We’re sneaking behind the kitchen door again for our fourth post in the Industry Chats series and this time we’re snagging some time with Chef Matthew McPherson of The South End Buttery to get to know him better. The South End Buttery has stood prominently on the corner where Shawmut Avenue and Union Park Streets meet, in the heart of the South End, and has since 2005 when it opened. It is a great place to stop in for a coffee and a treat or to enjoy a full meal. There is a cafe, along with a restaurant/bar downstairs and a market right next door. The Buttery has become a staple in the neighborhood, feeding guests a variety of simple and fresh homemade savory food and pastries.
Responsible for the magic that happens inside the kitchen of The Buttery is Chef Matthew McPherson. His passion for food began at a young age. It was also while he was growing up that the value of food and where it comes from was instilled in him. After attending culinary school at Johnson & Wales, during which time he completed internships in both New York City and Turkey, he began to work his way through Boston’s thriving restaurant industry gaining experience under some of the city’s most well-known chefs, such as Jody Adams. Chef McPherson has also helped open two restaurants and is currently putting his wide array of experience to great use at The South End Buttery where he highlights the food New England has to offer. He focuses on simple vegetables prepared using skillful techniques that bring out the utmost flavor.
Ricotta toast and coffee
5 Questions with Chef Matthew McPherson
What do you eat late at night/early morning after a long shift?
“The usual cravings are for either red meat or carbohydrates. A good cheeseburger from Eastern Standard or their steak tartar are both good choices. The Dogzilla at Hojoko is also a good choice after a shift.”
Pork belly sliders
Who is your biggest inspiration in life?
“Dean Karnases who is a long distance runner inspired me and motivated me at an early age. Chef-wise Ferran Adria has always had one of the most unique perspectives on food and restaurants that I have always admired, a lot of which carry beyond restaurants and into life.”
What is your one go-to dish that you can make in your sleep? Who taught you to make this dish?
“I can cook any fish in my sleep and sometimes while I was cooking at Menton I did. Colin Lynch.”
Blackened Faroe Island salmon with parmesan risotto, summer squash purée, sautéed peppers and baby kale.
What is your favorite dish in Boston?…Not from your own restaurant.
“Nothing fancy, sometimes you just need to stick to the classics and do them well. Currently it is the Rachel sandwich from Mamaleh’s.”
Are there any foods you hate?
“No food I hate, but black sesame seeds always smell musty to me, they go rancid and most people don’t notice which gives them a very basement taste, almost like a corked wine. So I usually avoid them. There are also some foods I try to avoid eating for ethical reasons such as tuna. But it’s pretty delicious so I will eat it occasionally.”
The Buttery is a South End staple and is one of the stops on our Sweet & Savory South End Tour. We taste the Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcake (photo below). Be sure to pay The Buttery a visit soon to taste Chef Matthew McPherson’s food!
314 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118
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