The Vanilla Orchid Catering Co. is proud to announce Matt Frederick as our new Executive Chef. Matt comes from one of the top spas in the world, Lake Austin Spa and Resort, and brings years of incredible experience to the team. Matt’s culinary background and knowledge are superb, but what really makes Matt stand out is his ability to lead chefs, teach others, and execute premium, off-site catering events while demonstrating excellence, humility, and honor.
We are thrilled to have Matt join the team and wanted to share a brief interview we had with him so our customers and partners can quickly learn to like him as much as we do.
1) Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the northeast and then spent the majority of my life in Atlanta.
2) Why did you chose to become a professional chef?
When I was growing up in New York my grandfather would have these large parties at his house and our families would get together and cook for a lot of people. I just remember having the best time doing that and everything revolving around the food.
3) What brought you to Austin?
I had an opportunity to work at a hotel in Lakeway and I was looking to move from the Florida Keys to here!
4) What is the best food you hav ever prepared yourself?
I really like pork tenderloin and grilling that with some fresh peaches and mashed sweet potatoes is easily one of my favorites.
5) What is the favorite dish you enjoy preparing for others?
Any kind of comfort food. You can see it in people’s faces when you make something they love eating and you can see the enjoyment food brings to their lives.
6) Why did you choose Vanilla Orchid?
I chose Vanilla Orchid because I wanted to get back into catering/banquets. An opportunity came up for a position here and when I saw the reputation and high standards that are upheld I knew I had to be part of the team.
7) What legacy would you like to build at Vanilla Orchid?
When our clients think back on the events we catered, whether it was a huge wedding or sandwiches for a working lunch, I want the food and service being the most memorable part of the experience.
8) What kind of team are you trying to lead in the kitchen?
One with great communication and just being able to work as a team to accomplish any task. I want everyone in the kitchen to be able to come in and work on any project given to them, even if it is to make a simple stock all the way to house made croissants.
9) What do you enjoy most about catering large events?
Seeing so many people get excited about food and just having a great time in general. Even just overhearing someone at the event say “that was the best…..” fill in the blank for that as long as we can say we were a large part of the experience.
10) What is the best food you have ever prepared?
I made adobo chicken for a family meal one day and the entire kitchen staff including my executive chef at the time were all silent and got a few helpings. You know you have made something special when a kitchen staff is quiet from eating food.