Equal parts educator and student, Matt Jennings is New England’s ambassador to a modern, regional food movement with a focus on the culinary heritage, and future of artisan foods. A self-prescribed husband, father, chef and cheesemonger – in that order – Jennings discovered the artistry of cheese while on a cook’s sabbatical back in 2000. Jennings studied under cheese makers both at home and abroad, and in selecting and procuring the best American and imported cheeses he provided the supply link to some of the biggest named industry professionals in the U.S.
Three years later, Jennings took this tangent and applied it to the format of his Farmstead enterprise in Providence, Rhode Island – a small retail shop offering domestic and imported cheese, along with charcuterie and artisanal rarities. Its shelves boast prepared and packaged ‘New England centric’ foods that spout integrity of quality, source, and deliciousness. After two years manning the retail outlet, Jennings opted to put himself back into the throes of service and opened a small bistro in the available space adjacent to his retail shop.
Citing his efforts as a reflection of his ‘core values’, Jennings accomplishments have not gone unnoticed. His accolades include, being listed as one of Food & Wine’s 40 under 40 “Big Thinkers, Changing The Way America Eats”, he’s been recognized as one of Mother Nature Network’s “Most Sustainable Chefs in America”, and has been thrice-named finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef Northeast” award. His most recent venture has him working with the White House in an effort to change the way American’s eat.