That’s me, poking my head up in the middle of this photo, circa 1998. This is about when I first caught the cooking bug. During my senior year of college, I was lliving with friends in our own house, with the freedom to experiment in the kitchen for the first time. The icing on the cake (sorry, untended pun) was this class – Introduction to Culinary Arts – taught at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. This is when I first figured out how much fun it can be to be in the kitchen.
Hello, and thanks for checking out The Exec’s Chef. Let me tell you a little about myself and what you can expect here.
My name is Matt Lindenberg. I’m a husband and dad of two living in the northern New Jersey suburbs outside of New York City. I balance (as best as I can, anyway) the ups and downs of a busy career, parenting young twins – a boy and a girl, since you asked – as well as spending time with my wife, family, and friends, and volunteering in my community. Oh, and while I never entered a career in the culinary arts, I do love good food.
That’s sometimes a lot to balance. One of the ways I try to maintain that balance is by stopping to share a great meal. There’s something special to me about the shared experience of breaking bread together, savoring good company and a good meal – maybe with a nice wine or other cocktail to go with it. Those great meals also form the basis of great memories later on.
This blog is intended to allow me to share those experiences with anyone who is interested in reading about them. We’ll see where that takes us; I’ll share some of the foods I cook, great restaurant experiences, interesting wines and drinks that I come across, and who knows what else? I hope you find these pages helpful as you go through the adventures of your own busy lives.
A note on dietary restrictions
I should use this space to share a quick note on dietary restrictions. I’m a big believer that everyone should feel comfortable making the food choices that are right for them. For some, those choices will come from food allergies, while for others they may be for health reasons, religious beliefs, ethics, or any number of other reasons. What’s important is that we all approach these choices with understanding and respect.
In my case, our family is Jewish and we keep kosher. Among other things, that means that we don’t eat pork or shellfish and we don’t eat meat and dairy together (along with other rules that I’m sure will come up from time to time on this blog). Obviously this will have an impact on my recipes and food choices. You’ll see in many cases that I use unexpected substitutions (for example, I cook with a lot of meatless meats like veggie sausage).
I don’t intend to push kosher food on anyone; this is our family’s choice. This blog may provide interesting ideas for both kosher and nonkosher cooks. Where I see the opportunity, I’ll try to share some thoughts with how nonkosher cooks might experiment with refinements to my recipes.
Ultimately, my bottom line is this: I hope you’ll join me in celebrating the fruits of our busy lives via great food with great friends.