Making everything from scratch is second nature to Matt Tinder, who grew up cooking alongside his mother in Kauai, Hawaii, preparing foods such as tofu and soymilk. A soccer scholarship brought Tinder to Oregon’s George Fox University, but it was when he started working as a short order cook that he found his true calling.
Returning to Hawaii to tackle a position in the Tri-Star and Jas Restaurant Group, Tinder worked under Executive Chef George Gomez, Jr., whom he considers his first mentor. During his four years with the group Tinder traveled all over the country and worked with countless talented chefs, learning and furthering his skills. Back on the mainland at San Francisco’s Campton Place in San Francisco, Tinder gained his first real exposure to pastry working under Boris Portnoy. Tinder learned the skills needed to succeed and stepped into the pastry chef position in 2008. While at Campton, he came to the attention of 2009 Napa-Sonoma Rising Star Chef Christopher Kostow at The Restaurant at Meadowood. Tinder joined Kostow’s team from 2009 to 2010, during which time the restaurant gained a third Michelin Star.
Moving back to San Francisco and into a position at Saison in fall 2010, Tinder once again contributed to earning another Michelin Star for his restaurant. In November 2011, he undertook his current position, working for Chef Daniel Patterson at Coi. He has greatly expanded Coi’s pastry program, taking on production of breads, butters, crème fraîche, tofu, and soymilk, and offering a five-course dessert tasting.