For our monthly series “Meet The Kitchen Family,” we sat down with Matty Carroll to get to know him a little bit better. Here’s what he had to say:
Where are you from? How long have you lived in Boulder?
I grew up in Vermont, just outside of Burlington in a small town called Essex. I’ve lived in Boulder for seven years, I came and visited in 2006 and really loved it.
Did you dive immediately into the restaurant scene when you moved here?
No, not at all actually, my first year and a half I worked for the Boulder Valley School District. Then I applied and got into CU, and studied international affairs with a focus on geo-politics, human geography, and civil war, those kinds of things. When I graduated in the spring of 2012, I applied to be a server at The Kitchen Next Door.
The Kitchen Next Door is the only restaurant you’ve ever worked in?
That is correct. I love it, it’s a fun restaurant, the people I work with are very cool. I came into it with no experience and minimal knowledge in food and wine and beer, and I’ve learned an enormous amount. Working with people who have a lot of experience and knowledge is really inspiring.
Top lessons learned so far?
I think being patient is a really big part of it. Whether it’s patience with my coworkers, with myself, or patience with the guests who come in. And taking pride in whatever you’re doing, whether it’s something seemingly insignificant, or an experience you’re providing for somebody else. Or when the server that I’m working with is able to learn something cool, and take care in what they are doing. Those for sure have been great lessons along the way.
How has The Kitchen Next Door evolved?
As long as I’ve worked here, it’s always been a casual place. Over the course of the last year in particular, I think we’ve developed that a lot. We take a lot of the great qualities from the other Kitchen restaurants, in having a staff that is highly attentive to detail and well educated, but that presents itself and our restaurant in a more light, fun, and colloquial way. From service style to decor, all those sorts of things, I think it has really grown.
Have you visited other Next Door restaurants?
I haven’t been to Glendale, but I’ve been to Union Station. It’s amazing, the space there is beautiful. When I went I took the bus, I got off at the station and was sitting at the bar a couple minutes later, it was great. They’ve got a really cool thing going on, they’ve been crushing it down there.
You’re also in a band, can you tell us about that?
I play music with two other friends, we’re called Lost Optical, we’re based out of Denver. It’s instrumental electronic music, with a lot of funk and dub reggae influence. Whenever I have free time, we’re writing and recording music, and trying to play it for as many folks as we can. Last summer, we had an amazing opportunity to play at music festivals all over the United States. I play guitar and keys, and I write and produce a good chunk of the music that we end up releasing
What does your next year look like?
I was just promoted to assistant General Manager, so I’m taking on new responsibilities, I’m really excited about that. I’m looking forward to learning more, and continuing to mold the personality and the vibe of the restaurant. Just finding ways to make it better.