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This Larchmont Chef Shares His Secret for Making Great Bagels


Chef Matthew Karp, of Plates Catering and the former eponymous Larchmont restaurant, offers menus inspired by his travels with his wife Wendy; a collection of plates hang on the walls as markers of each destination.

Adding homemade bagels to his repertoire however was not a result of a trip to Mattoon, IL — dubbed the Bagel Capital of the World by Lender’s Bagels (it’s home to the world’s largest bagel factory) — or to Manhattan, which many would argue is the true Bagel Capital.  


WM: What was the catalyst to start making your own bagels?

Matthew Karp: Years ago I tried to make them but I didn’t like the results. But over the years I’ve gotten the bread/baked goods that we do in-house at Plates down so I felt confident to give it another go. Plus I’m always looking for new challenge.


WM: I hear you have your own sourdough starter to get the bagel process in motion?

MK: Yes, it’s just flour and water but it took a month to get it going. You have to feed it, so to speak, every day. Like the character Seymour feeding Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors.


WM: What’s the key to making bagels?

MK: Besides a good starter, you have to experiment to get the right amount of leavening. It’s easy to make the mistake of bagels that are too puffy and over-risen. Also they have to be boiled — mine go for about 30 seconds on each side before going into the oven for 15-20 minutes. Bagels are not just bread with a hole in the middle!


WM: Where is your all-time favorite bagel from?

MK: No question, H&H Bagels in the city. They have the right amount of puffiness and chew and just a hint of sweetness, which comes from an important bagel ingredient: barley maple syrup or powder.


WM: Any bagel shops in Westchester you want to give a shout-out to?

MK: Quaker Ridge Bagels (Now Bake Ridge Bagels) in New Rochelle and Village Square in Larchmont.


WM: Do you have any bagel memories from when you where a child?

MK: There’s nothing better when breaking fast at the end Jewish holidays with bagels and smoked sable and lox and whitefish salad.



121 Myrtle Blvd, Larchmont


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