Matt Canter

Executive Chef

Matt was born in Richmond, VA, but spent time in Maryland, Georgia, North Carolina and Florida before moving to Charleston in 2006 where he decided to settle.

As a child, Matt would write menus for his parents’ dinner parties for fun, especially around the holidays. As a teenager, he was initially inspired by the service aspect and fast pace of the restaurant industry and got a job at a sports bar in Atlanta and never looked back. Matt eventually attended The Culinary Institute of America in upstate New York and graduated in 2004 with degrees in culinary arts and hospitality management.

His first job in the Lowcountry was at the Ocean Room on Kiawah Island. He had previously worked at Ritz Carlton properties in in Palm Beach and Amelia Island so the luxury resort was a natural fit. After two years, Matt left Kiawah’s Ocean Room, and worked as sous chef at Charleston Place from 2007 – 2010, then went to acclaimed restaurant, FIG, where he worked as butcher and sous chef for three years. Matt then went on to serve as senior culinary instructor at The Art Institute of Charleston for three years.

Matt joined The Park Cafe as executive chef in June 2016 where he reunited with old friend and former FIG colleague, Xan McLaughlin, who is co-owner of the beloved Wagener Terrace restaurant. In addition to planning menus and working with local farmers and purveyors, Matt loves the satisfaction he derives from teaching others new skills in the kitchen and helping cooks develop into what they aspire to be.

When he is not in the kitchen, Matt can be found spending time with his dogs, Titus and Nyla, or on his motorcycle.