Name: Matthew Jennings, @matthewjennings
Bio: Husband. Father. Chef. Cheesemonger.
Location: Providence, Rhode Island, USA
As executive chef at La Laiterie and master cheesemonger at Farmstead, Matthew Jennings has plenty of opportunities to snap photos inside the kitchen. While there are plenty of food photos on Instagram, what drew us to Matthew’s photos is the way he uses Instagram to give other chefs insight into his cooking process. Matthew says it’s not uncommon for another chef to see a photo of a dish he’s preparing and ask what ingredients he’s using and where he got them, or for a debate to spring up around the best ways to serve a fish dish. For Matthew and other chefs, Instagram has opened up another channel of communication for those interested in sharing and learning more about food.
Blackbird Farm Beef Heart Tartare, Cedar, Valencia Orange, Zephyr Farm Egg Yolk
We bring in whole animals a lot at my shop and restaurant. We had just recently gotten in a cow from one of our favorite Rhode Island cattle farmers. As is typical, we were utilizing the whole animal and decided to present this beef heart tartare, in the marrow bones we had roasted earlier. I think it’s a unique presentation and it sure created a lot of conversation amongst my chef friends. Sometimes the most exquisite presentations belong to the simplest executions.
Grassfed, Rhode Island Raised Red Devon NY Strip Steak
Amongst us chefs, sometimes the fun of posting pictures on Instagram is for straight bragging rights — I won’t lie. One of my recent pictures was of some stunning strips I had just cut off one of our cows. I love this photo because it inspired conversation on so many levels, from enthusiasts and food lovers who wanted to know how I was going to cook it, to conversations with other chefs about the quality of grassfed meat. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m all about infecting other people with passion, sharing ideas, inspirations and pushing each other to be better. Instagram is truly another way for like-minded chefs to push each other.
Wild Mushroom Gnocchi
I do a lot of foraging. Over this past summer, I had dried a bunch of mushrooms that I had found on one of my excursions. Using them up throughout the fall is always so much fun, and I think one of the best applications is making these gnocchi. I love the intimacy of the shot. I can almost remember exactly what they smelled like as I rolled them and what the flour felt like in my hands. I look forward to making them again this summer & fall.
Has Instagram helped you connect with people in a new way? Reblog this and let us know in the comments — we’re always looking for new people to feature on our blog!