Mathayom Vacharat is the owner and head chef at Mathayom Private Chefs and St. John Catering at Windy Level and has been a resident of St. John since 1995, moving from Philadelphia after graduating Drexel University with a Business degree. Mat then attended the Graduate Program at the School of Hard Knocks, studying Improvisation. Opening the business in 2004, his experience as executive chef at premier fine dining restaurants on St. John lends his cuisine a breadth of influences ranging from Asian Fusion to Progressive American to Caribbean Flair.
Mat is committed to sourcing fresh local product as he and his team of talented chefs create custom menus based on seasonal availability. He and his chefs support the Gifft Hill School’s EARTH Program, sourcing much of their local product from the student-run gardens. This approach breeds an innate flexibility when approaching vegetarian, raw food, and other restricted diet menus, as well as creating custom menus for clients interested in an “island to table”approach.
In 2016, Chef Mat and his team began executing Full Moon Dinners at their modest catering venue, changing the theme every month and collaborating with local distributors to create the perfect drink pairings for the multi-course affairs. Continuing with the theme of fresh and local, they have cultivated and maintained a small garden, drawing product from it whenever possible, and are the first business on St. John to become Reef Responsible certified.
Crissy Cook is the Office Manager for Mathayom Private Chefs and St. John Catering at Windy Level. She was born and raised in Texas and she brings exceptional office and event experience with her to St. John. After graduating from Texas Tech University, Crissy worked in advertising before becoming a recruiter. For the last decade, she has retained and professionally developed top tier attorneys for a prominent law firm based in Texas. While Crissy managed the recruiting and professional development programs for both the Dallas and Fort Worth offices, she also planned and coordinated countless events throughout the year in various cities across the United States.
Crissy has a passion for serving her community, and has done so in many organizations. Most recently she has chaired several committees and major events as a part of the Junior League of Dallas for over 6 years. She has also served as chair to numerous committees on the Ursuline Academy Alumni Board, where she was the youngest member ever nominated and appointed to such a position. Outside of these organizations, Crissy has been a part of many community outreach organizations including a woman’s shelter, volunteer fairs, and countless charities dedicated to organizing service activities for the betterment of the community.
With any free time Crissy enjoys traveling the world. She has visited almost every state in the US and has backpacked through Italy, Ireland and France. She is fascinated by Mesoamerica and has climbed more pyramids than she can count in Mexico and Central America. Crissy has spent the last couple of years traveling the Caribbean, jumping from island to island, and exploring all there is to offer. Now she’s excited to make St. John her home and add her organizational expertise to this great team.
Ben Lewis was born in Mississippi and, with the exception of five years spent in Colorado, has called that home for most of his life. He attended the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, and was subsequently employed by Nature’s Way Energy Services, based in Baton Rouge, LA, from July 2012 through January 2016. With NWES, Ben spent time in Mississippi and south Louisiana, grilling, doing seafood boils, and more. He prepared on-site catered meals at oil rigs and at company sponsored golf tournaments, and repeatedly competed in a wild game cookoff: in a seven year period, his team won three firsts and three seconds in the waterfowl category.
From his earliest years of memory, Ben was in the kitchen with his father or mother, watching and learning. Knowing his passion for cooking, his father encouraged him to make his passion his career, but he was apprehensive about the restaurant scene. When Ben traveled recently to the island, he met Jeh, learned about St John Catering, and the rest is history. Ben looks forward to introducing some of his Creole & Southern expertise in his future with Mathayom Private Chefs & St John Catering.
Vincent “Vinny” Alterio was born in Chicago and began his cooking career at the Peninsula Chicago. Over the course of the next four years Vincent worked through all departments including working in “Avenues” with chef Graham Elliot gaining the chef and the restaurants first four star review! Vincent then moved out to NYC where he worked at Daniel Boulud’s flagship restaurant. He then moved on to work at Alain Ducasse in the Essex House, and further with Mario Batali and chef Mark Ladner at Del Posto. Upon return to Chicago he worked at Alinea at that time the best restaurant in the USA and #7 in the world. He then teamed up with chef Michael Carlson as the chef de cuisine at Schwa, a unique dining expoerience that brings the chefs as the only employees and serve the degustation menu to the guests as well as preparing the michelin star food. He then rejoined Graham Elliot at his flagship restaurnant as the chef, being recognized on Master Chef as a guest judge who helped the panel (Gordon Ramsey, Graham Elliot and Christina Tosi) get them to where they are now. Vincnet and his wife Tonia then decided to try a vacation in the Caribbean and ended up staying in St. John! Vincent currently serves as the chef de cuisine at St. John Private Chefs.