Chef Matt Shares His Favorite Asparagus Cooking Techniques

May 5, 2022

Chef Matt from The Village at Penn State looks at the month of May as the first true month of summer. With it comes very the beginning of the summer harvest season. Specifically, asparagus will come into abundance.

There are several ways to cook this unique early summer vegetable. Asparagus lends itself quite well to quick and simple cooking techniques. In this post, Chef Matt covers a few of his favorites that served him well over the years, and he highlights the versatility of asparagus. Below is simply a list of creative ideas, not recipes. He encourages readers to take the ideas and experiment with them. The internet is also a valuable tool to answer any questions that might arise.

Discover The Village’s outstanding dining experience and try one of these creative ideas at your next cookout!

  • Steamed with lemon vinaigrette
  • Hard oven roasted with olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper
  • Prosciutto or serrano ham wrapped asparagus bundles
  • Add to any pasta dish, cold or hot, to replace meat protein
  • Cream of asparagus soup
  • Quiche or frittata
  • Fritters or hush puppies
  • White pizza topping
  • Tempura crispy fried
  • Risotto
  • Omelet filling

Look at the amazing versatility of one item! Take advantage of the seasonal availability and be bold in the kitchen!

Meet Chef Matt and Discover His 20+ Years of Culinary Expertise!

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.

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. Another feature residents love is the al-fresco dining right alongside the beautiful Palmer Park.

With so many amenities to enjoy and delicious cuisine served every day, residents at The Village live their retirements to the fullest. And Chef Matt looks forward to creating new recipes that continue to satisfy the people of this community.

Nobody gets you closer. Nobody gives you more. Nobody treats you better.