Chef Matt Lintz focuses on relationships with customers and farmers.
Video Tour: Local Roots
Taste the Love at Local Roots
Who knew biology would lead to Matt Lintz becoming an executive chef? At 16, Lintz picked up money as a server, eventually working for a catering company while he attained his biology degree at Virginia Tech.
“One night I was in the lab for six hours and I realized that I didn’t want to do that for the rest of my life,” he says.
He credits his science background as a motivator, wanting to learn new facts and try new kitchen techniques.
“My girlfriend Devon and I came to Local Roots (their original location) for a birthday dinner. As soon as we got there, I knew I wanted to learn from their chefs. Their garden was what really drew me in; I’ve learned a lot about gardening, caring for the products and understanding where our food comes from.”
While he started as the fish cook four years ago, he’s now been head chef for over a year. For Lintz, it’s all about the relationships – not just between the restaurant and its patrons, but also with the farmers who provide their products.
“Part of my job is to educate people,” he says. “We want people to know their food has been treated with as much care and respect as possible, from the farmers who raise the animals to our servers who can provide details on the dish. You can taste the love that goes into your meal.”
In his spare time, Lintz and Devon get outside as often as possible with hikes. As Community Supported Agriculture members, they spend many of their Saturday mornings at the downtown Roanoke Farmers Market.
Fettuccine with Bacon, Sweet Potato & Kale
- ¼ cup yellow onion, small diced
- ½ cup Benton’s bacon, small diced
- ½ cup shiitake mushrooms, julienned
- ½ cup Tuscan kale, julienned
- 2 tablespoons roasted garlic
- ½ cup sweet potato purée
- ½ cup Foggy Ridge cider or white wine
- ¼ cup cornbread crumble
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup chives, parsley, thyme minced
- Fine sea salt to taste
- Add 2 tablespoons butter to a large sauté pan; cook bacon over medium heat.
- Once halfway rendered add onions and a small pinch of sea salt.
- Cook onions over medium heat for 2-3 minutes; add mushrooms.
- Continue cooking until the mushrooms release their liquid and add kale; when wilted, add the cider and reduce.
- In a large stock pot of heavily salted water cook pasta for 2-3 minutes or until al dente.
- Add pasta to the saucepan along with the sweet potato purée and a few tablespoons of pasta-pot water.
- Swirl pan to incorporate the ingredients together and warm the purée.
- Plate in a large bowl topped with cornbread crumble, olive oil and fresh herbs.