After years as the pivot around which Turntable at Lord Stanley spins, chef Nathan Matkowsky is taking over as, well, chief disc jockey in May. It is Matkowsky’s job, as Chef de Cuisine at Turntable, to decipher the needs of the incoming chef-in-residence each month, managing everything the rotating roster of chefs need.
From guiding them to his preferred ingredient vendors at the farmers’ market to rejiggering recipes for the San Francisco audience, Matkowsky makes it happen. The consistent, high quality of cuisine and exceptional service at the restaurant are, in large part, Matkowsky’s behind the scenes work. For one month, Matkowsky is in charge of the entire album: the Turntable kitchen is his. No tour guide needed.
Matkowsky came up as a chef in San Francisco restaurants, auspiciously launching his career at Michelin three-star restaurant Coi as Chef de Partie. He joined Lord Stanley as Chef de Cuisine in 2016, helping the team earn its first Michelin star in 2016. The transition to Turntable at Lord Stanley in 2021 helped Matkowsky transiton from modern European all the time to whatever cuisine walked in the door with each chef-in-residence.
Ever the pivot, Matkowsky’s traditional French culinary training enabled him to absorb the cultural influences that flowed across his prep station, envisioning each dish with the local ingredients Californians know and love. His personal style developed, too, infusing Asian influences and flavors into the California by way of France dishes he loved to prepare.
The result is a nine-course tasting menu that integrates American and Asian flavors and a showcase for Matkowsky’s techniques. In Matkowsky-speak, that translates to morel mushrooms stuffed with English peas and sweetbreads or grilled beef with house made kimchi and tare, a Japanese dipping sauce. On the to-go menu, look for Matkowsky’s take on Korean Fried Chicken.
Chef claims he doesn’t have a story behind his dishes as much as a love for cooking good food. The proof, as they say, is in the chicken sandwich.
Turntable at Lord Stanley | 2065 Polk Street, San Francisco