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Chef Matt HoughtonJune 14, 1961 ~ October 24, 2017 (age 56)
Chef Matthew Paul Houghton of Whitefield, NH died Tuesday, October 24, 2017, at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, NH after a period of failing health with his family at his side. He was born and raised in Whitefield, born on June 14, 1961, to William and Claire (Wernig) Houghton.
A graduate of White Mountains Regional High School, Chef Matt started his career with an apprenticeship through the American Culinary Federation (ACF) at Drygala Haus Restaurant in Bedford, NH in 1981. In both 1993 and 1994, Matt received national ACF Bronze medals at New England’s Annual Northeast Culinary Show and the White Mountains ACF Chapter President’s Award. Matt continued to be involved in the ACF as the Taste of New Hampshire Host Chef for eleven years and received their President’s Award in 1996. He also received the ACF’s Chef of the Year award in 2003 and was involved in the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation’s Chef & Child Initiative throughout schools in New Hampshire and Maine.
From 1988 to 2002, Chef Matt led the kitchen at the Mount Washington Hotel and Resort, as both Executive Sous Chef and Executive Chef, overseeing meals for up to 1,000 guests at any time. In 1999, representing the Mount Washington Hotel, Chef volunteered, along with a team from the Mount Washington Resort, during the annual fundraising event for World Hunger at Brighton Hotel in Brighton, England. After fourteen years at the Mount Washington, Matt worked at both the Maplewood Country Club and the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Highland Center in Crawford Notch, NH, as Executive Chef and Executive Chef/Food & Beverage Manager until his retirement in 2014. In 2013, he started volunteering full-time as the Chef Consultant for the North Country Farmers Co-op and served as a Chef Consultant for many restaurants and hotels in the White Mountains, including the Woodburn House and the Mountain View Grand. He passionately dedicated his retirement to serving both the ACF and North Country Farmers Co-op in an effort to ensure quality ingredients were accessible throughout the North Country. In his spare time, he judged culinary high school students’ competitions and took pride in annually participating in the North Conway Chili Cook-off sponsored by the Mount Washington Valley Chamber.
Chef had a passion for the outdoors and loved fishing, hunting, skiing, and gardening. He enjoyed traveling to Treasure Island (near Saint Petersburg, FL) with his friends to fish. He made it a priority to visit his children as often as he could and enjoyed their time together. He was well connected in the community and loved spending time with family and friends.
He is survived by his mother, Claire Houghton, of Whitefield, NH, children Mikaela Houghton, of Atlanta, GA and Jacob Houghton, of North Hollywood, CA, as well as siblings Michael Houghton of Penacook, NH and Susan Kopf, husband, Andy, and their children, Alex and Nicholas of Hampden, ME as well as many other relatives. He is predeceased by his father.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations for a scholarship celebrating Chef’s life to the ACF’s White Mountain Chapter be mailed to Claire Houghton, P.O. Box 105, Whitefield, NH, 03598.
A celebration of Chef’s life will be on Saturday, November 18th at the Maplewood Golf Course & The Inn at Maplewood (2691 Main St, Bethlehem, NH 03574) from 1:00pm to 5:00pm.
ACF's White Mountain Chapter
C/O Claire Houghton, PO Box 105, Whitefield NH 03598