Chef Matt Tulpa and milk bread maven Mythy Huynh are plotting a weeklong takeover of Eastern Market restaurant Gather in March.
It’s not easy to get a break in the restaurant industry, but when Gather’s chef Jessie Patuano needed time off to visit her family in New York, Tulpa and Huynh stepped up to offer their assistance.
Tulpa and Huynh are well known in the Detroit restaurant community. Tulpa works as an independent chef and Huynh is a nurse and talented home cook with a formidable Instagram following. Over the past several years she’s also dipped her toes into the professional baking world, selling her attractive and delicious milk breads at spots around the city including The Farmer’s Hand.
“A lot of people are always saying to us, ‘Oh yeah, I want to try the food that you make. I want to eat your food,’” Huynh says of her followers. “Obviously, we’d love to always have people over at our place and constantly a revolving door of people coming in to eat and this is just that way to be able to do that.”
Gather will operate for normal hours from March 26 through March 31 with a menu designed by Tulpa and Huynh. “It’s like we get to play restaurant for a week,” Tulpa says. The takeover menu, which is still in development, will feature roughly 15 dishes — the same number offered on the current Gather menu. The pair plan to focus primarily on vegetarian dishes with a few meat and fish options mixed in.
One of the appetizers Huynh is calling Bread and Butter is Chinese-style scallion pancakes paired with Persian eggplant spread. Tulpa is also experimenting with a whole smoked cabbage as well as smoked and grilled halibut collars with pancetta-marjoram menudo. They also plan to offer some dishes inspired by things they enjoy eating at home such as salads made with Stone Coop Farm greens. For dessert, fans can look out for ice cream, possibly in the form of a babka ice cream sandwich.
Beyond Gather, Tulpa and Huynh are gearing up for a dumplings, noodles, and broth class and a pop-up for Frame’s Nonna dinner series. The pair also tease a bigger project coming this summer. “We can finally say, ‘Come try our food,’” Huynh says.