Meet Chef Matt Finarelli
Chef Matt Finarelli actually started out his career as the Webmaster and Online Marketing Specialist for World Wildlife Fund (WWF), not as a chef. But the passion of cooking was always in him, and it led him to teach a small class on Northern Italian cooking for Fairfax County. The teaching of cooking was so much fun for him, he knew he had to make a career out of this. So he started attending culinary school at night at Stratford University in Falls Church, VA. When school was complete, he took the plunge to become a full-time chef, starting over at the bottom and working his way up in local kitchens, including Café Tirolo in Ballston, Restaurant Vero in Arlington and Rustico Restaurant in Alexandria. It was when he began working at Open Kitchen in Falls Church as their original Sous Chef and Kitchen Manager that he started teaching cooking classes once again in their classroom. He loved being back front of classes, so he changed careers again and became a full-time independent culinary instructor. He is a very popular instructor in the DC area teaching private classes in people’s homes and at local culinary venues. Having taught over 3,000 students in the area, he recently published his first cookbook, “Beyond the Red Sauce: Classic Italian Cooking Without Tomatoes,” hoping to share some of his favorite recipes with his students even when they can’t be in his classes.
Briar Patch B&B Inn Cooking Class Weekend
Menu for January 26-27, 2018
Friday Evening Hors D'Oeuvres with Wines from 50 West Vineyards:
- Celery Root Frittelle (Fritters) with Fresh Aioli A classic Italian frittelle from Venice using shaved celery root and a fresh basil aioli made from scratch.
- Baked Brie with Almonds, Apples and Chardonnay This melted brie dish combines with Virginia apples, toasted almonds, and Virginia chardonnay to make for something really special. Additionally, Ill show you how to make several variants of this dish depending on the season!
- Caramelized Onion and Pear Puff Pastry Bites with Bresaola and Parmesan These little bites are a fabulous party treat that you simply cannot miss! The beef Bresaola plays wonderfully with the sweet onions and pears in a lovely little bite of puff pastry that will have you wanting more and more!
Saturday Evening Dinner Menu:
- First Course: Cabbage, Bean and Winter Vegetable Soup A lovely, warming Parisian soup that has all the best food from your winter larder. Onions, carrots, turnips, and potatoes join together with cabbage, beans and sage to make a soup that has something for everyone.
- Main Course: Red-Wine Braised Beef Short Ribs A mixture of wine and port slowly simmers these ribs to make a fabulous falling-off-the-bone dish from beef short ribs. This dish rivals the best Boeuf Bourguignon in the world.
- AND: Root Vegetable Mash The perfect accompaniment for a braised beef, and much more interesting than regular old mashed potatoes! A mix of fabulous vegetables from the ground: celery root, parsnip, rutabaga, carrots and garlic team up with a little bit of butternut squash and fresh herbs to make a combination that will be your new go-to mashed vegetable dish!
- Dessert Course: Earl Grey Chocolate Mousse If youre going to finish with a mousse, might as well do it with style. By steeping in some Earl Grey tea with the base for your mousse, you can take your chocolate to the next level. And the really neat part? This mousse has no added sugar! Just the lovely chocolate and tea flavors working their magic together.
Our featured winery is 50 West Vineyards in Middleburg, VA. A representative from the winery will be with us on Friday night to do a wine tasting paired with Chef Matt's hors d'oeuvres. We will then drink their wines with our dinner on Saturday night.