Matthew Farrell


Image of Chef Matthew Farrell, CIA culinary arts graduate

“I draw on my CIA education daily for my recipes, yields, flavors, and techniques. The CIA puts you at an advantage through the network of graduates. The CIA’s reach is so vast—the school has alumni in every aspect of the food industry.”


Major: Culinary Arts

Job Title: Customer Dedicated Executive Chef for American Airlines, gategroup
Location: Chicago, IL

Matt Farrell graduated with a bachelor of science degree in food science and human nutrition from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During his senior year, he realized his passion in life was to cook. “I found myself looking into graduate school to study culinary arts. As the leader in culinary education, The Culinary Institute of America was the obvious choice,” says Matt, gategroup’s customer dedicated executive chef for American Airlines based out of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. “I wanted to get a better understanding of the culinary arts, and CIA’s Accelerated Culinary Arts Certificate Program at the Greystone campus enabled me to start right in the kitchen, bypassing coursework I had already completed.”

Photo of Matthew Farrell, Customer Dedicated Executive Chef for American Airlines and CIA culinary arts graduate
“CIA’s Accelerated Culinary Arts Certificate Program at the Greystone campus enabled me to start right in the kitchen, bypassing coursework I had already completed.”—Matthew Farrell, CIA Culinary arts

There is no better place to go to school than the wine country of Napa Valley,” Matt continues. “The community is dedicated to fresh, locally sourced, and minimally processed ingredients, that are the foundation of California cuisine.” With his certificate in hand, Matt traveled east to work at The Inn at Little Washington in Washington, VA. “That’s where I honed my skills and helped define my vision of food, which is focused on truly American cuisine featuring seasonal ingredients and showcasing local vendors.”

“The primary thing I learned at the CIA is discipline—not only in my craft but in my personal life. I’m very organized and always thinking of efficiencies in the kitchen and out,” he says. “I draw on my CIA education daily for my recipes, yields, flavors, and techniques. The CIA puts you at an advantage through the network of graduates. The CIA’s reach is so vast—the school has alumni in every aspect of the food industry.”

In February 2013, Matt was hired by Gate Gourmet, a subsidiary of gategroup headquartered in Zürich, Switzerland, which is the leading independent provider of airline catering and provisioning services. In January 2017, Matt transferred to the parent company. His responsibilities include designing, implementing, and insuring compliance for meals at more than 30 units globally. With kitchens all over the world, Matt gets to travel and work with international chefs to develop recipes for gategroup. “I’ve traveled to Lima, Buenos Aires, Shanghai, and Hong Kong,” says Matt. “I’ve learned from our chefs who are experts in world cuisines. American Airlines also works with celebrity chefs. I’ve developed recipes for our passengers with Maneet Chauhan ’00 and Hawaiian chef Sam Choy. I’ve been able to discover new cultures and cuisines and I constantly take notes to see how I can adapt recipes to feed people all over the world.”