Chef Matt Bencivenga
Meet our Featured Chef: Matt Bencivenga Chef Partner, Wolfgang Puck Catering and Events “Catering is a lot like a military operation; it has little room for error,” says Wolfgang Puck Catering and Events President Carl Schuster. “A lot of chefs don’t understand that. But Matt Bencivenga is that rarity: he never misses a beat.” Matt Bencivenga is a ten-year veteran of hospitality, having worked his way up from a humble cook at an east coast bar and grill, following graduation from a two-year culinary academy. A decade later, Bencivenga is a Partner and Chef of Wolfgang Puck Catering and Events, overseeing culinary operations at the company’s new Hollywood & Highland headquarters. Matt’s thorough attention to detail, dedication and grace under pressure, assist him in successfully executing high-profile events in the 2000-seat ballroom, while also supervising the new brasserie Vert, the Highlands Nightclub restaurant, concessions and catering at the Kodak Theatre, and catering of off-premise sports, entertainment and social events. Bencivenga studied at Rhode Island’s Johnson & Wales, a culinary arts school, from 1989 to 1991. Upon graduation, he worked as a cook in the Cambridge Hyatt in Boston. He then moved to New York and worked in the kitchen at J. Parker’s Bar & Grill. Rising to Sous Chef, Matt worked at the acclaimed River Café for two years. He then relocated to Los Angeles and spent two years as Sous Chef at Patina. Bencivenga made his mark in the culinary world after joining the Wolfgang Puck team in 1998. He worked first at Spago Hollywood, then opened Spago Beverly Hills as Executive Sous Chef under Lee Hefter. Matt eventually assumed responsibility for the developing catering division. In 1998, Bencivenga was an integral part of launching Wolfgang Puck Catering and Events, along with chef Wolfgang Puck, designer Barbara Lazaroff, President Carl Schuster and Executive Chef Lee Hefter. Matt and his wife Jemison, a chef at Vert, live in Los Angeles.
Recipes by Chef Matt Bencivenga
- 2 tsp. chopped Shallots
- 1/2 tsp. chopped garlic
- 1/4 cup White wine
- 1/4 lbs. Butter
- 2 lbs. Mussels
- 1 Sprig Tarragon
- 1 Sprig Thyme
- 1 Sprig Rosemary
- Salt & Pepper to taste
In a pan, melt the butter with the shallots, herbs and mussels.
Add the white wine and seasonings.
Cover and cook on high heat until the mussels are open.
Season to taste and finish with chopped parsley
Serve in hot iron skillet or pasta bowl with grilled bread and bearnaise.
Yield: 2 servings
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