Finding funny in food: Winnipeg pop-up chef wants his menu to make you smile

The first course on chef Matty Neufeld's menu for a pop-up dinner Sunday evening is bone apple tea. Say it loud and you'll get it.

Chef Matty Neufeld planned a pun-filled menu for guests at the Marion Street Eatery on Sunday

Chef Matty Neufeld calls this dish You Butternut Squash the Pumpkins, and shared his secrets so you can make it yourself. (Submitted by Matty Neufeld)

The first course on chef Matty Neufeld's menu for a pop-up dinner Sunday evening is bone apple tea. Say it loud and you'll get it.

The courses after that will include a tri-coloured carrot soup — billed as 24 Carrot Magic —and a maple-whiskey topped dessert he's calling the Square Root of Pie.

The Winnipeg chef says he thinks food should be fun. So that's what he's serving up at the Marion Street Eatery on Sunday for his contribution to a series of pop-up dinners run by a Winnipeg group called the Hachere Collective.

"I think a lot of chefs, especially, take food a little too seriously and forget that it's meant to show love, show caring, show warmth," said Neufeld, who runs Prairie Kitchen Catering.

"We think about our mothers, our grandmothers cooking for us, and it's the happiest time of our lives, right? We're smiling about it as it is."

Neufeld said he got his start as a cook because he loves to eat. It runs in his family, too: both his grandparents were caterers, and his dad, a butcher, introduced him to all sorts of tasty dishes growing up.

Neufeld said he likes catering and the pop-up meal idea because it reflects the way dining experiences are expanding beyond the traditional sit-down restaurant.

"For myself, being trained in the industry, it's really … interesting to see that — how are people eating, not what are people eating," he said.

You Butternut Squash the Pumpkins!!! 

Pumpkin spice filling


  • 4 cups roasted pumpkin purée.
  • 4 egg yolks.
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs.
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs.
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup.
  • 1 tablespoon salt.
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger.
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg.
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon.
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves.


Step 1 — Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly season to taste.

Step 2 — Adjust consistency if needed (not too runny, not too dry).

Step 3 — Place into a piping bag and reserve.

Butternut squash dough


  • 1 cup roasted butternut squash purée.
  • 4 cups unbleached flour.
  • 4 egg yolks.
  • 2 teaspoons salt.

Step 1 — Combine all ingredients into a KitchenAid mixer with a dough hook attachment.

Step 2 — Mix on the lowest setting for five minutes or until the dough comes together. If the dough is too dry, add a splash of water. If the dough is too wet, add a pinch of flour.

Step 3 —Once a dough is formed, mixer on medium speed for a further five minutes) 

Step 4 — Place into lightly oiled bowl and let rest for at least half an hour before use.

To combine

Step 1 — Using a pasta machine at home, slice your dough into 1/4" strips and roll through the pasta machine starting at the widest setting and working it through until it is as thin as possible.

Step 2 — Cut circles out of the sheets and fill each circle with "just the right amount" of pumpkin filling.

Step 3 — To close them, take two points close to each other and fold into the middle and pinch. While continuing to pinch upwards, seal all of the outside edges into the middle creating a kind of stem, and seal completely (make sure there is no air inside or else they might burst).

Et voila!

With files from Nadia Kidwai