Toque talk: Matthew Litzinger of L'Antibes

  • Will Shilling photo
From the 04/08/2009 edition

Diners familiar with the beautiful symphony of colors, flavors and textures served at L'Antibes won't be surprised to read that its precise chef and owner, Matthew Litzinger, not only honed cooking chops at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, but also studied music at Miami University.

Prior to buying L'Antibes, Litzinger spent time in central Europe, the Philippines and New York City, where he got to work with celebrity top chef Daniel Boulud and help fashion a life-size Rockette made out of chocolate for the Museum of Modern Art. I suppose that's what you'd call getting your kicks in.

Describe a meal you'd make to celebrate spring.

Ramps, morels and crispy soft-shell crabs.

What was the best meal you've ever had?

Filipina breakfast at Dragonfly in West Village, New York City, which consisted of longanisa sausage, two sunny-side-up eggs, garlic rice, tomato and onion relish, and coconut vinegar. Yum!

What would you cook for President Obama if he visited your restaurant?

Shrimp with grits and gruyere cheese.

What ingredient could you not live without?


What are your guilty food pleasures?

Mexican pizza, Meximelt and anything beginning with "Mexi."

Are there any foods you won't eat no matter how they're prepared?

Burnt food.

Do you have a "hangover cure" meal?

Nutrients are vital. Benevolence or Northstar Cafe will do the trick.

What's your favorite cheese?

Canadian White Cheddar from Mike "The Cheesemonger" at the North Market. It makes a great sauce.

What might we be surprised to find in your refrigerator right now?

Hershey's chocolate syrup and organic milk.

If you weren't cheffing, what might you be doing?

Being a professional trumpet player.

What food aromas evoke childhood memories - good or bad?

My mom's Crock-Pot filled with pot roast and vegetables.

Do you have a go-to quickie meal you make after a long workday?

Tacos with ground turkey, sliced avocado with salt and some rice. It'll usually last me all week in the fridge.