Book, Broadcast & Journalism Chef Q & A: Matthew Riznyk

 

Matthew Riznyk, Great Performances, NYC

 

What’s your go-to guilty-pleasure food?
I head over to Hakata Tonton in the West Village for some grilled motsu [offal] and pigs’ feet washed down with a few Sapporos.

 

What’s your favorite movie, and why?
Y Tu Mamá También. I lived in San Diego when I was younger, and we would take road trips to Mexico all the time. We camped on the beach, ate at roadside shacks, and drank cold beers well into the night with the locals. I know some of our trips were inspired by watching this movie.

 

What’s the dish you’re most proud of?
My 92-year-old Polish grandmother has made her pierogis by hand for as long as I can remember. A couple of years ago I came up with a dish of potato gnocchi with smoked bacon, caramelized onion, and fresh cream, a nod to my Italian and Polish roots combined in one dish.

 

What do you eat for breakfast?
Every morning I eat yogurt and a banana, except on the weekends, when a spicy Bloody Mary is my way to start the day. Tomatoes count as breakfast, right?

 

What’s your favorite healthy food?
My wife makes a mean parsley salad with radish, lemon, olive oil, and toasted pumpkin seeds. It’s a really great accompaniment to a whole grilled fish on a perfect summer evening.

 

What was your first job in the culinary world?
I was a garde-manger who also doubled as closing porter (i.e., I mopped the floors and cleaned the grease trap). Still wondering if that was just hazing.

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