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MATT Birong


Favorite Part of Job? I love what I do! I didn’t get into cooking for the great pay and the cushy hours. Even after working in kitchens for 20 years, I am constantly growing, being challenged by food and continue to evolve as a student of my craft.

Most Inspiring Mentor: Seth Woods, CEO of the Aquitaine Group in Boston, whom I worked for immediately after culinary school. He taught me about the fundamentals of cooking and respecting food from their origins. He took me under his wing and instilled in me many philosophies and practices that have helped lead to my success here in Vermont.  

Favorite Vermont Escape: Our family cottage in Addison on Lake Champlain.  

Favorite Downtime Activity: Traveling to the Dominican Republic.  We are investors in a cacao farm on Reserval Zorzal, an 1100 acre migratory bird & scientific reserve that is the winter nesting ground for Vermont’s very own Bicknell’s Thrush.

What is the best career advice you have received? Make sure to stay current on your taxes.

Where do you see yourself professionally in ten years? Silly question, Reflectively…….  In a mirror of course

Career Highlights: After working in New York City and Boston, I returned to Vermont to continue my culinary career.  In 2007, I opened 3 Squares Café in Vergennes and currently lead a staff of 15 employees serving casual and creative cuisine seven days a week in addition to catering special events. We proudly support local producers throughout our community and state. The café has been featured locally in Seven Days, Burlington Free Press, Addison Independent, Edible Green Mountains, Vermont Life as well as the New York Times, Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and Eating Well.

Community Involvement: Since becoming involved with Main Street Alliance of Vermont in 2014, I have become deeply engaged in advocating for Vermont state policies that support investment in employees, local communities, and foster a sustainable workforce and economy I have worked extensively to help pass a paid sick days bill that worked for small businesses and workers; advocated for Vermont’s ‘Ban the Box’ bill, which helps give those with a criminal history a fair shot at employment; advocated for the legislature to pass a study exploring the expansion of Vermont's Children’s Health Insurance Program; and traveled to Washington D.C. in April 2016 to meet with Vermont Congressional Delegates to brief them on the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act and the Incorporation Transparency and Law-Enforcement Assistance Act.
I had the honor of representing the Vermont Democratic Party as a District Delegate in support of Senator Bernie Sanders at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.  
Locally, I support the Vergennes Boys & Girls Club, Vergennes Opera House, Vergennes Partnership, Bixby Memorial Free Library, and Homeward Bound - Addison County Humane Society.



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