The Petits Chefs were thrilled to head to Lisa Marie restaurant to cook with Matt Basile this week. Matt, chef/ owner of Lisa Marie and the popular food truck, Priscilla, is legendary in cooking club circles (originally known as “deep fried pizza guy” because the first time we visited, he made deep fried mini meatball pizzas with the boys!). Since that first visit, we’re also made Buffalo chicken patty melts, bacon and egg nachos, fish tacos, the ultimate sandwiches and mac n cheese burgers. The boys LOVE the restaurant because of the food (obviously!) and they LOVE Matt. He’s so good with them (could it be because he’s just a big kid at heart?) and we’re so grateful for his generosity.
This time around, Matt pulled out the deep fryer for the ultimate kid-pleaser – fried chicken (and cauliflower for the vegetarians!). But this week’s lesson wasn’t all pretty, delicious plates of food. That’s right – we had a bit of an (animal) anatomy lesson too..
I can’t think of a better person to chat with the boys about breaking down a chicken – Matt’s so matter of fact that noone had time to be squeamish (well, maybe just a little) and he talked them through the process from whole chicken to pretty supermarket chicken parts within no time. Such a great (life) lesson. I had wondered whether this process might have made some boys less excited to eat their chicken at the end of the session but apparently not 😉
We went on to mix in some “secret sauces” into the buttermilk marinade…
Then we learned how to dredge our chicken in a flour and secret spice mixture…
Meanwhile, Matt prepared a tempura batter for some cauliflower for a vegetarian boy…
The best fried chicken ever.
I could eat this everyday.
Just a few of the soundbites of my ride back to school.
As I was dismissing the boys, I saw more bites of chicken being snuck. Boys getting into cars and immediately digging in. They couldn’t wait. I’ll admit I’m not a huge fried chicken eater but this stuff? It’s SO very good.
Matt is one busy guy and I never take for granted that he will be able to fit a visit from the Petits Chefs into his packed schedule. But he’s not just cooking in the restaurant – he’s everywhere and he’s giving back to the community too. Recently, worked with a team of chefs to develop a menu for a pop-up restaurant benefiting Casey House – June’s HIV+ Eatery, a restaurant staffed by HIV-positive cooks (read about it here). A couple of weeks ago, Matt was the chef for a dinner Neil and I hosted in conjunction with Homes First, raising money for the homeless in Toronto (read about it here). Matt’s one of those very good guys who uses his “celebrity” (he IS a celebrity but he’s also so humble I know he cringes when I use the word) for the greater good. Thank you, Matt.
Lisa Marie (website)
638 Queen St West
Toronto, ON M6J1E3
Please note: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This post also contains affiliate links from The Book Depository. This means that if you click over and purchase something, I will receive a very small percentage of the purchase price (at no extra cost to you) which goes towards maintaining eat. live. travel. write. Thank you in advance!