Mentor Letters: Matthew Chasseur, The High Lonesome Ranch
To Michael Buckley.
May 20, 2016
High in the Colorado Rockies, Matthew Chasseur presides over an orchard, a cattle ranch, an herb garden and a kitchen from his position at DeBecque's High Lonesome Ranch.Before making his home under the open sky, the former Alinea chef worked for a time with one Michael Buckley, the prolific pioneer of high-end cooking in New Hampshire. Last year, a group of chefs came together at Hollywood's Chateau Marmont to cook, drink, and reflect on those key figures who helped define their careers. The unabridged letters originally appeared in the pages of limited-edition print magazine, Bill of Fare—we've republished Chasseur's note to Buckley here, all to make your heart feel like it's made of fuzz.
I find myself sitting here in a suite at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood, California, reminiscing the path that you guided me towards many years ago. It has been an amazing ride thus far…encapsulated with so many failures and so many successes. This will be something that I share with you many more times during this journey. The gratitude, the respect, and the drive that you instilled since the very beginning. It was at Michael Timothy’s that I began building the blocks that would stabilize my foundation as a chef; a sense of urgency, how to use a knife, a pan, a kitchen towel, how to conduct myself in a kitchen atmosphere, and most importantly, an introduction to The Service. It was within the walls of this great restaurant that I was able to build the very core of my fundamentals. Thank you for the guidance through my professional career, but also my personal life.
It has always been in the teachings of the small lessons, and the expectations of the highest standards with such a sense of reasoning that have gone so far beyond the walls of the kitchen. I can only hope that you understand how truly grateful I am to have been able to walk into your restaurant when I did and to have been given the opportunity to be blessed with your forever giving guidance, direction, and friendship.
Michael — thank you!