What sets Chef Matt Baker 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 spending time in the kitchens and wine rooms of South Beach, he fulfilled his urge to travel and in 2009, landed the opening Executive Chef position at Krish in Singapore. It was at Krish that Chef Matt began making a name for himself with his cooking, being named by Time “The Country’s Hottest Chef” and by Timeout Singapore as “Singapore’s newest splurge worthy restaurant.”
With a short stint at Minibar by José Andrés, Chef Matt settled in with Robert Wiedmaier at Brasserie Beck where he was the Executive Sous Chef in the fall of 2011. The summer of 2012 brought him to the historic Occidental Grill & Seafood as the Chef de Cuisine. With him, he brought a reenergized menu, where he utilized the freshest ingredients by establishing relationships with local farmers and purveyors. Paying tribute to both his Texas and South-East Asian routes, Chef Matt’s taste for the adventurous and inspired is seen and tasted in his food, drawing inspiration from all of his travels. He takes plating like a contemporary artist, free-flowing ingredients on the plate like a blank canvas.
After his time at The Occidental that Chef Matt took on the challenge of opening Executive Chef at City Perch Kitchen + Bar in Bethesda, MD. It was here that Chef Matt took his commitment to local farmers and partners to new heights, while serving up Modern American comfort food with a contemporary twist.
In October of 2015, Zagat Magazine named Chef Matt a Top 30 under 30 of Culinary Professionals in DC. Still at only 28 years of age, this young Chef’s talent will only continue to grow in Washington as his fervor for fun, whimsical, locally inspired New American Cuisine and dining experience develops. His highly anticipated restaurant Gravitas is slated to open in Fall of 2016.
A Modern American restaurant, located in Washington, D.C. With an innovative approach to food, foodservice and hospitality, Gravitas will be a leader and contributor to the community, industry and agricultural network. A fine dining concept, the restaurant itself will be simply adorned, putting heavy visual emphasis on the kitchen and green spaces within the restaurant. Vegetarian and Chef’s Tasting Menus will be offered daily, along with Sunday Suppers and Brunch Menus all containing local or small-production food and beverages from the Mid-Atlantic.
We believe that by empowering local neighborhoods and insisting on self-improvement through learning and community involvement, we can heighten the forward-thinking trends of sustainable, ‘green’ agricultural and food practices. The dining experience, although a necessity, should be valued and enjoyed. By providing natural, delicious, thoughtful and beautifully presented food, we encourage diners to pay closer attention to each meal and to become a part of their food community.
According to Ancient Roman virtues and beliefs, Gravitas denotes piety, dignity, responsibility and earnestness. With solemnity and importance, we pledge to treat ingredients and the local community with respect and integrity. Through food service, hospitality and community outreach, we pledge to continuously learn, improve and teach with a sense of importance of the matter at hand.
The Company will work tirelessly to raise awareness of important local food trends and concerns, to include not only ‘green’ sustainable food practices, but also local and National childhood food insecurity and nutrition. We intend to assist the local D.C. community with setting up community gardens, empowering local farmers markets to expand and continuing to partner with valuable companies that share our beliefs.