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. Growing up in Houston, Texas and visiting relatives near Detroit, Michigan, he was always the first of his cousins to assist his grandmother with preparing cookies and pies for holiday celebrations. This 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 of 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 Chefs Robert Wiedmaier, 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 as Executive Chef. His commitment to supporting local farms and vendors elevated to new heights. 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”. Chef Matt works tirelessly to positively influence the Washington, DC area through his continuous support of numerous charities and not-for-profits, such as the Foundation to Eradicate Duchenne, Brainfood, Charity off the Hook, No Kid Hungry (Share Our Strength) and March of Dimes.
Sam, a Bostonian, fell in love with food and 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, New York and took him through the German countryside where he worked at a boutique 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.
Executive Sous Chef
As a child, Chef Angel was often found by his mother's side, a renowned self-taught cake maker and decorator. It was in his family's kitchen that he developed a foundation of service and hospitality, finding pleasure in nurturing (and entertaining) those around him. A proud Puerto Rican native, Chef Angel left the island in 2006 with a thirst to experience different cultures and cuisines. His passion for French cooking and a desire to ground himself in traditional methods and techniques, brought him to New York City, New York, where he graduated from The Cooking School.
He travelled extensively since the early 2000's, working in various, multi-cultural kitchens, further deepening his unique and eclectic personal approach to food. Gaining experiences cooking at Noma [Copenhagen], Picholine [New York City], The Modern [New York City] and The Fearrington House [North Carolina], he eventually settled in DC working with Jose Andres at Minibar. Working with Think Food Group and Jose Andres, Chef Angel had one of his proudest moments - cooking for Michelle Obama at the White House!
Justin’s love of fine dining began at a young age, with both parents working in the industry. He grew up in South Miami institution Two Chefs, and his respect for food and wine has only grown since then. He comes to us after helping open Aaron Silverman’s newest concept, wine bar Little Pearl. Prior to that he spent a year refining his service as a captain at Eric Ziebold’s Metier. He’s been passionate about wine since his days managing at Sage, a French bistro in Tallahassee, Florida. Justin studied at the Dedman School of Hospitality at Florida State University. A desire for new, challenging experiences, a hunger for learning, and a deep respect for the dining experience brought him up the coast to DC, and ultimately to Gravitas.