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  • Writer's pictureTheWaybackAustin

Behind the Apron: Ron Matty Reveals the Secrets Behind The Wayback Fall Farm-to-Table Menu

Chef Ron for The Wayback Cafe in Austin, Texas

We sat down with the culinary mastermind, Ron Matty, the Executive Chef at The Wayback Cafe. As the kitchen maestro behind the farm-to-table menu, he shares his background and process when creating dishes for The Wayback Cafe. Ron Matty is not just a chef; he's a storyteller and tastemaker. In this exclusive interview, we open the kitchen doors to get to know Ron Matty – the person behind the apron – and learn more about what led to the creation of The Wayback Cafe's latest menu.

Harvest bowl with broccoli, squash, and micro-greens, at The Wayback Cafe in Austin, Texas

Photography by: Teresa Robertson

What is your name and where are you from?

Ron Matty, Arcadia, California. By way of Sonoma & Granite Bay and Rocklin - traveling living throughout northern and southern California.

Salad with crab cakes and a glass of wine at The Wayback Cafe in Austin Texas

Did you go to culinary school? If so, where did you go? If not, how did you learn how to cook?

I attended the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, California. As well as doing an apprenticeship with three Michelin star executive chef Rolf Jung from Cologne Germany, I spent my early years cooking at home with my parents and my Grandfather. I loved working with knives and fire. My Grandfather really impressed the use and care of cutlery. I started using a sharpening stone at the age of six. We would catch and clean our own fresh trout from the Sierra Nevada mountains. Cooking them in the wilderness open fire with sheep herder's potatoes.

My Grandmother was an amazing cook as well, a scratch baker we had dessert after every meal her father was a butcher and owned a butcher shop in Chicago. My great-aunt was also a phenomenal cook. She was of the cocktail generation. They would have these clove spiked ham dinners gratin potatoes, caviar, ornate salads, flower displays in the pool, cocktails flowing everywhere, shag carpets wall to wall, full bar, and jazz music. It was an amazing time in the 70’s. As I watched Sesame Street, the Electric Company Julia Child was on afterward, I believe my brain downloaded content from her and the Galloping Gourmet Graham Kerr. I can’t remember what happened yesterday, but 37 years of recipes are embedded in my mind.

Grass fed rib eye dinner at The Wayback Cafe in Austin Texas

How long have you been the Executive chef at The Wayback Cafe?

I’ve been the executive chef At The Wayback for just over a year.

What is your favorite ingredient to cook with?

I love working with Fish, the preparation, the cutting, portioning, the way it responds to heat, the hard sear, the perfect crust, and the flakiness and tenderness of the meat. Secondly, truffles.

Photography by: Teresa Robertson

What inspired you when creating the latest menu for The Wayback?

Simply put - Color. The colors and flavors of fall which is by far my favorite time of year. The orange, dark greens, and bright reds are reflected throughout the menu, rich in flavors and earthy notes, as reflected in our Pearl snap pimento cheese & grilled sourdough. The Japanese pumpkin with our Burrata, which is accented with soaked cherries and pepitas - the fall bowl is loaded with winter squash vibrant colors and finished with avocado herb dressing. The Chilean sea bass sits atop Brussel sprouts, caramelized Pearl onions, lemon, roasted peppers, orzo, and a splash of cream finished with fennel oil. The Bright notes highlight the braised veggies.

fall farm-to-table menu at the wayback cafe in austin texas

Photography by: Teresa Robertson

Can you describe a few standout dishes from the new menu and explain what makes them special or unique?

The list goes on… highlighting this current menu is the wild high five mushroom Bucatini, a rich porcini broth, wild hi-fi, mushrooms, shaved pecorino Romano finished with marsala wine, guanciale & fine herbs. The Berkshire pork tenderloin has been a real hit two with lemon broccoli, roasted fingerling, potatoes, breeze, Cipollini, onions, fall squash, and herb jus. Berkshire pork is succulent and so juicy.

Fall farm-to-table dinner option at the wayback cafe in austin texas

How do you ensure that the dishes on the menu align with the changing seasons and the availability of fresh ingredients?

We insure the freshest seasonal ingredients due to the relationships we have with our purveyors. They are very clear in our ethical and quality guidelines, which are set prior to sourcing- we are in constant communication, surveying related ideas and goals, and we are hands-on with the quality and inspection of daily deliveries and options.

Photography by: Teresa Robertson

How do you balance innovation and creativity in your cooking while still maintaining the farm-to-table ethos?

Balancing innovation and creativity is determined by a close-knit clientele. It’s an easy read when you know your clients, which are then determined by sales. We talk to our people; casual conversations reveal the nature of what people want or appreciate. The goal is that people have an experience they know they’re getting top-quality ingredients prepared with concern and artistry without being pretentious. What we hope people take away is a sense of value. That we create exceptionally flavorful food that is health-consciously prepared with the best of ingredients. I mean, we make our own catsup we focus on the little things from the foundation up, so when combining all the elements, everything counts. What hour diners experience is attention to detail and a variety of flavorful options they can feel good about eating and know it’s been expertly prepared in the general sense of well-being surrounded in a very nature-inspired atmosphere.

braised french lentils and roasted carrots and greek yogurt side dishes for the fall menu at The Wayback Cafe in Austin Texas

What do you hope diners will experience or take away from trying the new menu, and do you have any recommendations for first-time visitors?

Our recommendation for first-time visitors is that order anything off this menu because it’s all-new and consistently transitioning but also has some familiarity, like "I know this, but maybe I’ve never had it like this." There are always slight alterations, sometimes or small, and sometimes we go off in a different direction. But our roots are in classically prepared dishes done right.

Photography by: Teresa Robertson

Reserve your table today and try Chef Ron's autumn creations at The Wayback Cafe. Whether you're a seasoned foodie or just looking for a farm-to-table hidden gem in Austin, Texas, the new fall menu promises an unforgettable journey for your palate. Join us, and let fall flavors unfold at The Wayback Cafe. Check out the new fall menu here, then reserve your table now!

Wild Chilean Sea Bass for the farm-to-table fall menu at The Wayback Cafe in Austin Texas

Photography by: Teresa Robertson

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