We are featuring Matt Joyce, Executive Chef of PRIME at the Plaza, which includes Cornerstone at the Plaza, A La Mode and PBD Kitchen. He brings 20 years of industry experience to his role and began working for Mazzone Hospitality in 2014. Keep reading to discover his favorite space, current trends, favorite menu item and more!
What is your favorite space in your facility?
It varies by season. In the summer from July to September it is all about Cornerstone at the Plaza. Prepping for Wedding, you can see the sunrise from the east over the Berkshires. Then the sunrises and the plaza is full of vendors and state workers and activity. Cornerstone stays busy and showcases the Plaza but as a whole the Plaza is a beautiful underutilized public space. As Fall and farmers biggest harvesting comes along I like to be in the Kitchen of PRIME at the Plaza Café. It’s the biggest facility where I can work with my favorite products in season. Farmers are excited to share their product and they are just more settled in than they are in the frantically busy early part of planting season. Then January to June it is all about Legislative Session. With over 3,000 daily visitors in the café, going all the way up to 8,000 total diners between all locations on the busiest days. There is an energy, an adrenaline boost to working and putting your best dishes forward.
What trends take place at your facility? (Green Initiatives, Meeting Space set up, Agenda shifts)
People in general are continuing to move away from protein centered diets. I’ve seen it build since I began (at the plaza) 5 years ago. They are more curious about sourcing food, and seasonality. We do our fair share of tenders and fries business, but we are encouraged that people are getting more invested in their food. Our promotions are centered on sustainability and healthy eating and people flock to it. It is really encouraging.
What is your favorite menu offering at your facility?
My favorite offering is the ability to change the offering every day. Different foods, different sources and local vendors. It keeps my curiosity active. If you are not open to learning or trying new things you are going to get stale. A chef’s mindset should be like their ingredients, always fresh.
What do you think is the best way for event managers to be creative while remaining cost effective?
Event managers need to find what the bottom (financial) line is and be transparent about it. Once that is established with the client, there is a lot of flexibility. If there is transparency in the budget for an event our options open up. It’s all about clear communication between chefs and sales managers and then relaying that to the client. We are in the business to please and to serve not to say no in some grey area. Transparency in communication allows the creative flood gates to open.