Executive Chef / Owner of Alamexo Mexican Kitchen & Cantina
Restaurants are in Matt Lake’s blood. He literally grew up in the business. From his start as a child in the family-owned catering business in New York, he graduated top of his class from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Hyde Park, N.Y. He interned with celebrated Chef Marcel Desaulniers, who is on Food & Wine magazine’s honor roll of American chefs, is the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the CIA and boasts a myriad of awards from the James Beard Foundation. Through this connection, he got involved with Chef Mark Miller of Coyote Café fame and helped him to open Red Sage in Washington, D.C.
He joined New Heights in Washington D.C., venturing into a new culinary focus, the emerging New American category. It was at New Heights he got a call from Food & Wine magazine’s editor, telling him he’d been selected as their “Best New Chef.” He joined up with the Myriad Restaurant Group and opened the first W hotel. He then turned his talents to 27 Standard and Jazz Standard. He decided to return to his culinary roots, cooking the foods of Mexico, and joined Roberto Santibañez at Rosa Mexicano. He then enthusiastically helped create Besito Mexican restaurants, starting with the first in Huntington, N.Y.
He realized that he needed to share his passion for the foods of Mexico with Salt Lake diners in a way they had never experienced before. “There are so many Mexican restaurants in Salt Lake, but I wanted to show locals what true Mexican culinary specialties from various regions was really all about.” Named Best Mexican and Best New Salt Lake Restaurant by Salt Lake magazine in 2014 and again honored as Best in 2015 and 2016, Alamexo, and Matt, are changing the way people think about Mexican regional cuisine.
“This is the only cuisine I can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner,” quips Lake. “I just really love the food and the people.”