Chef de Cuisine
Gary Matsumoto was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and always had a passion for food; however, the dream to become a chef would have to wait until after he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Southern California and a three-year pursuit to become a dentist.
In 1994, Gary wanted a change and relocated to Oahu and decided to follow his true passion – the culinary arts. He walked into Chef Alan Wong’s kitchen and offered his services for free. After a few weeks, he was hired and spent the next thirteen years gaining extensive knowledge and experience ending his tenure as Alan’s top sous chef. He later stepped in as general manager for Alan’s Pineapple Room before moving onto the Hawaii Convention Center as Executive Chef and Director of Operations for 6 years.
Gary was part of the culinary team that opened BASALT in 2017. His passion is culinary anthropology, such as regional influences, cultural significance, and how food interacts and develops within societies. Hawaii’s many ethnicities allow him to explore local cuisine’s cultural origins and translate that passion and his unique culinary perspective to many of the signature dishes on the BASALT menu.
Chef Matsumoto lives in Honolulu with his wife, June. They have one son.