To wrap up Women's History Month, we wanted to highlight some of the incredible women behind Matchaful. Get to know the in-house chefs and culinary masterminds behind some of your Matchaful Café favorites.
Elise Mascia, our Culinary Manager
Read our conversation below...
Have you always been interested in the culinary arts? If not, how did you get started on this path?
J: Yes, for as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with food. I have a lot of culinary influences in my family as well. (My grandfather being a private chef and my dad being a restaurateur)
E: I’ve always loved food, and some of my favorite childhood memories were cooking with my family. The ceremony of eating with people I love is something I cherish. I stopped eating meat in high school, and my mom told me I had to cook my own dinner, and that’s when my path on plant based and holistic food started. During lockdown I became obsessed with cooking, probably like most people, but after work and industry picked back up again my curiosity was still strong and growing.
What’s your favorite thing to make in general? What about from your work at Matchaful?
J: My favorite thing to make at home, if baked, is bread lol. I also make these pot de cremes (custard cups). It’s a chocolate custard topped with a Prosecco strawberry compote and whipped cream. At work, I really enjoy making the Cardamom Muffin the most, the smell of the cardamom and almond extract never gets old.
E: I love to make really meticulous things, like hand made pasta. There’s something so romantic to me about spending a day slowly nursing a dish and the spectacle of finally tasting the outcome. My favorite thing to make at Matchaful is the Immortal Miso Soup. We make everything from scratch in house and every ingredient is so nourishing.
Does your favorite thing to make match your favorite thing to eat/drink?
J: Yes, I do love bread. If I could marry bread, I would. And the Cardamom Muffin is definitely my favorite thing I’ve made flavor-wise at work as well.
E: I think my favorite things to eat are salad and chocolate chip cookies, haha. And french fries!
How do you find inspiration for new recipes?
J: I’m a Pinterest / cookbook girl for sure. I also have my trusty flavor bible to help me think of flavor combos whenever I’m in a rut.
E: I love to read cookbooks and learn about different cuisines to see flavor pairings and take inspiration to create new dishes. I also love going to the farmers market and playing around with new produce I’m not familiar with.
What has been your biggest triumph in your career so far?
J: I honestly have to say the Matcha Brownies lol. I really did not expect them to take off the way they did.
E: Working a 9-5! lol. Can I say that? I never thought I'd enjoy the structure and consistency of a full time job, but it’s been great. My mom is very pumped.
What do you find to be the most challenging part of your work?
J: Having to change the culinary direction of a new baked good I am working on. Sometimes, you’ll have this idea of how you want something to look, and sometimes it doesn’t always work out, especially with vegan and gluten-free baking. But luckily, I’m quick on my feet and just keep trying to improve
E: Going with the flow, for sure. In this business there’s a lot of things that can pop up, you have to be quick on your feet; curious over controlling. I’m learning it’s so important to stay fluid and present and just try it out and see how things go. It’s opening me up to see my comfort levels and how to stretch them and keep growing.
Were you a matcha fan before joining Matchaful?
J: I absolutely loved Matcha before working here. In fact, a cafe I loved going to a lot used Matchaful’s matcha and I didn’t know.
E: Completely, when I was back at home for a bit, my mom and I had a morning ritual of making matcha and drinking it together before she would go to work. I also was obsessed with Matchaful. Sometimes I would order from one location and finish it while I walked to the next location to get something else.
What’s your go-to Matchaful order?
J: Earth Glow with extra maple, cacao butter and cinnamon
E: In the summer I love the Emerald Sunrise. It was my first love and obsession at Matchaful. For morning lattes I love the Mont Blanc with the mushroom elixir, or the Shroomy White Chocolate with tocos. When I’m looking for something less caffeinated, I’ve been doing the Vanilla Zen with Houjicha, *and Shroomy + tocos ;)*
What does your daily ritual consist of? How do you incorporate health into your daily life?
E: I always take a couple moments in the morning to set my intentions for the day. My new ritual has been drinking hot water with lemon every morning. I love yoga and baths heal everything. I’ve been wellness obsessed since I was very young. When I was a kid I was taking out homemade remedies books from the library and putting google to work researching natural beauty recipes, but now for me, having a healthy mind is so important. It’s not just about what I put in or on my body, but how I’m going through the day, how I feel, how I react, looking at what comes up and being gentle with myself. Health is alchemy, it's all a balance.
Has being a woman shaped your relationship to the culinary arts?
E: I think being a woman has shaped my relationship with food for sure—not always for the best, but through all my life’s experiences I've learned so much about nutrition and how healing food can be; physically, emotionally and spiritually. The journey has led me to appreciate food differently, and respect and find reverence for where it comes from, and how my consumption habits affect the Earth. Very full circle. I can find myself and the spirit of the female in that cycle and I feel very connected.
Thank you to Jordan and Elise for sharing a glimpse into your lives! We’re deeply grateful for your time and all the amazing work you're both doing at Matchaful.
If you'd like to show support for our small team, we are currently fundraising on Kickstarter for a new café project in the West Village. Check it out here.