For this first post, I want to introduce myself to you and describe my background so that you can understand the benefits of working with my service.
I began my career in restaurants in high school and continued working restaurant stints during my tenure at LaGrange College, where I earned my B.A. in Literature. I didn't fully realize how much I appreciated working in the culinary industry until I began attending graduate school for literature at Georgia State University and missed the rush of a fast paced work environment. I finished the semester strong, and returned to restaurants to learn the craft.
I began working for Kevin Rathbun in my first fine dining line position, and steadily advanced through the ranks over the course of nearly two years. Having this experience made the learning process during my formal culinary education far more efficient, allowing me to graduate with honors from the Culinary Institute of America--earning the Brillat Savarin Young Professional Medal of Merit in the process.
I was given the opportunity to work for Dan Barber at the world famous Blue Hill at Stone Barns--a cutting edge farm-to-table restaurant just above Manhattan. Their progressive and remarkably academic farm allowed me the opportunity to understand where our food comes from, what makes certain ingredients shine before they ever reach a plate, and a respect for nature. The kitchen was a tremendous learning ground for me, as I was able to be a part of a team that delivered the highest quality experience possible to its diners. The techniques and culinary knowledge I was able to gather during this time have been invaluable to me and my career.
Before embarking into the freelance work that I am doing now, I worked a brief stint for Chef Zak Pelaccio in Hudson, NY at a similar "destination dining" farm-to-table restaurant serving about 8 courses per customer. The food was exciting, as the restaurant utilizes a blend of very old school methodologies (2 live fires, fermentation) with cutting edge techniques (sous vide, detailed plating).
I came to freelance cooking as a means to begin branching out on my own, developing a business, and living my passion of providing the highest possible quality meals to a demanding audience. I began working out of the NYC elite county of Westchester. For a year, I honed my craft and learned to work with clients to meet their dietary needs while simultaneously providing creative dishes from whole, well-raised ingredients,
While New York provided an amazing learning opportunity for me, I began to be very homesick for the Georgia I grew up with. I decided that it was time to make my move and come back to the Atlanta area to re-establish myself in this market. I am very excited to present my skills and expertise to clients, and provide them with healthy, delicious, and (particularly in the case with dinner parties) beautiful plates with ingredients sourced from Atlanta's farmers markets--Dekalb Farmers Market in particular.
Let me know if I can be of service! And thank you for taking the time to read this.
Check me out on Instagram! https://instagram.com/chefmattlewis