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 (Esquire’s “Best New Steakhouse in America” 2012 and Restaurant Business’s “Top 100 Independent Restaurants” 2015 & 2016). At The Southern, Chef Farley collaborates 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 (Thrillist’s “Best New Restaurants in America” 2014; Nashville Scene’s “Best New Bar” 2015 and Restaurant Business’s “Top 100 Independent Restaurants” 2016), Chef Farley was the natural choice to once again helm the kitchen. The multi-concept venue required a variety menus, which Farley created with inspirations ranging from fast-casual street food on the first floor to easily shareable, updated takes on Southern tailgate favorites for the second floor bar/lounge. To Farley, “the most important thing is having honest food that brings out the flavors of good, simple ingredients.”