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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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