Woolf Mathew - Woolf, Mathew

Biography

Mathew Woolf is the Executive Chef at Manhattan’s iconic Rainbow Room. Appointed in early 2017, Woolf has greatly influenced the landmark’s menu since joining the culinary team in 2014, first as Chef de Cuisine and later as Executive Sous Chef. His energy has driven gastronomic progress at Rainbow Room, refining and updating the venue’s menus with a sophisticated touch while paying homage to the classic New York dishes.

With over 25 years of entrepreneurial culinary experience, Woolf credits his cooking style with formative years spent in the kitchens of top hotels and fine dining establishments—most... READ MORE

Mathew Woolf is the Executive Chef at Manhattan’s iconic Rainbow Room. Appointed in early 2017, Woolf has greatly influenced the landmark’s menu since joining the culinary team in 2014, first as Chef de Cuisine and later as Executive Sous Chef. His energy has driven gastronomic progress at Rainbow Room, refining and updating the venue’s menus with a sophisticated touch while paying homage to the classic New York dishes.

With over 25 years of entrepreneurial culinary experience, Woolf credits his cooking style with formative years spent in the kitchens of top hotels and fine dining establishments—most notably at the famed Claridge’s and The Ritz London where he often prepared meals for the Queen of England and Prince Charles.

Prior to joining Rainbow Room, Woolf headed to Los Angeles to work alongside distinguished chefs, Gordon Ramsey and Ray Garcia, where he developed a unique British spin on quintessential California cuisine. Earlier, Woolf began his US career as a founding chef of the renowned Restaurant Sixteen in Chicago, where they earned a Michelin Star in under a year.

A British native, Woolf has earned awards including “The Award of Excellence for Young Chefs under 25” from the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts.

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What is your favorite NYC restaurant? And what is your go-to dish? My favorite NYC restaurant is Pig & Khao and my go-to dish is the Pork Belly Adobo which has been on the menu since they opened. The dish is super tasty with lots of Southeast Asian flavor. What is your ultimate meal? My ultimate meal is poached shrimp with Marie Rose sauce. It is simple yet succulent. I have fond memories of making it for my mother on special occasions-- it is her favorite dish as well. What three things are always in your pantry? Three things you will always find in my pantry are soy sauce, star anise and Marmite. If you weren't a chef, what would you be? If I wasn't a chef, I would be a rugby player. If you could cook with anyone, who would that be? I would have love to cook with Julia Child. I enjoyed her wit, tenacity and humor in the kitchen. What’s your favorite NYCWFF memory? Being invited to participate in this year's festival will be a memory that I will always cherish.

Clam “Shell” Chowder

Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients:
For the Clams:
1 oz. unsalted butter
1 garlic clove crushed
½ oz. each sliced carrot, sliced celery, sliced shallot
1.5lb Manila clams
1lb quahog clams
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
14 fluid ounces white wine

For the Chowder:
1 oz. unsalted butter
¼ oz. finely chopped garlic
¼ oz. finely diced shallot
1 oz. finely diced celery (3mm)
1/4 tsp chopped thyme
1 oz. diced Yukon potato
3.5 fluid ounces cream
8 fluid ounces clam juice (reserved from the cooked clams)
½ tsp chopped parsley
Shelled clams from above

For the Potato Foam:
9 oz. peeled fingerling potatoes
4 fluid ounces milk
½ fluid ounce potato water (reserved from cooking potatoes)
½ fluid ounce clam Juice (from the reserved cooking juice from the clams)
3.5 oz. melted butter
1 fluid ounce grapeseed oil
¼ tsp salt

For the Bacon Crumble:
2 oz. sliced bacon
1 slice brioche (crust removed)
¼ tsp chopped chives

 

Directions:

 

For the Clams:
First purge the clams in salted water to clean.

Cooking the Clams:
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic, carrot, celery and shallots. Cook the mixture until tan in color. Be careful not to burn the garlic or vegetables. If burned, throw out both the fat and the vegetables, wipe out the pan and start over.

Place manila and quahog clams into the saucepan, add the thyme and bay leaf, and stir until clam shells are coated to evenly distribute the heat within shells.

Once the clams have been coated, add the white wine and cover with a lid. This creates the steam required to open the shells and will increase the overall heat within the pan.

After approximately 4 minutes, the manila clams should be open and cooked. Remove manila clams with a slotted spoon and cover for an additional 10 minutes. One the quahog clams are cooked, remove and set aside to chill with manila clams.

Strain the cooking juice through a chinois strainer and reserve the cooking liquid. Once clams are chilled, remove from shells and reserve the quahog clam shells for the serving vessel. Cut quahog clams into pieces similar in size to manila clams.

Making the Chowder:

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic, shallot, celery and thyme; sweat for 4 minutes until tender.

Add the reserved clam juice (reserving ½ oz. for the potato foam), and diced potato; simmer until the potato is tender and the juice has reduced by half. Next add the cream and cook for 10 minutes. Finish by adding the chopped parsley and clams.

Potato Foam:

Add potatoes to a large pan of salted water, place over a medium heat and bring to a boil; simmer gently for 15–20 minutes until potatoes are soft.

Once potatoes are cooked through, drain reserving ½ oz. of the cooking liquid and allow to cool slightly. Meanwhile, pour the milk in a separate small pan over a gentle heat to warm through. When potatoes have cooled enough to handle, peel and roughly mash with a fork or masher.

Transfer roughly mashed potatoes to a blender with the melted butter and blitz together briefly. Continue to blend while slowly adding the warm milk, grapeseed oil, clam juice and reserved cooking liquid from the potatoes seasoned to taste.

Add blended mixture to the iSi whipping dispenser with 2 crème chargers, shaking well between each charge. Store in a warm place until needed.

For the Bacon Crumble:
Add bacon to a sauté pan and allow to crisp, slowly turning over while cooking to crisp both sides. Once crisp, remove from the pan and reserve the fat. Dry the bacon between paper towels and allow to cool.
Roughly dice the brioche and toss with the reserved bacon fat; toast the brioche in a 350˚F oven for 5 minutes, until golden and crisp. Remove and allow to cool.

Add the brioche and bacon to the food processer (or blender) and blend until it resembles a fine crumble. Remove and mix in chives.

To Serve:

Place half a quahog shell on a plate and spoon in the chowder, making sure there are about 8 pieces of clam and that the shell is ¾ full with the chowder. Slowly dispense the foam from the iSi whipping dispenser on top of the chowder and finish with a sprinkling of the bacon crumble.