Matt Tinder, the former pastry chef of Saison and Coi and pastry lead for the Daniel Patterson Group, made waves when he announced he'd be moving from SF to wine country and joining the three-Michelin-starred crew at The Restaurant at Meadowood. But after a year, Tinder and chef Christopher Kostow have decided to part ways. "It just wasn't a good fit," says Tinder, who had plenty of praise for Kostow and his team, but just felt their two styles didn't gel. Kostow agrees: "We tried it, but for us right now, it makes more sense to blow up the line between savory and pastry." Kostow and his staff are now running the pastry program by themselves, while Tinder has gone solo.
But he won't be idle for long: Tinder, who recently got engaged, is planning to open a bakery in Calistoga with his fiancee. "I don't think I'll go back to restaurants, but I really love living up here, and I want to stay," he says. Though he hasn't secured a space yet (he's still in the process of finding investors), he's planning to focus on whole-grain bread, including freshly milled flour, in a space inspired by the health-food stores his family frequented in his native Hawaii. He's also hoping to pick up a variety of ethnic baking traditions, from challah to Mexican pastries to his famous panettone, building a year-round business that serves different holidays across the cultural calendar. "I like to pick up things that no one is doing, that are a lost art," he says. "I'll keep evolving, but it'll be the bolt of my business."
While the still-unnamed bakery gets underway, Tinder has plenty of other plans afoot, including consulting for restaurants, teaching, and crafting a new bread program for the Daniel Patterson Group (though he says that last one is "still in the works"). For his part, Kostow says he'll be "eager to buy his bread...Matt is a good guy and a fantastic baker."