Matthew Beaudin, Executive Chef
As Executive Chef at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Matthew Beaudin is responsible for supervising and directing much of its culinary operations – from sourcing to menus to catering for private events.
He joined the Aquarium in February 2015, and his main focus is to create menu items for the Aquarium’s culinary operations, including catering.
His approach to food blends cuisine and community, from building relationships with local fishermen and farmers, to building sustainable gardens for orphaned children stricken with HIV. (See separate sheet of the many projects in which Matthew is involved.)
After earning his Associates Degree in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America, Matthew pursued his passion for cooking by working around the globe, holding chef positions in the Caribbean, China, the West Indies and Rwanda, as well as all over the United States. Matthew has run kitchens at jungle base camps, on private islands, and at restaurants perched 10,000 feet up the side of a volcano.
He began his commitment to sustainability and culinary education during his work in the village of Musanze in Rwanda. He continues to maintain strong ties with students in that community.
Influenced by his travels, Matthew honed his techniques and expertise back home in the United States at such prestigious five-star/five-diamond properties as the Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire; the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs; and the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota, Florida.
His experiences have enabled him to acquire a well-rounded palate, mixing tastes discovered during his global travels with modern American cuisine deeply rooted in farm-to-table principles – all emphasizing the ever-increasing importance of sustainability.
In addition to the daily demands as Executive Chef at the Aquarium, Matthew finds joy and fulfillment in traveling to Mexico, where he works with children at local orphanages, such as Eunime Por Tijuana, as well as a school for the deaf. He is also working with local officials to improve the nutritional opportunities and quality of life for these children.
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Executive Chef Matthew Beaudin’s recent projects
Matthew has established or collaborated on several initiatives that promote nutrition education and sustainable practices near and far. These include:
- Developed a box-free initiative with Russo’s Produce that’s now in use at other operations on the Monterey Peninsula, saving thousands of pounds of cardboard every month.
- Switched buying seafood from San Francisco to Monterey vendors, and is working on traceability options to further determine when seafood was caught and by which boat.
- Served as an advisor for the Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust to help rebuild connections in the local seafood supply chain, as well as establish goals and future plans for the sustainability of the local fishing community.
- Collaborated with students from California State University, Monterey Bay on a beekeeping program to provide education in apiculture and produce honey for use on campus and at the Aquarium.
- Partnered with the Binational Committee in Tijuana, Mexico to pilot a program at two orphanages to support terminally ill orphaned children stricken with HIV. The goal is to build and maintain sustainable gardens, providing children with access to a nutritious and practical diet.
- Helped develop a food safety course in Northern Mexico with the aid of Eunime Por Tijuana to educate over 200 young cooks and inspire them to work with local orphanages.
- Collaborated with the Mexican government and local Baja culinary institutions in the hope to reintroduce totoaba fish, whose Gulf of California population is threatened due to high demand for its swim bladder.
- Collaborated on a Manna Pack cookbook to maximize the global food service’s nutritional impact, with an emphasis on local ingredients and language.
- With Seafood Watch, organized the first meeting of a local Chefs Collaborative. Its focus was on local ground fish fisheries and educating the region’s chefs about the collaborative.
- Connected with local squid fishermen to source squid in season just hours after harvest. Squid is typically harvested locally but sent to China for processing before being shipped back.
- Raises four sheep as well as ducks and goats on Evergreen Acres farm in Hollister, and uses the milk, cheese and eggs as ingredients in some dishes at the Aquarium.