Les Petits Chefs make fried chicken at Lisa Marie

Matt Basile talking the boys cooking club at Lisa Maris on eatlivetravelwrite.comThe 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.

Matt Basile greeting the Petits Chefs at Lisa Maris on eatlivetravelwrite.comThis 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..

Breaking down chicken at Lisa Maris on eatlivetravelwrite.comI 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…

Adding hot sauce to our buttermilk chicken on eatlivetravelwrite.com Kids adding fish sauce to chicken marinade at Lisa Maris on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd then got to mix them into the chicken with their hands (!)

Mixing chicken marinade at Lisa Maris on eatlivetravelwrite.comApparently it felt “squishy” 😉

Then we learned how to dredge our chicken in a flour and secret spice mixture…

Dredging fried chicken at Lisa Maris on eatlivetravelwrite.com Dredging fried chicken with flour and spice mix at Lisa Maris on eatlivetravelwrite.com(^^^ doing the shake test to see if all parts of the chicken are covered)

Meanwhile, Matt prepared a tempura batter for some cauliflower for a vegetarian boy…

Making a batter for fried cauliflower at Lisa Maris on eatlivetravelwrite.com(^^^ hands moving at the speed of light!)

Dipping cauliflower in tempura batter at Lisa Maris on eatlivetravelwrite.comI wish I had a shot of the finished cauliflower because it was BEAUTIFUL! Our guy did a great job of coating this perfectly!

Meanwhile, as we were running short on time, we packed our chicken “to go”… Except when my back was turned for 2 seconds, some of us couldn’t resist…

So. Good.

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
(647) 748-6822

Lisa Marie on Zomato

Street Food Diaries by Matt Basile



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2 thoughts on “Les Petits Chefs make fried chicken at Lisa Marie”

  1. Wow – I wish I could have been a “teacher’s helper” on this visit. Though my chicken bits would not have even made it to the container… 😉

  2. half their luck. These posts for the LPCs make you wish you could start school over.. too late, I know, but kind of beats the boiled savaloys (I’m not sure that’s spelt right but down under readers will know what I’m talking about) at boarding school when I dwelt there. well done, boys.


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