NEW ORLEANS WILL Get to Know Our Community: Chef Jeff Mattia

New Orleans is a city filled with passionate, diverse citizens; our love for our city unites us. Recently we sat down with one of our fellow New Orleanians to get to know more about how sports tourism and tailgating affect the lives of citizens from all different industries and areas in our wonderful city.

Chef Mattia is Executive Sous Chef at Hyatt Regency in the CBD. Be sure to come and see NEW ORLEANS WILL and Chef Mattia in the Breaux Mart Garden District parking lot this weekend on Sunday, September 28th, 2014, from 1pm-3pm to taste some of his delicious tailgating cooking and learn how to make the recipe yourself!

How long have you lived in New Orleans?

I have lived in New Orleans for four incredible years.

What do you love most about your work?

I have long had a passion for cooking great tasting food. With the backdrop of the Crescent City, I have been fortunate to get to do what I love, while creating new dishes, sharing them with our guests, and most importantly – having fun.

Why is the tailgating scene in New Orleans so unique? 

Executive Sous Chef Jeff Mattia of Hyatt Regency New Orleans

Executive Sous Chef Jeff Mattia of Hyatt Regency New Orleans

This city connects to football in such a magical way, unlike anything I’ve seen anywhere else. No celebration in New Orleans is complete without incredible food, and the fare you’ll find at tailgating events reflects that. From red beans & rice and jambalaya to barbeque and fried fish, everyone is adding they own spin to make their party unique and fun.

How does our national (and international) reputation as having a full tailgating experience (food, sports and tourism) benefit our city?

With a great team like the Saints and having the opportunity to host many major sporting events like the Superbowl, our city’s tailgating has captured the attention of the world. People are intrigued and want to join in because it’s not commercialized, it’s real. It’s an incredible gathering of people of different ages, ethnicities, social-economic statuses to have a great time, and this is leading people to want to visit just to experience that.

How does our thriving tourism industry affect tailgating and sports in our city?

Our thriving tourism industry has had a significant impact on tailgating and sports in New Orleans. With Hyatt Regency being just steps away from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, we are seeing that the recognition NOLA is receiving is leading more and more people to want to visit, specifically on game days. Having people from cities across the country experience how we tailgate and enjoy sporting events gives us the opportunity to share our unique culture on a national level.

What do you think New Orleans and the tailgating experience of our city would be like without tourism?

Without tourism, we wouldn’t have the opportunity to celebrate with people from different places and enjoy the competitive fun of cheering on our different teams. We also wouldn’t have an opportunity to share our unique culture with the world.

What would you like to see New Orleans accomplish in the future?

I am proud of how much New Orleans has accomplished in the past few years, it’s truly outstanding! There is so much to see, do, and become in the city. I’d love to see our city continue to thrive as a world class city for residents and visitors alike.

What do you love most about this city?

What I love most about New Orleans is that it receives the recognition and accolades of large metropolis, but is small enough to have a real sense of community.


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