In many ways, Matthew Dickson found his lifeline in the kitchen. The 43-year-old Yorba Linda native with a penchant for obscure rock and punk music, stumbled into his first restaurant job at a local deli at the age of 16. Brandishing purple dreadlocks and a mohawk, the art student wasn’t a likely fit for a toque and chef’s coat, but by age 21 his artistic instincts began to transition from the canvas to the plate.
With a fine art and painting degree from San Francisco State University in tow, Dickson quickly moved up through the restaurant ranks, assuming both managerial positions as well as back-of-the-house positions as a line cook, sous chef, chef de cuisine, and executive chef. This path took Dickson far beyond the Orange County curtain of his youth, as he found a home in the kitchen at notable restaurants across the country and overseas. From Ironwood Café, one of the first organic restaurants in San Francisco, to Symphony Café and Oceana in New York, to acclaimed Chef Mark Miller’s Coyoté Café in New Mexico, and Bastide de Odeon in Paris, Dickson absorbed myriad culinary cultures that continue to influence his cuisine today.
In Los Angeles, Dickson could be found infusing his flare for West Coast, globally-influenced cuisine at Fred Eric's Vida, Rockenwagner, and Neal Fraser’s Grace Restaurant. In 2006, Dickson successfully parlayed his 25-plus years of restaurant experience into a managerial partner position at the iconic Malo in Silverlake.
While Dickson has always been inspired by the authenticity of the farm-to-table approach made famous by one his culinary heroes, Alice Waters, it wasn't until meeting FEED Owners DeeAnna Staats and Lynn Saunders that he found his passion for cuisine that fits into a healthy lifestyle. Through the partnership, Dickson articulates his enthusiasm for using real, seasonal ingredients into a menu of forward-thinking, California-style dishes that are nourishing for the body as well.
Dickson resides in Leimert Park with his wife, and enjoys spending his spare time building up his home garden, organizing his extensive array of cookbooks, and adding to his nearly 10,000 large collection of comic books.