Chef Spotlight: Matteo Paonessa – Spencer’s at the Waterfront

Posted June 30, 2021by Jenny Fines

We’re highlighting some of Burlington’s best chefs to get to know them and their food a little better. This week we had the pleasure of asking Executive Chef Matteo Paonessa, from Spencer’s at the Waterfront a few questions.

Name: Matteo Paonessa, Executive Chef

Restaurant: Spencer’s at the Waterfront

What inspired you to start cooking? Eating Duck with cherries at a very young age is what inspired me to cook

When & where did you start? In my Mother’s Kitchen

What’s the first thing you learned to cook really well? Chocolate cake

What is your favourite thing to cook? Foie gras is and always has been my favourite thing to cook

Who is your greatest culinary inspiration? My Nini, my mother, and Charlie Trotter

What did you have for breakfast today? I had cereal with chocolate almond milk

Is there any food that you won’t even try? To be a chef you must try everything 

What is the best meal you have ever had? And what about the worst? I’ve had many memorable meals but one to mention would be Alo. My worst meal. There is no bad meal just bad ideas. 

What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give a young, aspiring chef? The biggest advice I can give a young chef is to LISTEN

If you could cook for anyone, past or present, who would it be for and what would you make? I would cook for Anthony Bourdain. I would cook Almond Crusted Foie Gras with Caramelized Duck Breast, Chocolate and Cherries

Thank you Chef Matteo for sharing with us! Stay tuned for more chef spotlights and let us know if there’s any Burlington chef that you’d like to learn more about.

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