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MATT BAKER

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 DuchenneBrainfoodCharity off the HookNo Kid Hungry (Share Our Strength) and March of Dimes.

 
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JESSICA YAMINI

GENERAL MANAGER

Jess’ ten years of experience in the hospitality industry most recently extended to Wolfgang Puck’s The Source, where Jess started as a bartender and quickly worked her way up to AGM. She previously worked with Chef Matt assisting with pop-ups, catering and private events leading up to the opening of Gravitas. 

Jess has a passion for creativity, entrepreneurship and small businesses. She began her career working for the Maryland Small Business Development Center, and also maintains her own small business, Gilded Trees, where she produces jewelry and soy candles. Jess is a graduate of the University of Maryland.

 
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YOSEF RIAD

MANAGER

With over ten years in the hospitality industry, Yosef most recently left a five-year stint as a manager at Mindful Restaurant Group where he worked alongside Ari Gejdenson to establish and expand the diverse and fast-growing DC brand. A passionate Copt Christian, Yosef is enthusiastic about volunteering in his native Egypt and is a recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award from Barack Obama. An animated story teller, Yosef enjoys running and making people happy!

 
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JULIEN-PIERRE BOURGON

BAR MANAGER

A native of Hull, Quebec, Julien most recently ran the bar program at neighboring Masseria by Nick Stefanelli. Previously, he worked with Todd Thrasher and Cathal Armstrong’s Restaurant Eve, TNT Bar, and PX Lounge. He also worked with José Andrés’ at America Eats Tavern and Stefan Trummer at Trummers on Main.

 
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KYLE KNOX

SOUS CHEF

Chef Kyle boasts one of the most colorful and diverse resumes of the Gravitas Family. A professionally-trained trombonist and graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, Chef Kyle has worked in both back-of-house and front-of-house positions at Nocturne, Plume, Mansion on Turtle Creek, and the recently-awarded three Michelin-starred Inn at Little Washington.