CheFarmer Matthew Raiford is currently the Executive Chef of Little St. Simons Island a private resort located off the coast of Georgia accessed only by boat. He is also a farmer who has returned home to Brunswick, Georgia to become a sixth generation farmer on his families’ land that they have owned since 1874. He has a Bachelor’s of Professional Studies degree in Culinary Arts from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. CheFarmer also holds a certificate in Ecological Horticulture from UC Santa Cruz and The Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS). He will be returning to UC Santa Cruz this year to help with the annual FARM 2 FORK Scholarship Fundraiser.
CheFarmer Raiford is trained in classic French cuisine and has an affinity for Mediterranean flavors, yet is capable of preparing dishes from around the world. With over 15 years of formal experience in the Food and Hospitality Industry, he has worked and traveled extensively and taught culinary arts in the community and technical colleges in Georgia, Maryland, and Texas. He is a strong manager and teacher and joyfully shares his knowledge about the delights of food and wine.
CheFarmer Raiford is a Chef Rôtisseur of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs USA, a Food and Wine Society and a co-owner of Gilliard Farms, LLC. His last position he served as the Executive Chef of Haute Catering in Washington, D.C. at the House of Representatives. He was responsible for a total of five properties National Defense University, National Archives, Pentagon Conference Center and Library, and the Canadian Embassy where he developed recipes, menus and the execution of wonderful, delectable dining experiences with a staff of 75 people. He enjoys collecting menus, planting roses, traveling, dining and teaching. His passion lies in creating a memorable dining experience by preparing local, organic and flavorful foods. CheFarmer Raiford lives in Brunswick, Georgia.