Kitchen Inquisition: Matthew Goldberg

The newest chef at Cafeina Wynwood talks tapas, music and the many fine things a full-bodied Cabernet can add to a meal

Chef Matthew Goldberg

New job, fresh ideas--- that’s what Chef Matthew Goldberg has at Cafeina Wynwood. The former owner and executive chef of The Eatery in Fort Lauderdale is bringing Tapas back to the art centric café. Trained by award-winning chefs like Mark Gruverman and Oliver Saucy, he’s as well seasoned in the art of cuisine as a fine, gourmet meal. It’s always a gamble when it comes to change. But with Chef Matthew at the helm, we’re not worried. 

I'm sure all the dishes on each of your menus are like your children, but if you had to choose only one dish from the menu, which ones are you most proud of?
Garlic and Ginger Infused Ahi Tuna Cakes with Sesame Wasabi Aioli and Alfalfa Sprouts

Most popular item on the menu? 
By far it’s the Kobe Beef Sliders with Sweet Balsamic Shitake Mushrooms and Roasted Red Pepper Mayo. They are a crowd pleaser. 
How would you describe Miami's dining scene?  Tropical and cutting-edge. There are so many great chefs and restaurants here. I truly believe that Miami is about to rise to the top of the culinary scene. Mark my words!
The secret to cooking perfect pasta? 
I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you--- kidding! The trick is to put salt and olive oil in the water and NEVER drain it under cold water because that is a sure fire way to wash away the entire flavor.

At what point did you realize you were destined to be a chef? 
I was actually a professional musician for most of my life. Food and music are both art though. I always knew that I would pursue food once my music career was on the back burner.
The 5 ingredients every kitchen should have?
Kosher salt, great wine, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and shallots

The 5 utensils every kitchen should have?
Chinoise, gas burners, convection ovens, a great knife set, measuring cups

First dish you learned to make?
 Homemade French Fries. I was barely a teenager.

Favorite dish to make at home?  
I’m in the kitchen at work so I like to keep it simple at home. A great Prime NY strip with a good, full-bodied Cabernet.
What's your favorite food to eat? In other words, what could you live off of for the rest of your life if you had to?
Sushi. Hands Down.
Tell us a little more about your restaurant.
I loved Cafeina from the first time I walked in. It is such a unique space to host a party or to just have a great cocktail and tapas. Where else in Miami can you find a lush indoor lounge with mezzanine, an art gallery, and a beautiful outdoor garden. It’s like three places in one.
If there’s one tip or piece of advice you could give to all aspiring chefs out there, what would it be?
To be a great chef you first have to be a great cook. Take your time and build your palette.
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