We had originally heard of Chef Matthew (normally goes by Mateo) Rogers from The Hatch Rotisserie & Bar in downtown Paso Robles. He no longer works there but he and his girlfriend, Brittney Yracheta, have since started Heirloom Catering. Learn more from their ‘About’ page on Facebook and from the Q&A below.
Matt: Do you go by Matt or Matthew (had to ask because I’m a Matthew that goes by Matt)?
Mateo: I usually go by Mateo. Birth name is Matthew
Matt: Where are you from originally?
Mateo: Originally from Hanford, in the Central Valley
Matt: How and why did you end up here and when did you arrive?
Mateo: I’ve been in the LA area for the past 10yrs leading up to my move to Paso. I came here to bring the culinary scene here up to par with the rest of the big culinary destinations, so to speak. Our wine has come a long way over the last 10yrs or so and is internationally known where as our food is subpar. We’re still a good 4-5 years away on really having some amazing chefs/food here in Paso and I want to be a part of that growing food scene.
Matt: Are you a classically trained chef or did you take another avenue to get where you are?
Mateo: I am. I originally attended The Art Institute for Culinary Management many moons ago. Unfortunately, due to high costs of paying for school yourself, I left and continued learning on my own, working in kitchens across Los Angeles
Matt: Was a there a certain moment that occurred that made you set your mind on the food industry?
Mateo: Not any one particular moment, I’ve always been in love with food. I owe it to my mother for instilling in me the love of food. With her side of the family, we would always gather around the table, food being the focal point. The aunts would have us line up down our grandmother’s large table and the cousins would assemble tamales for the holidays. This is what food is to me. Family.
Matt: How long have you been cooking?
Mateo: Oh man, professionally, I’m pushing 14-15 yrs.
Matt: Currently, what’s your favorite food to make?
Mateo: As of late, I’ve taken an interest in international street foods. Mexico (street tacos), Thai street food, Japanese street food….you name it. But I also do my best to represent what ingredients are in season. It doesn’t take much of any one ingredient to make it taste good if it is at it’s peak.
Matt: How about favorite food to eat?
Mateo: Oh geeze, soooo… I’m kind of a pizza whore.
Matt: Are you strictly into the cooking or do you also like to get involved in paring your food with wine, beer, cider, etc.?
Mateo: I think part of cooking is knowing how and loving to pair food with wine, beer or cider. Especially here in Paso with all 3 being pretty big out here
Matt: What are your favorite aspects of the food industry?
Mateo: Man, the food industry is a beast. You really have to love it all in order to succeed. It’s hard to choose any favorite part. Without any one part, you would never have a whole. But if I had to choose, It’d be the comradery in the kitchen. Guys and gals together for one goal. To be able to work with such a team is an amazing thing.
Matt: How about least favorite aspects of the industry?
Mateo: Haha. The hours I’d say. It’s a tough industry and requires a lot more than people realize. There is a lot of sacrifice of your time in order to be in this industry. Whether it be family, friends or personnel. Its tough but it’s a decision we make.
Matt: What, other than paying bills, motivates you to get up every day and do what you do?
Mateo: Honestly, the gratitude I get when I see a guest nodding their head as eat their first bite of food. Or the comments of people telling me how this reminds them of their mother or grandmother or a childhood memory. That’s where its at! Those are the moments I live for!
Matt: Where did Heirloom Catering come from?
Mateo: Heirloom Catering came from a passion of two individuals. My girlfriend, Brittney Yracheta, who is a full time baker and myself. We wanted to bring another aspect to the catering that already exists here in Paso. Heirloom, obviously coming from heirloom varietals. Our style of cooking is as unique as heirloom varietals. Our logo, our sacred tomato with a chef knife through it, shows our passion for our food. Like that of the sacred heart, our food is what we hold sacred and want to showcase what we have to use here locally with the farms.
Matt: What is your goal with this project?
Mateo: To be the best there is in SLO county and maybe to eventually open a brick & mortar.
Matt: Do you do all types of catering or are you set on certain types of dishes?
Mateo: Oh yes, we do not hold back. We are available to any and all types of cuisines. For example, After training under a master sushi chef in Los Angeles, I am confident enough to bring sushi to the masses here via catering. Or we can do things as simple as panini sandwiches, either way. We love a new challenge .
Matt: How can people get in touch with you for catering?
Mateo: People and keep up to date with what we’re doing via Instagram and Facebook
@heirloom.catering or @heirloomcateringca
Email or phone works great.
Or join us at one of our 3 pop ups a week and say “Hi”.
Toro Creek Brewing – Every Tuesday – Taco Tuesday
Tin City Cider – Thurs Trivia Night – currently robata yakitori style skewers
Tin City Cider – Saturday – Currently Street Tacos