EXECUTIVE CHEF / OWNER
What sets Chef Matt apart from others in his field is his consistent passion for cuisine, hospitality and all things local. In his life, food and dining have always come first. His obsession with food started at an early age. During holidays in Houston, Texas, he assisted with preparing cookies and pies with his Grandmother, which led to an enthusiastic enrollment at Johnson & Wales University in Miami, Florida.
After doing the industry rounds in some of the best restaurants in South Beach, in 2009, he travelled to Singapore as the opening Executive Chef at Krish. It was at Krish that Chef Matt began making a name for himself in the kitchen, being named by Time as "The Country's Hottest Chef".
With a short stint at Minibar by Jose Andres, Chef Matt settled in at Brasserie Beck as the Executive Sous Chef in 2011 working with Chef/Owner Robert Wiedmaier and Chefs Brian McBride and Will Morris. Late 2012 brought him to the historic Occidental Grill & Seafood as Chef de Cuisine. With him he brought a reenergized menu that utilized seasonal ingredients and supported regional purveyors and fisherman. After his time at The Occidental, Chef Matt accepted the challenge of opening City Perch in Bethesda, MD as Executive Chef. His commitment to supporting local farms and vendors elevated to new heights, as weekly, he would purchase produce, dairy, and meats directly from local farmers markets and small businesses.
In 2015, Zagat named Chef Matt in its Top 30 under 30 listing. While working towards Gravitas' opening, Chef Matt continues to positively influence the Washington, D.C. restaurant scene, both through his consultancy work (he is currently working on multiple projects - stay tuned) and through his philanthropy. In the Fall of 2016, Chef Matt was named to the Board of Directors of Brainfood, and is a proud supporter of numerous local charities including, the Foundation to Eradicate Duchenne; No Kid Hungry (Share Our Strength); and the March of Dimes.
Sam, a Bostonian, fell in love with food & wine while living on the Atlantic coast of France and hasn't looked back since. His journeyman pursuit started off at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and took him through the German countryside where he worked at small hotel. Upon returning, he found himself in an American culinary capital, Chicago. Sam worked his way through FREDS at Barneys New York and Eataly Chicago's fine dining restaurant, Baffo where he grew his wine and service knowledge. Most recently, Sam worked for the renowned Fabio Trabocchi group as the opening manager at Sfoglina and Assistant General Manager of Casa Luca. Sam brings a love for the finer things in life to Gravitas.
Mary Kelly started her career behind the bar here, in Washington D.C., in 2002. She first cut her teeth at a small Italian restaurant, Sorriso, in Cleveland Park. Over the next few years she grew her cocktail, wine & food knowledge working with restaurant powerhouses; Passionfood Hospitality, Del Campo, and Mike Isabella Concepts. During this time, she was at the helm of the cocktail programs at Del Campo, Kapnos, and Graffiato; two of which earned a RAMMY nomination for best cocktail program during her tenure. Currently, Mary is developing a greenhouse inspired cocktail program for Gravitas in Ivy City, and is the local Portfolio Brand Ambassador for Samson & Surrey, which includes Philadelphia Distilling – the home of Bluecoat Gin, FEW Spirits from Chicago, Widow Jane hailing from Brooklyn and Brenne, a French Single Malt taking DC by storm. Mary has been featured in Jack Daniel’s national Jack’s Little Black Book, as a judge at the Tasting Panel’s New Spirits Competition, and has been featured in the Tasting Panel’s American Cocktail Competition, taking home silver. She is a graduate of BAR 5 Day and a proud member of the DC Craft Bartender’s Guild and the USBG DC.