Matt Tilman’s career in restaurants may have started in 2002, but being in the kitchen is not new. The kitchen was always his favorite place in his house growing up. Matt was always trying to sneak his little snacks while watching what was going on around him. He was always at the elbow of his mother or grandmother.
Matt’s first restaurant job was washing dishes in a Southern Maryland crab house. Not one to rest, he quickly made his way to cooking for the brunch buffet. It was here that he could practice the skill he was learning in his high school tech school culinary arts classes.
After graduating high school, Matt made his way to Charlotte, NC, where he graduated from the inaugural class of Johnson & Wales University. There he studied Culinary Arts and Food Service Management with a concentration in Beverage Service Management, receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in 2008. After graduating, Matt went right to work and began working in some of the best restaurants in and around Charlotte.
Matt learned from the best about classic Southern cuisine from Platinum country clubs to Forbes four-star restaurants and hotels. Along the way, he had the honor to be a part of the opening team for Chef Emeril Lagasse’s e2 Emeri’s Eatery in Charlotte. During his time there, he was promoted to Sous Chef and tapped to run a new deli establishment attached to the restaurant, e2GO.
After achieving a 4 Star rating from Forbes with the Gallery Restaurant at The Ballantyne Hotel as the Chef de Cuisine, Matt moved closer to his roots back in Maryland. He was the Sous Chef for Top Chef Finalist Bryan Voltaggio’s Volt restaurant and the Chef de Cuisine at Voltaggio’s more casual eatery Family Meal.