My friend Matt Kantor (who’s married to my longtime friend Marichka Melnyk, who has more dirt on me than most) cooks in the open when he and Alexa Clark are hosting a Secret Pickle Supper Club event. Don’t let the “supper club” thing throw you off: Secret Pickle offers a lot of bang for the buck — you’ll get great food and a lot of wine for considerably less than what you’d have to spend at a restaurant offering dishes of the same calibre. Don’t let the Secret Pickle’s relative inexpensiveness fool you either: I’ve been to a couple of them, and Matt’s cooking is delicious.
There are also times when he’s the Ghost Chef, cooking in secret. If you’re looking to impress your guests with your cooking skills but don’t have any, Matt will cook for you and make it seem as if it was all your doing. He’s secretly cooked for people with star power and big bank accounts and let them take the credit, often disappearing before the guests arrive or posing as a waiter. He’ll pull out all the stops: he’ll make the kitchen look as if you’ve been working in it all day, and he even once hid under a bed to ensure that no one found out that he was the chef and not his client.
There’s more about Matt and what he does in the Macleans’ article How to Pretend You’re an Amazing Cook. Check it out, and if you’ve got the need and the cash (starting at $80 a guest), go hire Matt!