fine food - Executive Chef Caitlin Mateo

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Executive chef at one of Philadelphia’s most popular restaurants, Square 1682, Caitlin Mateo is one of the city’s contemporary rising culinary stars.



Caitlin Mateo puts her creative stamp on Modern American cuisine as executive chef at Square 1682, an American restaurant adjacent to Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square area.In the lively exhibition kitchen, Mateo brings the best of local and sustainably sourced ingredients together in a skilful manner that “lets the flavours speak for themselves”. She has fostered a growing following for her unique dishes, and her dedication to cooking healthy, delicious food is at the heart of Square 1682’s cuisine and in keeping with her very own

Skuna Bay Salmon with Red Quinoa, Charred Fennel, and Citrus Mojo

For the Red Quinoa (Serves 4)

  • 2 cups red quinoa, washed and picked through
  • 12 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 1ft muslin
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 3½ cups water
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 small sticks of celery, rinsed and diced small
  • 1 medium leek, thoroughly cleaned and very finely diced
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter


In a saucepan over medium heat, begin heating the water with the salt. In the muslin make a bouquet garni with the thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns; when prepared add to the water. When the water is boiling, add the rinsed quinoa and stir. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 10–15 minutes. When the quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid, discard the bouquet garni and lay the quinoa on a baking sheet to cool. Heat a large shallow pan over medium heat; add cooking oil. Add carrot, celery, and leek to the pan and sweat the vegetables until tender; avoid burning the vegetables. Add the quinoa to the pan and sauté. Add the vegetable stock and the butter, and cook until no liquid remains in the pan.

For the Charred Fennel

  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 4 pints water
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil


Heat water and salt over high heat in a saucepan. Clean the bulb of fennel, and slice lengthways into ½-inch segments. When the water comes to the boil, add the fennel and simmer for 3–4 minutes, until tender. Quickly remove the fennel and refresh in a bowl of ice water. When cool, remove from the ice water and place on a baking sheet lined with a towel, to dry the fennel. To prepare the fennel, heat a heavy frying pan over high heat, brush with a small amount of the rapeseed oil and place the fennel flat side down; season with salt. Let the fennel char and turn to char the other side.

For the Citrus Mojo

  • 1 orange, segmented, juice reserved
  • 1 lime, segmented, juice reserved
  • 1 lemon, segmented, juice reserved
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large shallot, very finely diced
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 6 sprigs of parsley, cut into strips
  • ½ cup 75% olive oil blend

Salt, to taste.
Mix all of the prepared ingredients in a mixing bowl and season to your liking

To Plate

Preheat oven to 350°C.

When preparing salmon, I like using sustainable, craft-raised Skuna Bay salmon. Use the salmon with the skin on. In a large heavy pan using high heat, add a small amount of oil to the pan. Place the salmon fillets skin side down until they easily release from the pan and the skin is crispy. Turn the fillets over, and put the pan into the oven for 5–7 minutes until the salmon reaches your desired temperature. I recommend medium.

On your plate, place two pieces of fennel down, off-centre. In the centre of the plate, and slightly overlapping the fennel, place the quinoa. Place the salmon over the top of the accompaniments and top with the citrus mojo. Use any desired garnish.

For the Osso bucco

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1.5kg veal osso bucco
  • 2 brown onions, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 400g tomatoes rinsed and diced small
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ cup dry white wine

Lemon and herb Topping

  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon rind, shredded
  • 60g of fresh or dried breadcrumbs


Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole pot over high heat. Dust the osso bucco pieces in flour. Add them to the casserole pot, cook for 2 mins each side or until brown. Remove from pot and transfer to a plate. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2-3 mins or until the onion softens. Add tomatoes, stock, wine and tomato paste and stir to combine.Return the osso bucco to the pot, bring to the boil, then return to a simmer. Cover with lid, simmer for 30 mins. After 30 mins remove the lid and cook for a further hour or until osso bucco is falling off the bone. Season to taste. Meanwhile, for the topping, combine parsley, garlic, breadcrumbs and lemon in a small bowl. To serve, sprinkle Osso Bucco with lemon and herb topping.

Tip: for a thicker sauce, remove the osso bucco after the cooking time and bring the sauce to the boil until it reduces to your desired thickness.


Philadelphia, USA
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