Tuesday, September 1, 2015

10th & Piedmont and G's Midtown Welcome New Executive Chef Michelle Matlock

For more information:
Emily Connolly or Morgan Dyches
Melissa Libby & Associates

Executive Chef
10th& Piedmont and G’s Midtown

The secret is in the roux and an aging, beloved sauté pan, which is probably where it will remain. From the time she was a Louisiana toddler intent on watching the family matriarchs in the kitchen, chef Michelle Matlock was schooled in the fine art of gumbo. The new executive chef of Communitas Hospitality’s 10th & Piedmont and G’s Midtown has joyfully ladled out her savory version from Hollywood’s Sunset and Vine to New Orleans’ Bourbon Street, and now she’s excited to serve it up in Atlanta. But when it comes to sharing her recipe for success, Matlock will only say it’s less about the ingredients and more about her technique.

Though her roux may be under wraps, Matlock loves talking about the career path she knew she would take at the ripe old age of five. Never afraid of hard work, she achieved her culinary school education through the American Culinary Federation Apprenticeship Program at Delgado Community College, apprenticing under renowned French Master Chef René Bajeux at the famed Windsor Court Hotel’s Grill Room.

She cut her teeth in some of New Orleans' finest restaurants, including the Royal Café, Acme Oyster House and Cobalt, a trendy restaurant she was privileged to open in the Hotel Monaco for famed Chef Susan Spicer. When Hollywood called, Matlock packed up her sauté pan and headed west to become executive chef for Element Film’s restaurant division.

The daughter of a fisherman, Matlock spends much of her free time relaxing with rod and reel. She brings that passion for all things piscatorial to the Communitas Hospitality menus with favorite items such as Scottish salmon and coconut scallop ceviche. Thanks to distribution connections she forged while in New Orleans, she's crafting her own version of fried oysters Rockefeller. She will also be serving a whole fish that changes frequently, reflecting her commitment to fresh and sustainable seafood.

Matlock is proud of the international tapas menu she’s created at 10th & Piedmont, referring to it as eclectic, borderless cuisine. She is committed to creating a melting pot restaurant of sorts where she can bring out the best of all cultures. Ever the tinkerer, Matlock used what she had on hand to tweak Communitas’ new smoker to add a tin-can chimney. While she’s certain the smell of barbecue will delight both 10th & Piedmont and G’s Midtown customers, she can’t wait until guest reviews come in for her new smoked caprese salad, which incorporates tomatoes and fresh-smoked mozzarella.

With just a year under her belt in Atlanta, Matlock continues to meet local farmers to incorporate the best of their bounty into her menus. As much as she loves to cook, though, what drives her most these days is being able to train and bring out the best in her staff. She wholeheartedly believes her Communitas team is magic and is eager to help them further their careers within the company and community. With seemingly boundless enthusiasm, Matlock hopes to teach them everything she knows, with one tiny exception – her seven-generation gumbo will remain under wraps, at least for now.


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