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Festival Dates: Feb 20-23, 2014

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Matthew Lightner


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Executive Chef of Atera

After graduating with high honors from the Western Culinary Institute in 2001, Matt continued his pursuit of culinary excellence in some of the world's finest kitchens. From Copenhagen's renowned Noma to California's L'Auberge alongside James Beard award-winning chef Paul McCabe, Matt grew roots in the ideologies of season and place. In 2007, as one of fifteen chefs annually awarded the Young Chefs Culinary Scholarship in Spain, he met his mentor, Andoni Aduriz at Mugaritz. There, Matt gained a very natural perspective of modern cooking that built the foundations for the cuisine that garnered him accolades at Castagna in Portland, OR.

In 2010, Matt was named one of Food & Wine's "Best New Chefs in America", received nominations for Rising Star Chef by the James Beard Foundation in both 2010 and 2011, and included in Restaurant Hospitality's list of "10 Chefs to Watch" in 2010. In December 2012, Matt had the opportunity to showcase his talents to great acclaim alongside Napa Valley's three Michelin starred Christopher Kostow for Meadowood's 12 Days of Christmas charitable dining series.

Atera, Matt's most ambitious venture to date, relies greatly on his innate connection to time and place to create a dining experience unique to itself. Since opening in March 2012, Atera has earned numerous accolades including a 4-star review from New York magazine, a 3-star review from The New York Times, a spot on Bon Appetit's Best 50 New Restaurants list, Esquire's Best New Restaurants list as one of the Chefs to Watch, and StarChefs as a Rising Star.

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