Born in Bratislava during rule of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, Chef Matt Krizan's family's escape and immigration to Canada formed a unique appreciation of the vast freedoms this country offers. As a young boy, fresh to Newfoundland, this appreciation for Canada forged his culinary creativity, with cod, wild blueberries, chanterelles and boletes.
Since these early days gathering and creating meals with his mother, Matt's appetite for exploring through the plate has not waned. This brought Matt to graduate from Le Cordon Bleu Paris Cooking School in London, England. Later, he immersed himself in the experience of kitchens like the Rideau Club, Meditheo, Cafe Henry Burger and Digby Pines.
His drive in culinary was strong, but Matt delved into opportunities allowing him to experience Canada's North, moving to Iqaluit. Working for the government took Matt out of the kitchen, but he still kept food as the main thread in his life. He hunted caribou and seal, learned the indigenous staples and represented Nunavut in the 2010 Canadian Chefs' Congress.
That same year, Matt said goodbye to the North, and opened his first restaurant, Mateus Bistro. Since opening in Mahone Bay, NS, he has steadily earned Mateus acclaim through write ups, awards and articles in national and international press. Mateus Bistro has participated in the Canadian Chefs' Congress in 2012, Gold Medal Plates and Devour Food Film Fest. Matt is also a member of Taste of Nova Scotia and Slow Food Canada and actively promotes these ideals in his menu.
Matt lives in rural Riverport, NS, and has two little girls with his wife Kira. In the fall they hunt for mushrooms, wild blueberries and cranberries on the land around their home. In the winter they tap maple, birch and spruce. The spring and summer are spent gardening and teaching the new generation the importance of appreciating food.
in the press
I"n this business I find it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. It’s an undertone of caring for your customers, not just serving them, that breeds fierce loyalty and repeat clientele. If you live nearby chances are you’ve experienced Mateus Bistro’s natural charm. If you’re visiting, this is a lovely little dining treasure — not to be missed."
Taste of Nova Scotia
"Chef Matthew Krizan has grown this bistro to focus on an appreciation for food and where it comes from."