Pin It

Heroic Cuisine 

Side Dishes: North Hero House Inn & Restaurant gets a hot new chef

click to enlarge Jean-Luc Matecat
  • Jean-Luc Matecat

A letter of recommendation from a former boss can be a boon when you’re applying for a new job. When that boss is Michael Kloeti of Michael’s on the Hill in Waterbury, prospective employers pay attention. Jean-Luc Matecat came to Walt Blasberg, owner of the North Hero House Inn & Restaurant, with just such a recommendation.

Matecat, 29, was to be Kloeti’s chef at the Black Door Bar and Bistro in Montpelier until the restaurant’s sale was canceled in January. A Vermont native, the chef began his culinary studies early at NECI’s cooking school for kids, but continued as an adult at schools and kitchens in California and his father’s native France.

After most recently heading the kitchen at Nantucket’s Cinco Restaurant, Matecat was eager to return home. “I’ve been trying to make the move for three years,” he says. However, finding a job in Vermont’s relatively small fine-dining scene wasn’t easy. Matecat says he considers himself lucky to have seen Blasberg’s ad online.

On Monday, Blasberg and Matecat had just ordered seeds for the restaurant’s two gardens. The chef will focus on using “unique and fun” heirloom varieties and some less common plants such as Jerusalem artichokes.

Matecat’s new menu debuts on Wednesday, February 23. The dishes will emphasize European technique and include Gallic classics such as chicken-liver mousse and pork rillettes with cornichons and passion-fruit mustard. Not everything is French, though. Chicken tagine and fish and chips are also on the menu.

Blasberg is particularly excited about his new chef’s tuna tartare martini appetizer and the seared-tuna burger. The latter appears both in the dining room and at Oscar’s Oasis bar. Come summer, Matecat will also make lobster rolls at the Steamship Pier Bar & Grill.

Though Matecat comes from rarified culinary circles, Blasberg feels confident that his new chef will offer something for everyone, including a “kickass” burger. “I just want people to leave happy,” he says.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It

About The Author

Alice Levitt

Alice Levitt

AAN award-winning food writer Alice Levitt is a fan of the exotic, the excellent and automats. She wrote for Seven Days 2007-2015.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

foodie poll

What are you MOST interested in learning more about?

  • Food-related events, festivals and other gatherings
  • Bars and restaurants — where should I eat out?
  • Farms and agriculture — what's up with the people producing our food?
  • Issues: What are the social, environmental and economic impacts of my food choices?
  • How to cook better meals at home

View Results

Latest in Food News

Recent Comments

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2016 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So Champlain St Ste 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation