Chef Matthew Secich
… a passionate Cuisinier and culinary artist.
As a young boy in Ohio, Matthew learned the heart and soul of cuisine from his loving grandmother. Her inspiring words still apply today, such as, “Never use a recipe. You must cook from the heart and be free to create from within“. After high school and a stint in the Army, he attended Texas Tech University to study elementary education. Here, he fell in love with his best friend and future wife, Crystal. They both took a job in a restaurant, and memories of his grandmother’s precious lessons came back stronger than ever. After the wedding, they returned to Ohio, where Matthew began to study under the only true American Culinary Federation Master Chef, Harmut Handke. This was a turning point… the Master pushed him to attend culinary school.
Soon after, he was a student at Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina, where he studied under Master Chef Karl Guggenmos, and competed, as a student, in national culinary competitions in the “Professionals” category. Matthew captured two gold and eight silver medals within nine months, a first-time accomplishment by any student in Johnson & Wales history. Here he began an exciting journey
His Culinary Path
Chef Secich has gained a wealth of culinary experience. He worked under Patrick O’Connell at famed 5 Star The Inn at Little Washington and Chef Craig Shelton at The Ryland Inn, the Mobil Four Star, AAA Four Diamond, Gourmand restaurant in Whitehouse, New Jersey.
Chef Secich’s impressive resume also includes a stint at The Inn at Erlowest on Lake George, earning four stars from the Times Union newspaper. Prior to this, Secich spent time in Jackson Hole, Wyoming at The Alpenhof Lodge’s Dining Room, where he was noted by critics as creating the best dining experience in all of Jackson Hole. Matthew’s culinary journey also encompasses studies with Master Chefs in Europe at Restaurant Pierre Gagnaire and with Guy Martin at Le Grand Vefour in France, and with Raymond Blanc at La Manior Aux Quat’ Saisons. Let’s not forget that he “ran the kitchen” for Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago. He now finds himself “at home” in our AAA Four Diamond kitchen at Rabbit Hill Inn.
“God blesses us with wonderful foods. Out of respect, everything should be cooked to the brink of perfection.” Chef Matthew begins with uncompromising commitment to the freshest seasonal ingredients sourced from the best local farms. Then he masterfully applies classical and new age techniques, unlimited imagination and artistry, topped with amazing attention to detail. Indescribable passion goes into every dish and the results are extraordinary.
A printed menu is a mere formality and speaks only to the basics of what the seasonally changing fare has to offer. This allows Chef Matthew to take “creative liberties” by using the freshest ingredients of the day and adding whimsical surprises designed to heighten your culinary experience. Although there are strong French influences, his cooking style is without boundaries; hence it is beyond a label or description. He proudly provides a personalized dining experience.
Above all, our dedicated focus is on always exceeding guest expectations and proudly bringing joy to all that find their way to Rabbit Hill’s table.