Mat's Cafe & Catering

The man behind the barbeque

"Food is like art."
“People like food that’s fresh, made right here in the restaurant and great tasting,” says, Mat, owner and cook at Mat’s Café. “It doesn’t have to be complicated. People like simple, home-cooked food.”

Mat started his cooking career fourteen years ago and studied under many great chefs. He’s prepared food for CEOs of the “Big 3” auto makers, dignitaries from around the world, and entertainers like Jay Lenno. He worked in Indiana for the largest food service company in the United States and in 1998 moved to Jackson, where he was food service director for Consumers Energy.

But Mat had a dream of owning his own catering company. He found a vacant space in downtown Jackson – a “dump,” in his words – but he saw potential. Pouring two years of sweat and elbow grease into remodeling the place himself, Mat opened his dream catering business in 2005, which had expanded to include a restaurant also. Within days of opening, the restaurant was a hit. Lines for Mat’s mouthwatering food now form daily.

Asked why Mat’s Café has been successful, he gives two reasons: “I guess part of it is because I spent a lot of time in Memphis, the barbeque capital of the U.S. I learned a lot there. But the biggest thing is that food is like art. It doesn’t have to be fussy to be good. Sometimes simple is better.”