Matt Alba

Matt Alba

Former Chef de Cuisine of Ad Hoc

It’s not about how hard you fall...It’s about how fast you get back up. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but make sure you take the time to understand and learn from the mistakes you’ve made.

Mark Hopper was my most impactful mentor as I started my career; he gave me the foundation and confidence to become the chef I am today. Also, Phil Tessier really helped me elevate my creative intuition when I moved to Yountville. He taught me how to think about food and ways to manipulate flavors.
Chef Mark taught me to always have a good attitude and whenever you are a part of a moment with struggles or frustration there are two ways to approach it, be negative and feed the fire, or be positive and make the best of the situation… change someone’s negative perspective!
Work for each other, not for yourself.
My first stage at Bouchon Las Vegas will always stick with me. It wasn’t the amazing food or the pristine kitchen that drew me to Thomas Keller Restaurant Group, it was everyone’s willingness to help each other before they helped themselves.
Don’t worry about what everybody else is doing, worry about what you are doing, and if are you doing it to the best of your ability.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
I keep my team motivated and inspired by teaching and mentoring them through difficult times on how to overcome adversity and challenges. Telling them when they have done a good job. Collaborating with them on our menu changes and using their childhood experiences to write menus collectively as a team.
Chef Phil showed me to sacrifice your own personal achievements or glory to make sure that the team is successful first, and to stay humble.

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