When you #StaySonesta at Sonesta Suites Scottsdale Gainey Ranch, you can expect beautiful scenery, plenty of space for relaxing, and food that is as fresh and delicious as it is beautiful. The hotel recently added Executive Chef Matt Porter to its team, and he is creating culinary art with a focus on local ingredients. Read below to learn all about Chef Porter’s chef journey.

kelly fresh origins crab salad

kelly fresh origins burrata salad

What has your culinary journey looked like?

I went to Chef  Le Cordon Bleu, California School of Culinary Arts and had my first culinary job at Vail Marriott Resort.

What made you enter this profession?

I love creating food and eating it.

Who are your biggest cooking influences? 

My mom was my first influence, as she cooked dinner for my family every night, and every chef I have worked for along the way has influenced me. My first executive chef when I came out of school who taught me the essentials was Dean Waziry,  and my last executive chef, Daniel Patino, taught me the finesse and fine dining aspect of cooking.

What is your first food memory?

My mom used to force me to eat spinach because she loved it. . . I hate it!

If you weren’t a chef, what would you be doing?

I would be a professional beer brewer.

What is your favorite food travel memory? 

I was executive sous chef at the San Jose Marriott where we had  Michael Mina’s Arcadia restaurant in the hotel, and I went to San Francisco with my executive chef Daniel Patino. He took me to Michael Mina’s signature restaurant and we had approximately 20 courses, maybe more.  We sat next to the kitchen and got to see all the action of a crazy Saturday night. I think we were there from open to close.  It was the best meal I have ever eaten in my life.

How do you incorporate your vision into your menus?

I like to use products as local as possible as much as I can to support our state and local areas.