Rising Star Sommelier Matthew Straus of Heirloom Café - Biography

San Francisco, CA

November 2011
Matt Straus has been working in food service for the past eighteen years, beginning with a stint at the neighborhood McDonald's when he was fourteen. He worked primarily in kitchens until he graduated from college, at which point he began an extended involvement with service and wine. Prior to moving to Los Angeles in 2000, Straus worked in renowned Boston restaurants such as The Tuscan Grill, The Harvest and The Federalist, as well as with the acclaimed late French chef Sophie Parker, in Saratoga Springs, New York. Straus then headed west, and took service positions at Campanile, L'Orangerie, Sona and Grace, where he performed the duties of wine director. In March 2005, Starus marked his return to the kitchen when he concluded a program of study in European cuisine at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts in Vancouver, British Columbia. He then took on the position of wine director at Wilshire, where he won the 2006 StarChefs.com Rising Stars Award, and started his own catering company-Heirloom- dedicated to serving classically styled food and wine. Straus then moved north to San Fransisco to work at both Jardiniere and RN74. In 2010, he opened Heirloom Café, the brick-and-mortar iteration of his catering concept. And in this latest endeavor, Straus continues to maintain a wine program with concentrations on value, bottle maturity, and bio-diversity.