Chef Matthew Raiford was most recently the Program Coordinator and Associate Professor of Culinary Arts at the College of Coastal Georgia. He has a Bachelor’s of Professional Studies degree in Culinary Arts from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and a certificate in Ecological Horticulture from UC Santa Cruz and The Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS). Chef 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 19!years of formal experience in the food and hospitality industry, he has worked and traveled extensively and taught culinary arts in community and technical colleges in Georgia, Maryland and Texas.
Chef’s last three chef positions where as the Executive Chef of Little St. Simons Island a private resort located off the coast of Georgia and accessed only by boat. The Executive Chef of Haute Catering in Washington, D.C. at the House of Representatives where he was responsible for a total of five properties National Defense University, National Archives, Pentagon Conference Center and Library, and the Canadian Embassy. The Executive Chef of Galaxy Diner the employee dining facility at Gaylord National Hotel in Maryland where on average there were 2000 meals served a day breakfast, lunch, dinner and overnight.
CheFarmer Raiford returned home to Brunswick, Georgia in 2011 to become the sixth generation farmer on his families’ land that they have owned since 1874. Gilliard Farms is a sibling-run certified organic farm. Within this varied degree Chef Raiford sees himself as a ‘Chefarmer’. Currently, he is launching The Farmer and The Larder, a family-owned culinary retail space specializing in educational adventures in taste through culinary classes, kitchen retail and a weekly supper club. CheFarmer serves on the Slow Food USA Board of Directors and Slow Meat Steering Committee (2014, 2015). He enjoys collecting menus, planting roses, traveling, dining and teaching. His passion lies in creating a memorable dining experience by preparing local, sustainable organic and flavorful foods.
The Savannah Food & Wine Festival is presented by the Tourism Leadership Council, a 501-(c) 6 organization, and The AdFish Group, with proceeds benefiting the TLC Scholarship Fund, with educational opportunities for hospitality program students in colleges and universities in the Coastal Empire and many local charitable organizations.
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