He cooked and gardened with his Italian grandmother Esther while growing up in New York. At 15 years old, he fostered his career in the culinary industry at a local Greek eatery, later graduating with honors from the Culinary Institute of America.
And now, Sarasota chef Paul Mattison will represent Florida and the rest of the Southeast at the American Harvest Workshop's celebration of food and wine. Mattison, who established the award-winning Mattison's brand in 2001, is one of five U.S. chefs set to attend the hands-on program hosted at California's Cakebread Cellars Sept. 12 to 16.
With Jack and Delores Cakebread's esteemed family winery as the backdrop, the 29th annual workshop will feature in-depth tastings, an opportunity to work the grape harvest, seminars, a farmers' market, farm visits and two dinners prepared by the chefs. The meals, hosted at 6 p.m. Sept. 14 and 15, will be paired with a selection of wines and are open to the public. Tickets don't come cheap at $175 per person, though.
The program's other guest chefs are from Chicago's Peninsula Hotel; Michael's on Naples Ristorante in Long Beach, California; the Boston-based Legal Sea Foods; and Evergreen, Colorado's Willow Creek Restaurant.
Following his Napa Valley visit, Mattison plans to hold a book singing and tasting from noon to 1 p.m. Sept. 19 at Bookstore1Sarasota.