Matthew Gallaher

Years of Participation

Knoxville, TN native, Matt Gallaher's dynamic culinary career began at his mother's side in his family's restaurant and catering company. After acquiring a Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Tennessee in 2003, Matt embraced cooking as his true calling and seized an opportunity to work under Executive Chef John Fleer at Blackberry Farm in Walland, TN.

Upon leaving Blackberry Farm in 2007, after serving a year as Sous Chef, Matt traveled across fourteen countries and four continents cooking for musicians including Eagles, Neil Young, Keith Urban and Kings of Leon. Desiring to reconnect with his Tennessee roots, Matt was called home in 2011 as Personal Chef for Governor Bill Haslam in Nashville.

Just two years later Matt found himself back in his beloved hometown of Knoxville where he opened Knox Mason, his ode to traditional Appalachian cuisine.  In 2016, he opened Emilia, which focuses on ‘Handmade Italian’ cuisine.

His commitment to sustainable foodways has garnered generous recognition including Slow Food ‘Snail of Approval’ and Eat REAL TN and ASAP Certifications. Additionally, Matt has been named ‘Rising Star Chef Tennessee/Kentucky’ by, and ’Best Chef’ by MetroPulse in 2014, Blank Newspaper in 2015 and Knoxville Mercury 2016.