26 May
Thu / 2016

Inside the MFAH
Meet the Chef: Marlies Wasterval

The MFA Café celebrates the art of eating well, with exciting changes to the menu—from the new weekend brunch to added dishes that emphasize local, fresh ingredients—and to the kitchen. New executive chef Marlies Wasterval is hard at work serving up Italian fare with a Texas flair.

A native Houstonian, Wasterval joins the Museum after crafting impeccable dishes all over the world, most recently at SaltAir Seafood Kitchen in Houston. She works with MFA Café owner Paolo Fronza to create and execute the menu, which boasts additions such as sliders, blackened flatiron steak, and Dijon-crusted salmon. I chatted with her to find out more about what guests can expect—and how it feels to cook just a room or two over from galleries filled with art.

What is your philosophy on cooking, and how are you bringing that to the MFA Café? 
My goal in cooking is to make food approachable while still featuring a unique flavor profile—so you think you know what you're getting, but you’ll find something pleasantly unexpected.

I find this practice good in a place like the MFAH, because you have all types of people that come through looking for all different things—some expecting a traditional meal, and others looking for an upscale or unique experience. So we try to find something that will make everyone happy.

What new aspects of the menu are you most excited about?
I think the most appealing change is having running specials. The regular menu is great, but it’s also a lot of fun for me—and the customers too, I think—to try something new every week. Also, I love the brunch. I personally am not a brunch eater, but I love to serve it!

What’s your favorite part about working at an art museum?
When I was growing up, my dad lived just down the street from where I work now—so when we came to his house, we spent a lot of time in museums, including the MFAH. I find a lot of comfort in this little corner of town. It’s always so beautiful, and just being in the streets feels so different from the rest of town. It always feels really special to come in to work every day.

Experience the MFA Café for yourself! See the menus, hours, and more information.


Comments

Recent Posts

Post Archives

Tag Cloud

18th-century 1970s 19th-century 35mm 5womenartists abstract activity african-art a-history-of-photography akan american american-art ancient and angelica-kauffmann animals anna-atkins antiquities architecture archive art art-books artist artists art-of-the-islamic-worlds arts-of-india azaleas bayou bayou-bend bayou-bend-christmas-village bend bestowing-beauty biblical biography british british-arrows british-art broadways-amazing-mastersons buffalo-bayou-park-cistern campus campus-redevelopment carroll-sterling-masterson chair chef chinese-art christmas christmas-fun cinema cisternrain classic classic-films coffee collection color colors-of-the-oasis community concrete conservation contemporary-art contemporary-arts-museum-houston contemporary-film contesting-modernity countess cullen-sculpture-garden culture curator curators-picks dance decorative-arts degas degas-a-new-vision design digital documentary documents dont-blink-robert-frank drama drawings dutch-art electronic elizabeth-i england e-records exhibition exhibitions eye-on-houston family family-programs fashion fashion-fusion feast festival fiber-arts field film films flowers food francis-bacon free french french-art fun future futuremfah gainsborough gallery gallery-interpretation garden garden-paradise gardens george-iii glassell glassell-school-of-art google-art-project google-arts-and-culture habsburg-splendor-masterpieces-from-viennas-imperial-collections halloween happyhour happy-new-year harris-masterson-iii henry-viii hirsch-library history history-book-club holiday holiday-fun hollywood home homemfah homeso-different-so-appealing houston howe hurricane-harvey icaa ikat ima-hogg impressionism indian-art instagram interactive ipads islamic italian japanese-art john-biggers joshua-reynolds kenwood kids king kodak kusama latin latin-america latin-american latin-american-art latino-art latin-wave latinx laura-israel learning-and-interpretation love mail manet maria-fernanda-cardoso mastersons mayan-art media meditation mending-craft-and-community mexican-film mexican-modernism mexico mfa-cafe mfah mfah-book-club mfah-films mfah-in-the-community mfah-staff modern modernism movie movies movies-houstonians-love mueck mueckmfah museum museum-education music native-american-art new nhprc now-on-view now-playing organic oscar-de-la-renta oscars painting paintings paint-the-revolution paris paul-thomas-anderson peacock-in-the-desert-the-royal-arts-of-jodhpur-india peacockmfah persian persian-art photographs photography picasso portrait portraits pose prints prints-and-drawings programs queen-victoria radical rebel-jester-mystic-poet recipe rembrandt-van-rijn rienzi ron-mueck rothko sampler school sculpted-in-steel sculpture self-portrait shadow-monsters shepherds short-films slow-art-day snail snapshot spain spanish-art spring style summer technology texas textiles thanksgiving the the-al-sabah-collection theater the-glamour-and-romance-of-oscar-de-la-renta trivia tudors-to-windsors valentines-day venezuelan-art video vincent-van-gogh vincent-van-gogh-his-life-in-art virtual wagner-garden-carpet watercolor winter women-filmmakers womens-history-month works-on-paper yoga zoom