Chef Matthew A. Fitchett began his culinary journey at age of 14, washing dishes and preparing toast at Johnson’s Family restaurant located down the road from his home in Canton, Michigan. He knew at an early age he had a love for the art of food and began taking steps early to ensure his bright future in the culinary arena.
Working at a variety of high volume American, Italian and French restaurants became a passion for him. He refined his cooking skills by graduating from Schoolcraft College with a culinary degree where he also had the opportunity to participate in a few American Culinary Federation competitions.
After graduation, CMC Jeffrey Gabriel took him in as a sous chef for his culinary classes at Schoolcraft and then invited him to work at The Farm Restaurant in Port Austin, Michigan for three summer seasons. Fitchett then traveled to Thailand to experience first-hand the culinary cultural differences. He continued moving up in his career and spent the next years working at Loving Spoonful, Five Lakes Grill, Golden Mushroom, Barton Hills Country Club, Bay Harbor Yacht Club, and American Harvest Restaurant at Schoolcraft College. Over the years, he had the opportunity to work and train with a variety of talented chefs learning firsthand from their expertise while developing his own style.
Most recently, Fitchett worked as Certified Executive Chef of Café Zinc, a French bistro at the H Hotel in Midland, Michigan prior to joining BIG ROCK CHOPHOUSE in 2014. He currently oversees a staff of 30 and is responsible for all aspects of the kitchen including training, purchasing, special events at BIG ROCK CHOPHOUSE and THE RESERVE and most importantly, creating the restaurant’s 4-star, award-winning menu.
His cooking style is food first. “I find myself asking my chefs, what can you do to enhance the dish not add to the dish?” His philosophy centers on cooking with natural and seasonal products, utilizing local ingredients and the importance of selecting healthy living foods for ingredients, which is always the best choice.
Fitchett practices this same belief at home too. He has an organic garden, fruit trees and he even raises his own chickens. He preserves and cans foods to support his family’s healthy lifestyle. He believes as chefs we should embrace traditional cooking and support our local farmers.