by Melanie Chambers
Working as a team in the kitchen is similar to riding in a group on the road for chef Matthew Batey. “You have to rely on one another, and it requires harmony,” he says.
Batey has been cooking since he was 14. He started with his father in Victoria. To this day, Batey’s favourite meal is Sunday dinner because of the way it unites people. “I’d get up early to crack out a century with the boys then come home and eat with the family. That’s my perfect day,” he says.
After an apprenticeship at the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, he was recruited to open Catch, which was Canada’s best-rated restaurant in 2002. He has also spent time in Europe, and especially loves the classic French way of cooking. His bourguignon recipe features a tough shoulder cut that is transformed into a beautiful tender dish by cooking it in red wine from Burgundy. His favourite way to serve beef bourguignon is out of a large serving dish, “family style,” along with silky mashed potatoes and pinot noir.
Currently, the corporate executive chef for the Teatro Group in Calgary loves a succulent braised meat or chicken brought to room temperature and rubbed in olive oil, with pats of butter and truffles under the skin, before roasting. “TLC means ‘technical loving care’ for me,” he says.
As a team sports athlete most of his life, he came to riding later. Around 2016, a food photographer and friend introduced Batey to road cycling when he needed it the most. “If I was going to maintain my mental health and be a good father, and show up for my colleagues, I needed to exercise,” he says.
Even though cycling can be a solitary sport, he prefers the camaraderie and mentorship of riding with a team. “I find it a pretty relatable place to strip away some of the pomp and circumstance of what this business can be and just be pals,” Batey says.
One of his proudest accomplishments is being part of the Canadian Chefs Cycling team – an organization that raises money for No Kid Hungry. Returning to Santa Rosa, Calif., in 2022, Batey will participate in his fourth ride. “It’s funny though,” he says, “because I’ve only ever done one of the rides in person because of COVID.”
1.5 kg beef chuck, diced into 3-cm cubes
100 g flour
100 ml canola oil
750 ml pinot noir
1 l beef or veal stock
3 large carrots, peeled, cut into 2-cm pieces
24 pearl onions, peeled (120 g)
500 ml button mushrooms, whole
8 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
8 branches fresh thyme tied with butcher’s string
4 tbsp chopped parsley
1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Preheat a large, heavy, oven-ready pot on the stove.
3. Place the diced beef in a large bowl and add the flour. Mix well to cover all the beef with flour.
4. Add the canola oil to the hot pot. Carefully add the beef and brown well, stirring frequently to keep the meat from burning.
5. Remove the browned beef from the pot and place in a colander to drain.
6. Pour the fat out of the pot. Add the wine and simmer for two minutes, stirring to deglaze the pot. Add the stock and bring to a boil.
7. Add the browned beef, carrots, onions, mushrooms, garlic, bay leaf and thyme to the stock and wine. Bring to a simmer.
8. Place the pot in the oven. Cook for about three hours, until the meat is tender.
9. Remove. Check and season to taste. Add chopped parsley just before serving.
For one serving
Carbs 19.6 g
Saturated Fat 5.5 g
Fibre 2.6 g
Protein 61.1 g
This story originally appeared in the February & March 2022 issue of Canadian Cycling Magazine