Les Petits Chefs visit Mata Bar

at Mata Bar Toronto on eatlivetravelwrite.comThe Petits Chefs ventured out on our final field trip for the term this week – checking out Mata Bar. I’ve been to Mata Bar a few times as it is in my neighbourhood and have impressed with the food, service and atmosphere each time.  I reached out to Chef Felipe Faccioli to see if the boys and I might come along to learn a little bit about South American food and he was really excited to welcome our little group to the restaurant.

Felipe Faccioli of Mata Bar talks to the Petits Chefs on eatlivetravelwrite.comMata has been serving Brazilian tapas (petisco) along with other South American dishes since June 12th 2014 – the day of the opening match of the 2014 World Cup.  Before we got cooking, Faccioli gave the boys a short history of how he came to be a chef – not your typical culinary career path by any means – which I found fascinating and inspiring.

Wall signs at Mata Bar Toronto on eatlivetravelwrite.comComing to Canada with the idea of completing a Masters in Engineering (yes, he has a degree in biology!), Faccioli discovered how expensive it would be and realised that it was out of the question (at least when he first got here). With a chef for a mother, he had experience in the restaurant industry so he turned there to make a living, eventually training at George Brown College and working in various establishments around the city.  With a few friends  in the industry (Patrick Fraser, Tulio Lessa, Steve Fernandes and Sharath Dwarkanathan), they had the idea to open a restaurant and Mata Bar was born. The group spent nearly a year looking for the right space, then months preparing the space for opening in time for the World Cup opening match last year.

Faccioli talked the boys through some typical South American ingredients (namely beef and cassava) – timely because many of the boys in the club are in my Grade 6 class and we’ve been researching Haitian food where cassava plays a big part and then we got cooking.

Kids making sliders at Mata Bar Toronto on eatlivetravelwrite.comThe boys got to make Brazilian Mac Sliders (made with Top Sirloin, Catupiry Cheese and topped with a Secret Sauce) and I learned the neat trick of portioning the meat out with dry cup measures so there are equal amounts of meat in each.

Making sliders at Mata Bar Toronto on eatlivetravelwrite.com Slider patties cooking at Mata Bar Toronto on eatlivetravelwrite.comWhile the sliders were cooking, we snacked on the cheese bread that is a staple on their menu.

Cheese bread at Mata Bar Toronto on eatlivetravelwrite.com Cheese bread ready to eat at Mata Bar Toronto on eatlivetravelwrite.comKids will be kids – even though Chef told them they were very hot, everyone wanted to make sure they got their two 😉

Kids eating cheese bread at Mata Bar Toronto on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd then we got to assembling our sliders…

Kids assembling sliders at Mata Bar Toronto on eatlivetravelwrite.com Kids cooking at Mata Bar Toronto on eatlivetravelwrite.comWith a touch of the Catupiry cheese, some caramelised onions, lettuce and secret sauce, these were nothing short of amazing…

Sliders at Mata Bar Toronto on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd devoured in a few minutes flat!

Served with a side of cassava fries…

Cassava fries at Mata Bar in Toronto on eatlivetravelwrite.comAfter our snack, the boys got to see Mata’s food truck – Made in Brasilthe winner of Food Network™’s Food Truck Face-Off, which offers Brazilian street food. It’s amazing that so much food can come out of such a small kitchen!

Made in Brasil food truck at Mata Bar Toronto on eatlivetravelwrite.comThe boys loved the tradition of every diner receiving a bright ribbon to tie around their wrist as they leave, which is, as Chef Felipe told us, a Brazilian good-luck tradition. Printed with the Portuguese words for “longing, love, delicious, happiness, contentment, peace, health and friendship”, the ribbons are tied on your wrist with three knots. You make a wish with each knot and when the ribbon falls of your wrist, your wishes come true.

Wrist bands at Mata Bar Toronto on eatlivetravelwrite.comThank you so much Felipe for taking time out of your day off to show the boys the restaurant and the food truck, for filling their heads with inspiring stories and their bellies with tasty food. We had a wonderful afternoon.

Mata Bar
1690 Queen St W,
Toronto, ON M6R 1B3
Tel:(647) 691-0234

Mata Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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