Heard on CultureShift

Chef James Rigato Remembers Beloved Restaurateur Chef Matt Prentice

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Image credit: Three Cats Cafe

Chef Rigato reflects on working for Prentice early in his career and the lessons he learned.

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Chef Matt Prentice died Thursday, April 8, at the age of 62 after a brief non-COVID-19 related illness.

Prentice was an influential chef and restaurateur in metro Detroit who started Unique Restaurant Corp., which was later renamed Matt Prentice Restaurant Group. Among the restaurants under that banner were Morels and Shiraz — two restaurants where Chef James Rigato worked under Prentice early in his career.

So many new things for me as a young chef happened because of Matt Prentice Restaurant Group,” Rigato says.

During a broadcast of Ann Delisi’s Essential Cooking on WDET’s Culture Shift, Chef Rigato remembers Prentice and the impact he had on so many of metro Detroit’s chefs, and the legacy he leaves behind.

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David Leins, Program Coordinator, Detroit Storymakers

David Leins is a Podcast Coordinator and Producer at WDET. He also oversees the StoryMakers program. When he isn’t making radio and podcasts, David is probably on a hike somewhere marveling at the trees.


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