Hailing from the remote and bountiful region of Margaret River, Western Australia, Matt Stone spent his formative years surrounded by one of Australia’s richest landscapes for produce. As a chef and author, his cuisine underscores an ideology deeply rooted in connection to country. With profound respect for the land, Matt’s strong convictions and inquisitive nature have led him to become one of Australia’s leading sustainable chefs.
In joining Greenhouse Perth as head chef at just 22 years old, Matt was brought into the orbit of restaurateur and sustainability champion Joost Bakker. Joost and his restaurant’s philosophy of using hyper-local, organic ingredients to produce nutritious dishes with zero waste had a significant impact on Matt’s own culinary ideology. This strong conviction has continued to echo through all of Matt’s subsequent projects.
Following Greenhouse Perth’s success, Matt joined Joost in opening Australia’s first zero-waste cafe, Silo (then known as Brothl), as well as heading up the kitchens at Greenhouse pop up restaurants on Sydney Harbour and in Melbourne’s Southbank, in 2011 and 2012 respectively.
In July 2015, Matt became executive chef at Oakridge in the Yarra Valley, Victoria. Working closely with his partner and co-executive chef Jo Barrett, the pair created a new identity for the restaurant which echoed Oakridge wines’ connection to and love for the land.
The Oakridge kitchen served an ever-changing menu that become known as ‘Yarra Valley Cuisine’ – offering a distinct taste of the local area. With help from the winery’s knowledgeable viticultural team, Matt created a significant kitchen garden and cooked only with ingredients that could be grown, foraged or sourced on the Oakridge property or from producers in the Yarra Valley region.
In 2020 Matt departed Oakridge to take up the opportunity to work again with Joost on his newest project – futurefoodsystem. Located at Federation Square, Melbourne, Matt and Jo will take up residency at the futurefoodsystem house - a two bedroom home built on the banks of the Yarra River. The house built from natural and recyclable materials will demonstrate a self-sustaining, closed loop – a home that will shelter, feed and provide energy for its inhabitants. The human driven system will mimic nature - upcycling what we currently regard as ‘waste’, in order to grow nutrient dense, delicious produce that Matt (& Jo) will create dishes from.