Hello, my name is Matthew Baldridge and I am a glutton for long work days, sleepless nights, and providing unique dining experiences.. I started out as a young teenager working weekends after school at the local catering hall. I spent my time scrubbing the burnt mostachioli and tomato sauce from the pots and pans used by the elderly couple who operated the establishment. I knew at a young age that I didn't want to do that much longer! So I begged and pleaded that they let me prep and cook the food for service, instead of clean up during and after.. Fortunately they agreed! I worked my way up and eventually went to School Craft Culinary to further my education in the field.
Shortly after I was fortunate enough to land a job as chef de parte at the James Beard award winning restaurant The Rattlesnake Club in Detroit. I stayed on and worked with Chef Jimmy Schmidt for more than 7 years. Moving up the ranks from sauté cook to Chef de Cuisine. My time there was invaluable. A bit like what I imagine graduate school would have been like.
From there I took the position of Executive Chef at Cliff Bells in Detroit. During my time there I took part in every aspect of building the kitchen, to day to day operations.
In 2013, with the help of my girlfriend (now my fiancé), I started Dinner Club Pop Up. The goal was to bring "fine dining " to new and unique venues, and to focus on combining culinary arts with fine arts. The response was overwhelming! We eventually were voted Detroits Best Pop Up dining experience by the readers of Hour Magazine!
Which brings me to the present. I have since secured a space in downtown Ferndale, which will be the home of an entirely new and unique dining experience called The Conserva. This is a concept that I have been developing over time. It's based upon a food preservation technique of the same name. There is more information about this concept available on our website , and Facebook page.
Although I have secured the initial financial backing for the endeavor, I'm in need of a bit more. While gutting what used to be an old tax place, I have found that there is more work to be done than I originally expected.
In order to bring my concept to life, I'm asking for help. I can offer in return my undying gratitude, as well as some other incentives.
I truly appreciate that you took the time to read my story, and hope you will consider a contribution! Every little bit helps.
Thank you again,
- Janet O'Brien
- Joe Gray
- Tommy H
- Ron & Robin Ladziak
- Douglas Runyon