to get in the US so I think the passion and love that I bring from my home country is the only native ingredient I need.
“I really like to use great Kiwi proteins like Red Deer from Cervena and Ora King Salmon. The quality is just excellent, and since I know exactly where I’m sourcing the ingredients from, I’m inclined to keep a special place for them on The Musket Room’s menu.”
Original article by Jenny Nguyen-Barron, Forbes, September 16, 2014.