The Holidays are Here! What Will You Be Serving? Chef Matt at The Village Shares One of His Favorite Recipes That Residents Love
December 2, 2021
Chef Matt’s Butternut Squash Bisque Recipe
Customize your recipe! Here are some ingredients Chef Matt recommends to try adding to your soup:
• Spicy – chipotle pepper
• Fresh ginger
• Tofu cubes
• Crispy bacon bits
• Roasted pulled chicken
• Pasta, ravioli, tortellini
• Cooked lentils, red/green
• Curry spice
• Cheese – smoked gouda
• Toasted pumpkin seeds
Executive Chef of The Village at Penn State, Matt Lambert, has a long history in culinary arts. With a passion for food and cooking since childhood, Matt certainly knows his way around the kitchen. “My interest in cooking began at home. My mom, and my dad were pretty enthusiastic cooks and we had a family dinner every night. By the age of 12, I knew how to cook dinner on my own,” he recalls.
Years later, Matt began pursuing his degree in culinary school. “I got a degree in Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry Arts from Johnson and Wales in Providence, Rhode Island,” he says. From there, Matt worked in a series of independent, fine-dining restaurants and hotels throughout New England, and about 20 years ago made his way to where he lives now in Central Pennsylvania.
It was there where he began working at Penn State University’s School of Hospitality Management. With his wide variety of experience, Matt decided to open a large dining hub in the small city of Mifflinburg, PA where he worked for five years. Here, Matt ran into Duane Leitzell, director of dining services at The Village.
“Duane and I worked together nearly 20 years ago at Penn State,” he explains. “We bumped into one another and he was looking to replace a chef and I was looking to make a career move, and here I am,” Matt says proudly.
Beginning his role as Executive Chef at The Village in November of 2019, Chef Matt says that what he enjoys most about his profession is getting to know the residents and listening to their feedback. “When I first started here I didn’t realize what a major part of their social life the dining experience is,” he explains.
It’s amazing how you can make a resident’s day simply by providing a great meal with great service. That’s what makes this job so rewarding.Executive Chef of The Village at Penn State, Matt Lambert
Matt explains that the dining team’s ultimate goal at The Village is to exceed residents’ expectations. “It doesn’t matter if we’re serving filet mignon or a hamburger, we do everything we can to put forward the highest quality food and ingredients.” Matt also says that part of what makes The Village’s dining program so successful is their dedicated team who give residents an outstanding dining experience each day.
We feel so lucky to have a chef whose menus and food are outstanding. The Chef and Director of Dining Services make eating at The Village a very special experience. The waiters and waitresses brighten our days with their efficiency of service, kind words and big smiles.Marge and Max S., residents of The Village at Penn State
Each day, residents look forward to fresh, local ingredients and five-star menus with a variety of options for soups, salads, entrees, and dessert. “Each night’s menu is different,” Chef Matt affirms. He also adds that The Village’s Bistro is a resident favorite for a more casual dining experience. “We make a lot of lighter fare here with fun appetizers. We also have a wood stone pizza oven so we make lots of wood-oven roasted sandwiches and personal pizzas,” he describes. As The Village’s culinary team prepares for the holidays, residents can’t wait to find out what delicious meals they’l be eating this season.