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Chef / Owner Matt Cordes
   The Atlas Roomís Chef / Owner Matt Cordes started in the hospitality business when he was still in school. Like a lot of chefs he started out with a natural curiosity for the kitchen at home, when he had to prepare food for himself while his parents worked, and then doing prep work and making pizzas at a local restaurant to make money for gas and other expenses. The experience stuck with him as he went on to college at George Mason University. To pay his way through school, he waited tables and eventually decided to try and get a full time job as a cook. The first Prep Cook position he held was at the now closed Evans Farm Inn in Mclean, Virginia.

The prospect of a enjoying a viable career as a chef was enticing to Matt, much more so than having a desk job. He talked his way into a Cook- Tournant position at the Hyatt Regency at Reston Town Center. This opened the door to a job at Vidalia restaurant in Washington D.C where he spent a year working through the kitchen. He left and went on to hold Sous Chef positions at 701 Restaurant and Market Street Bar and Grill.

After working as a Sous Chef Matt wanted to further his skills at The New England Culinary Institute, which offered an advanced placement program that Matt easily qualified for. Matt absorbed all he could in the culinary, baking and pastry arts which greatly rounded out his culinary repertoire. In order to complete the program he was required to perform an externship, which he completed under 2-STAR Michelin Chef Gerard Pangaud at his eponymous restaurant Gerardís Place in D.C. Matt stayed with Chef Pangaud for two years and was promoted to Sous Chef during his last year. While Sous Chef he oversaw the kitchen and cooked the meals that sealed the deal on a renewed 4-STAR review from the Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema.

Matt soon received another offer from a high profile area chef, Bob Kinkead of Kinkeadís restaurant, to help open Kinkeadís Colvin Run Tavern in Tysons Corner. Matt accepted and was the only person hired outside of Kinkeadís to be an opening Sous Chef. After a year and a half he decided to be an opening Partner in the Russia House Restaurant and Lounge in D.C. Then the time to move south was upon him, so he moved down to Atlanta, Georgia. There, Matt honed his culinary edge at nationally known restaurants Seegers under Chef Guenther Seeger, and as a Sous Chef at Bacchanalia with Chefs Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison.

Three years later it was time to come back to D.C. So after arriving, he took a job at the well-known area restaurant the Evening Star Cafť. As Executive Chef his charge was to turn the restaurant around, after the previous Chef had mismanaged it. The task was accomplished and Matt received a 2-star review from the Washington Post after only three months into the project. A little over two years later it was well evidenced that the restaurant was back on track. He was offered a position to be the chef/partner in a new restaurant in Arlington, so he left to pursue the opportunity. The delayed opening and economy led Matt to instead undertake the position of Executive Sous Chef at the Sheraton Premiere in Tysons Corner. Over the course of a year and a half he oversaw all aspects of the Food and Beverage operation, also acting as Executive Chef following the sudden departure of the Executive Chef. Managing a hotel with banquets over 1000 people and a Food and Beverage revenue stream over 20 million dollars a year was a new learning experience for Matt, but he drew upon his early career experiences.

Besides his rich kitchen experience, Matt has also completed his Intermediate Sommelier Certificate through the WSET and has taken courses in Molecular Gastronomy at the French Culinary Institute in New York City. After much thought and planning Matt is now looking forward to the realization of his plan to open a restaurant that will allow him to articulate his culinary vision and sense of hospitality.

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