hef Matthew Accarrino fell into the culinary industry when a broken leg in high school left him with little to do but watch cooking shows on TV. This inauspicious beginning nonetheless lead to stints in some of the country's most lauded kitchens. Now the young chef faces his greatest challenge yet: working alongside Tom Colicchio to open Craft Los Angeles.
Matthew landed an interview with Colicchio after writing him a letter expressing his respect for the chef's bold, singular approach to dining. A meeting shortly thereafter led to positions at New York City's Craft, Craftsteak and Craftbar. At Craft Los Angeles, Matthew plans to take full advantage of the West coast's bountiful local produce, incorporating the regional flavors into Craft's signature style.
Originally from St. Louis, Matthew moved to New Jersey with his family where his first kitchen jobs were at a pizzeria and the Blue Sky Cafe in Montclair. After time spent at Emeril Lagasse's in New Orleans and Charlie Trotter's in Chicago, he graduated from The Culinary Institute of America. He continued his education at New Jersey's Farleigh Dickinson University, where he studied Hospitality and Tourism Management and traveled to Italy, working at the Michelin Guide-rated Antonello Colonna restaurant in Labico, Italy. It was here that Matthew's appreciation for seasonal, locally-farmed food began to take shape, as the restaurant primarily relied on the land for its menu.
After graduation Matthew cooked for Charlie Palmer in New York City and Todd English at Olive's at the W in Union Square. In 2002, he joined chef Rick Moonen at critically acclaimed Oceana and went on to open Moonen's RM. As its chef de cuisine, he helped the restaurant earn three stars from The New York Times, in addition to numerous other industry accolades. When an opportunity to work with Thomas Keller presented itself, Matthew took a position as sous chef at Per Se. The restaurant received the highest honors possible from The New York Times (four stars) and the Michelin Guide (three stars).
At Craft Los Angeles, Matthew stays true to the Craft mantra: create simple dishes with fresh, seasonal products that highlight the pure pleasure of a single ingredient. Believing that food is as much about sustenance as entertainment, he offers guests a well-rounded experience; equal parts fine dining and fun.