Chef Matt Bolus of The 404 Kitchen - Biography

Nashville, TN

October 2014

Cooking started out as a high school hobby for Chef Matt Bolus. While studying to become a big-time stock broker at the University of Tennessee, he continued to spend every spare moment working in professional kitchens. After a few years behind a desk in Knoxville, he had the sudden realization that he longed for the days when he was scrubbing the floor at midnight alongside the other kitchen grunts he’d left behind. Bolus had no choice; he sold everything, choosing restaurants over stocks. He moved to England, attended culinary school, and never looked back—except when his thoughts turned to Tennessee.

Bolus returned to the American South and served in chef positions at Flyte and Watermark in Nashville and FIG in Charleston, South Carolina. At The 404 Kitchen, Bolus offers a modern take on classic European cuisine, with a menu determined by available produce and provisions from local farms, as well as herbs grown on the restaurant's rooftop garden. Adjacent to The 404 Hotel, The 404 Kitchen is housed in a former storage container, with indoor seating for 40 and another 16 on a covered porch. Bolus hopes to expand the concept outside Nashville, incorporating sustainable practices across the board from capturing rain water to holistic farms and even orchards beyond his current, modest rooftop garden. In 2014, the restaurant earned a James Beard nomination for Best New Restaurant.