Kenney graduated from the French Culinary Institute and, after working in upscale New York City kitchens, opened a number of his own highly regarded restaurants in New York and along the East Coast. He has earned several awards, including being named one of America’s Best New Chefs by Food and Wine Magazine and was twice nominated as a Rising Star Chef in America by the James Beard Foundation. Kenney has appeared on numerous food and talk shows, and regularly lectures on the subject of food and health, including a highly watched TEDx talk in 2011.
Having grown up on the coast of Maine and being an avid outdoorsman, Kenney’s success lies within his innate understanding of seasonal and local ingredients, his classical training and extensive travel background. As a raw food chef, Kenney’s application of contemporary methods and techniques along with a firm commitment to innovative recipes and food aesthetics is leading plant-based cuisine to the mainstream.
In 2009, Kenney founded the world’s first classically structured raw food culinary academy. Matthew Kenney Academy has graduated students from over 30 countries. Along with operating his namesake academy and restaurant brand, Kenney is involved in raw food chef and plant-based projects around the world, and travels extensively to forward his mission to show others that food can be delicious and vibrant, while still healthful.
Kenney operates culinary academies in Venice, CA; Belfast, ME; and Miami, FL in addition to an online academy. The brand includes restaurants Plant Food + Wine with locations in Los Angeles and Miami; and plant-based pizza concept Double Zero in New York City’s East Village, MAKE OUT, a fast causal spot in Culver City, CA; and the recently opened Matthew Kenney NM, a café created in partnership with and located within Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills. Plant Café in Bahrain, Kenney’s first restaurant outside of North America, is slated to open by Q1 2017, alongside new brand division Matthew Kenney Wellness, a travel-based wellness division with a series of retreat experiences in Kauai, HI.