2014 Washington, D.C. Area Rising Star Chef Matthew McGhee of RANGE

2014 Washington, D.C. Area Rising Star Chef Matthew McGhee of RANGE
December 2014

Originally from New Jersey, Mattie McGhee began his path to the kitchen as a simple search for a paying gig during his community college studies. He picked up some shifts at the local Hilton hotel cafeteria, and quickly realized his interests lay far more in food than collegiate endeavors. Wanting to expand his culinary skills, McGhee headed to New York and the Culinary Institute of America. McGhee furthered his education by completing the prestigious apprenticeship program at The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia under Chefs Richard Rosendale and Michael Voltaggio.

McGhee then moved to New York City where he worked at the Waldorf Astoria’s Peacock Alley, and completed stages at several Michelin-starred restaurants. In 2008, McGhee was invited to return to The Greenbrier as Sous Chef of the Main Dining Room and was quickly promoted to Chef de Cuisine, while he developed his modern approach to classical cuisine.

In 2011, McGhee moved south to become Chef de Cuisine of Angle, located in the five-star five- diamond Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach. There, McGhee furthered his interest in partnering with local farms, finding the freshest possible ingredients while supporting local suppliers. In 2013, he joined Bryan Voltaggio to helm RANGE in Washington, D.C., where he remains dedicated to local purveyors and showcasing his refined yet whimsical style of modern American cuisine.

I Support: Share Our Strength


Why: The campaign connects kids in need with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals. The campaign also engages the public to make ending child hunger a local and national priority.

About: Share Our Strength and its No Kid Hungry and Cooking Matters campaigns are ending childhood hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.

Interview with Washington, D.C. Area Rising Star Chef Matthew McGhee of RANGE

Meha Desai: Why did you start cooking professionally?
Matthew McGhee:
I needed a job that paid more than what I was making back then. I was going to community college and working in the cafeteria at The Hilton. On my days off I started working in the restaurant at the Five Diamond Hotel. It was there that I started to learn about food and I decided to go to the CIA after that.

MD: Who's your mentor?
Rich Rosendale is just one of my mentors and also a good friend. With him it’s all about process: keeping the end in mind, mobilizing the forces in multiple kitchens. Rich taught me about being honest and having integrity in the kitchen. I also count Bryan Voltaggio a mentor.

MD: How are you involved in the local culinary community?
Industry Takeover Night at Graffiato every month.

MD: What steps do you take in your restaurant toward sustainability?
We do whole beast butchery here. 

MD: Describe your cuisine in one sentence.
Progressive American. I wish I had staged in Europe. I reached out to set up a stage right before Rosendale moved to Greenbrier and he talked me out of it. I don't regret not going then, but it’s something I would like to do.