Executive Chef Matthew Thomas brings his extensive culinary experience and a lifelong passion for cooking to DoubleTree by Hilton Berkeley Marina's new dining concept, Berkeley Boathouse. Under his leadership, Berkeley Boathouse showcases a modern and diversified menu featuring local ingredients while emphasizing contemporary California cuisine with global influences.
Born and raised in Arkansas, Chef Thomas' passion for food developed at an early age. Cooking with his family was an integral part of his childhood. "My grandmother on my mother's side was Italian and some of my earliest memories in the kitchen are of my family making trofie pasta together -- singing, dancing, throwing flour, and drinking Chianti," said Thomas.
While earning his degree in music from Arkansas Tech University, Chef Thomas continued to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a chef. In 2012, Chef Thomas moved to the Bay Area to work at the Michelin-starred Acquerello in San Francisco as a line cook. During his two-year tenure at Acquerello, Thomas honed his culinary skills under the direction of Chef Suzette Gresham while working closely with chefs Alex Dill, Jeremy Nelson, Mark Pensa, Tu David Phu, and Patrick Van Voorhis. Chef Thomas then went on to work at The Meritage and Limewood Restaurant & Bar at the Claremont Hotel & Spa in Berkeley. In 2019, he joined DoubleTree by Hilton Berkeley Marina and Berkeley Boathouse as Executive Chef.
Inspired by his Italian heritage and deep Southern roots, Chef Thomas has created a well-balanced, innovative menu for the Berkeley Boathouse offering shareable small plates, flatbreads, sides, composed salads, and a selection of entrees, all of which are inspired by global influences and offer artful presentations and intriguing flavor profiles.
Chef Thomas currently resides in Berkeley. When he's not in the kitchen he enjoys the outdoors, collecting records, barbecuing with family and friends, and attending A's games.