Chef of the Month: Jeremiah Matthews of Southwood Kitchen

Name: Chef Jeremiah Matthews

Name of Restaurant: Southwood Kitchen

Restaurant Phone Number: 251-626-6676

Where were you born and raised?

I was born in Maine but raised in Fairhope, AL.

What inspired you to become a chef?

We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, so our meals usually consisted of what we could put together. Sometimes it was delicious, sometimes not so much. Either way, it was inspiring to create something.

Where did you train to become a chef?

My kitchen journeys began in Gulf Shores, washing dishes at age 13. Since then I attended culinary school, Paul Smith’s College in Upstate New York and Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, as well as worked in Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris and the Burgundy region.

What others jobs, if any, have you worked within the food industry?

I began washing dishes, bussing tables, and even serving.

What does your typical workday involve?

I am very hands-on, so I split my day between sourcing products, prepping, and cooking.

Who is the most notable person you’ve ever cooked for?

Hard to say. The most recent would be Clarence Thomas.

If you could cook for with any celebrity of historical figure (living or dead), who would it be?

Mike Rowe.

If you weren’t a chef, what line of work would you pursue?

I love the outdoors, so probably a fishing guide.

What’s your favorite seafood dish to serve up for yourself and your family?

When it comes to Alabama seafood, I’d have to go with Speckled Trout.

What makes Alabama Gulf Seafood special?

Having been all over, I can say Alabama has the finest shrimp, crab, and fish anywhere.