People Doing Cool Stuff: Matt DeMille
In the recipe of what makes the Bay of Quinte region a great place to live and visit, what are the ingredients? A cup and a half of quality local businesses, three-quarters of a cup of natural beauty, three tablespoons of charm and dashes of the secret ingredient: people doing cool stuff. The heartbeat of our communities lies in the residents who are cooking something up metaphorically, and literally in this month’s example.
Matt DeMille has been stirring up the BoQ with feel-good culinary experiences, drool-worthy social media content and exceptional catering for the past few years. We’re lucky to have him and are stoked to get to know him a bit more.
By Jack McAvoy
Read time: 2 min
For those who may not be familiar, what have you been up to?
Over the last couple of years, we’ve really been amping up the large-scale catering. I love the brand ambassador/social media work that I do with food companies like Boulart Bread and Ooni. I’ve also been focussing on hospitality consultation where I help businesses with a particular issue or help their business off the ground. During the pandemic, I started a spicy maple syrup condiment company called Matt’s Hot Maple and will be bringing it back to shelves in 2024.
Did you ever have a “Eureka!” moment where you just knew working in the culinary industry was your calling?
I did actually… I’ve really loved it for a very long time but it was when I was working at Le Select Bistro in Toronto under chef Albert Ponzo that it clicked and I thought to myself “I’m gonna do this forever and work as hard as possible doing it.”
What made you want to plant your roots in the BoQ?
My dad’s side of the family is from this area. I grew up here and headed to cooking school when I was 22. So when the city got too crazy and Erin and I had our son Leo we decided to move back and enjoy that small-town life.
What is the most unique experience you’ve encountered while working in the BoQ?
That’s a tough one to pinpoint. I think It’s been the ever-changing + ever-growing focus on this area. As far as my line of work goes I can offer so many unique experiences close by because we live in such a geographically diverse area. Cooking outside or in people’s beautiful homes or at an amazing winery. It all happens here.
What are you up to in ‘24 that we should keep an eye out for?
Most New Years I go in hot with 1,000 big plans but this year I want to focus on consistency and strengthening what I’ve already built. The one big push will be producing Matt’s Hot Maple again and getting it out to a bigger market.
If you could prepare a meal for anyone in the world, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
I’d trade dinner for concert tickets with Taylor Swift. Then give them to my daughter.
What is your guilty pleasure when it comes to food?
Taco Bell one hundred percent. Five Guys is also THE BEST.