Jackson, Miss. – Wischermann Partners is thrilled to announce the appointment of Chef Matthew Kajdan as Executive Chef for The Westin Jackson, scheduled to open in early August 2017. With more than 15 years of experience working in the restaurant industry, most recently at Jackson’s Parlor Market, Chef Matthew will oversee Estelle, a modern wine bar & bistro, and the entire food and beverage operation at the hotel, reinforcing The Westin Jackson’s mission to boost travel and tourism in downtown Jackson. Chef Matthew is joining The Westin Jackson team after five years at Parlor Market. As the Executive Chef at Parlor, Matthew brought a new Southern menu with progressive ideas and local products in a farm to table atmosphere.
Chef Matthew has been invited to represent the city of Jackson and Estelle Wine Bar & Bistro by competing in two upcoming regional culinary competitions, The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival and the 8th Annual Mississippi Seafood Cook-Off.
“We are so excited to have such a distinguished chef from the Jackson community join our team and lead the opening of Estelle. This restaurant will really cater to the creative-minded individual and embrace Jackson’s Southern charm and local culture, while using only the freshest ingredients,” says Mike Burton, General Manager of The Westin Jackson. “We are confident that Chef Matthew will establish Estelle within the city’s thriving dining scene and offer a new foodie hotspot for guests to gather and unwind.”
Chef Matthew Kajdan was born and raised in Madison, where his mother and grandmother showed him the way around the kitchen. Growing up in a large European family, he developed a taste for gourmet cooking and fine foods.
“I am proud of what the team has built over at Parlor and will be looking forward to being good neighbors to them in the future,” said Chef Matthew Kajdan. “I am very excited to continue working in the Jackson community and sharing my love and passion for food in a new way at Estelle & The Westin Jackson.”
Previously, Chef Matthew began his career at Bravo! Italian Restaurant under Chefs Louis Larose and Dan Blumenthal. Chef Matthew then went to work in the kitchen of Nick Apostle, where his skills were honed over the next few years. He left his home state of Mississippi in 2006 to pursue a position in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. Matthew worked at the historic Sagamore Hotel under great chefs, including Frank Esposito, Ken Lingle and Pastry Chef Bill Foltze. In 2008, Matthew moved back to his home state and returned back to work under his mentor Nick Apostle. In these years Matthew helped open the Mermaid Café as Executive Chef and eventually General Manager. He credits these years and Nick’s mentorship to his understanding of what it means to be a Chef and how to run business without sacrificing ethics.
About The Westin Jackson
The Westin Jackson, set to open in early August 2017, offers 12,000 square feet of highly functional meeting space and 203 luxuriously appointed guest rooms and suites. Featuring a unique wine bar & bistro restaurant concept and state-of-the-art spa, The Westin Jackson will celebrate the history and culture of Jackson, MS, also known as the birthplace of America’s music. Marking the brand’s debut in the state, The Westin Jackson will be ideally located in the heart of downtown Jackson and within walking distance to the Mississippi Museum of Art, the Federal Courthouse, the Planetarium and the historic music and arts theatre, Thalia Mara Hall. Also within one block from the hotel, the Jackson Convention Complex features over 300,000 square feet of flexible meeting and exhibit space for convention attendees.