“Surround yourself around a positive environment and positive people. You’ll see a positive outcome.”
I used to always cook for my family. My mom would get mad at me because I would be up late at night banging pots around, setting the smoke detector off. I decided that I did want to pursue a career in cooking, so at the time I went to Le Cordon Bleu. So it started off just like cooking for my friends and family, just playing around. Nothing too serious, but it was cooking.”
Chef Matthew Ricketts arrived in New York in 2013, making his way up from his hometown of Pittsburgh where he attended Le Cordon Bleu. After dipping his toes in the restaurant industry, he dove into working at a personal chef catering service, where he gained rapport with clients and established a customer base. He then built upon those relationships and started his own business, Boutique Restaurant & Catering, as an independent personal chef and caterer.
At his newly opened restaurant, Chef Matthew prides himself in Boutique’s intimate atmosphere, hosting parties in his personal and charming dining room. He often completes full services by himself, saying he craves one-on-one interaction with clients and building relationships. The fast-paced setting has him catering to clients’ wide range of preferences and palates, while also debuting new dishes each week. Being a one-man show is difficult, but Chef Matthew thrives off of being able to work closely with patrons.
I’m doing 8-18 people a night, so I’m able to communicate with the clients more, provide a more intimate experience, and I love that. ‘Cause before you can’t really talk to the guests, you know? You’re in a major restaurant, a huge restaurant, you’re just cranking out food. You don’t get time to interact with the guests, even if they love the food. The server or the waitress hears the compliments. It’s awesome to hear the compliments from the guests themselves, and the feedback, of course.”
He hopes to see his business grow enough to pursue another dream: to open a restaurant in his hometown, overlooking the city. And down the road, maybe another restaurant or two. But for now, he’ll stay in New York, exploring the diverse neighborhoods and drawing inspiration from the people that live here.
I do want to open a restaurant in my hometown, Pittsburgh. I think small is a good way to start, and gradually increase, see how this goes. They say if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere, right? So, hopefully this is a success. I do want to focus on intimate cooking for now, and really provide an really unique and interesting concept to customers and clients that not many restaurants do.”