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People Doing Cool Stuff: Matt DeMille

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
man in a buffalo check plaid shirt with lots of tattoos cooking over a stove in low light

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 is your Mount Rushmore of BoQ spots? 
Love the crew and food at Ellena’s in Napanee, Presqu’ile Provincial Park and Proctor Park Conservation Area for some fresh air, Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre for a big swim and Nova Deli will always have a special place in my heart.

a chef (male, short hair, tattoos on arm), putting finishing garnishes on a few dishes on a counter
a chef (man with short hair and lots of tattoos) stirring something in a pot over a stove

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.

Learn more about Matt on his website or follow him on Instagram to keep up with his cooking.

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A collection of all our stories from the BOQ

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Let’s see what we got!

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The Bay of Quinte RMB Land Acknowledgement

The Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board is committed to acknowledging, appreciating and understanding the Indigenous peoples’ historic connection to this land and to raising awareness by building relationships in collaboration with Indigenous partners and communities. 

We recognize and acknowledge that we are living and working on the traditional territory of the Wendat, Mississauga, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee which includes the Kenhtè:ke Kanyen’kehá:ka (Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte) with whom we work in direct partnership with. 

This partnership focuses on the common goal of celebrating the region with the Kenhtè:ke Kanyen’kehá:ka who are equal partners within the organization and at the Board of Directors table contributing to the mandate and operations.

This mandate includes listening to, learning from, and collaborating with the Kenhtè:ke Kanyen’kehá:ka and actively incorporating their culture and heritage into the practice of responsible destination marketing and management of the region.

We understand that this land acknowledgement is only a small step towards the larger process of reparations and reconciliation.

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