Five years ago, Matt got his famous “bacon” tattoo, which was the beginning of what he eventually intended to be a half sleeve: an homage to bacon, eggs, and cheese. One of his first jobs was as the boulanger at the legendary Lutece. As the first one there in the morning, and as chef Andre Soltner’s class pet as he moonlighted as a student at the French Culinary Institute, Matt’s job was to make chef Soltner’s breakfast. According to his wife, he was to have a bowl of steel cut oatmeal, as he had high cholesterol.
You tell one of the greatest French chefs of the 20th century he has to have oatmeal for breakfast. Pffffffttt.
Chef Soltner requested the same thing every day: eggs, gruyere, baguette. Matt would begin by heating a pan over high heat and thowing in lardons, or cubed bacon, and allowing the fat to render out. While that was going on, he’d slice a baguette in half, slather it with European butter and a pinch of fleur de sel, then place it in the oven to warm. He’d then reduce the heat of the pan to low, scramble together three eggs with a quarter cup of cream, and begin to cook them slowly, whisking to ensure small curds. When the eggs were just barely set, he’d add shredded gruyere, place it on the toasted bread, and that’s it. Breakfast of champions.
Matt’s love of his first chef has never left him. Andre Soltner was a rock star chef before there was such a thing as rock star chefs, yet he was never arrogant, or rude, or unkind to his staff. He was a model of the type of chef Matt hoped to be one day, so in his honor, he began this tattoo. You’ve all more than likely seen the famous centerpiece — the bacon wrapped heart pierced with a fork. Last week, he got phase two: the eggs. Soon- cheese and baguette. But now — PICTURES!
On the bottom, a very excited chicken. He’s still unsure what will go in the space over the heart. There’s a chance he will just have some more stars surrounding the words “Oui, chef”
On the outer forearm, to match the flying chicken, we have a flying pig. Flying cow coming soon!
And finally, a closeup of the flowers. If you look at the middles, you’ll notice that they’re actually egg yolks. They look really delicious in person. I’ve tried licking them in the middle of the night, but currently they’re covered in antibiotic ointment and taste awful.
Know what doesn’t taste awful? These puppies! THE NORTH FORK is back after being away for almost a whole year — you know you want it.
The North Fork: Chocolate cabernet cake, blackberry cabernet buttercream and compote
Strawberry Lemonade: Lemon cake, strawberry buttercream, candied lemon peel
Siobhan: Chocolate cake, bourbon butterscotch buttercream, miniature chocolate chips
Blueberry Blintz: Brown sugar cake, sour cream bavarian, bavarian buttercream, blueberries, toasted almonds