Chef Matt Farley, Executive Chef of TomKats Hospitality Group, began his culinary journey in upstate New York at the age of 17. He moved to New York City in 1995, where he worked his way up in the kitchens of some of the Big Apple’s most lauded restaurants. After studying at the French Culinary Institute, Chef Farley became the executive chef at the eclectic Noho Star, a New York City institution. Chef Farley remained at the Noho Star for seven years until he was offered the unique opportunity to run a USDA facility, where he oversaw product development for retailers such as Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s.
In fall of 2009, Chef Farley moved his family to Nashville, TN, and after two and a half years of working with TomKats’ owner Tom Morales at the iconic Loveless Cafe and Farmhouse at Fontanel, Chef Farley brought his diverse experience and true love of food to The Southern Steak & Oyster. At The Southern, Chef Farley collaborated with catering and restaurant veteran Morales to craft a menu where every dish is inspired by cuisine that’s “south of somewhere.” When Morales decided to open his next project, Acme Feed & Seed, in 2014, Chef Farley was the natural choice to helm the kitchen. The multi-concept venue required a variety of menus, which Farley created with inspirations ranging from fast-casual street food on the first floor, to shareable, updated takes on Southern tailgate favorites for the second floor bar and lounge. Chef Farley consulted on the menu for Southernaire Market, a locally-sourced, artisanal market with in-house butcher shop and deli, opened in 2015 adjacent to The Southern. In 2016, TomKats opened Fin & Pearl, a sustainable seafood concept in the Gulch, with Chef Farley leading the kitchen. Most recently, Chef Farley worked closely with Morales on the historic restoration project, Woolworth on 5th, which serves as a welcome table Southern roots and rhythms.
Also an avid musician, Chef Farley originally fell in love with Nashville while visiting to record an album. Since moving to Music City, Chef Farley has immersed himself in Nashville’s music scene and by regularly playing shows and recording with his band, as well as touring with other local musicians.