Follow the faint aroma of grilling and garlic at the Market to a single stall in the front row, tucked in between plants and flowers. There you'll find Chef Matt Welemirov manning the grill, cooking samples of fresh veggies seasoned with MATT'S MIX. The samples are for you, and they could be squash, cherry tomatoes, onions, eggplant, sweet corn or zucchini. When the Michigan produce is ripe, all the veggies are from fellow vendors at the Market. "Fresh is best," says Matt.
A little kitchen chemistry and a need for a unique seasoning to use in his own recipes spurred Matt to create his mix. Experimenting and mixing up a little kosher salt, garlic, and herbs, then tweaking the amounts until it was just right resulted in the formula for MATT"S MIX. "I wanted something that would add a unique flavor to veggies, meats, fish, pasta,...everything..." he says.
At first, Matt used the seasoning in his own recipes and shared it with family members, but then friends began to ask for it. The requests grew. "Our first order for 300 glass bottles was really frightening," says Matt. "Now, three years later, I just placed an order for 10,000!"
Trained as a chef, and with over ten years of restaurant experience, Matt now is enjoying cooking up samples, chatting with customers and marketing his product. It's available not only at farmers markets, but at grocery stores, specialty shops, and on-line as well. Locally, Joe's Produce, Hillers and the Northville Farmers Market carry it. www.mattsmix.com
Much to his surprise, Matt has shipped MATT'S MIX all over the world. "Customers taste it and want to share it with their family members. We've shipped to Spain, Sweden, Thailand, and a few other countries. Last year, a customer bought it for Christmas presents," he says with a grin.
Matt will be mixing up one of his recipes on Thursday, June 14, as a guest chef at the CHEFS AT THE MARKET series. Enjoy chatting with Matt, watching a cooking demonstration, sampling, and taking home the recipe. The program starts at 9:00 AM in the Food Court area of the Market, and is free.
MATT'S MIX is proof that a little mixing it up in the kitchen can result in good things!
See you at the Market!