Matthew Elliott Reiter was born and raised in Berkeley, CA., where his parents still live in his childhood home. As a child he liked play dough which led to pottery classes at a Berkeley kids pottery studio. He used a lot of clay and created many things including statue pieces and tried many techniques. He created his first pizza when he was nine years old, made from clay and eventually made his way to Culinary school in Santa Rosa. Stops along the way included two weeks of cooking classes during the summer at the local JCC in Berkeley and that year he requested a chef’s hat and jacket for Christmas, which he still has.
On a trip to Italy, he learned how to cook with Farro and brought back packages of it in his luggage as it was not readily available at home. He then attended the University of Arizona, but the Berkeley kid wanted to be in California. Next was Sonoma State and then Culinary became his true passion when he took a summer class there in Santa Rosa.
While in culinary school, he did stints at Bistro 29 in Santa Rosa and Bistro Don Giovanni in Napa. There, under the watchful eye of Donna Scala, he really got into what he loved. After school, Matthew returned to Berkeley. He worked at FatApples in El Cerrito in the kitchen and from there landed a job at Pizzaiolo. He came home from his interview and told his mom that this was the kind of kitchen and restaurant he wanted to be in.
Matthew has been with Pizzaiolo for five years going through every station, training his replacement at each station and learning from those around him. He also worked at Boot and Shoe part of the time and then returned to Pizzaiolo. He became the Sous Chef earlier this year. His pizzaiolo family calls him MattySoigne. When he is not working, he is hanging with friends, catching up on what’s going on with his local teams, cooking, and making sure his parents are taking good care of Eleanor, his favorite springer spaniel. She and his nephews in LA idolize him!