Matt Gallaher

Knox Mason | Emilia
Knoxville, TN

Knoxville native Matt Gallaher began his culinary career in his mother’s catering company and restaurant. He paid for college cooking at restaurants and earned a chemical engineering degree from the University of Tennessee. After college, he worked under Executive Chef John Fleer at Blackberry Farm.  

Matt then cooked for Kings of Leon, Wilco, Eagles, Neil Young, and Keith Urban. After cooking across fourteen countries on four continents, Matt was called home to Tennessee to work as Executive Chef for Governor, Bill Haslam.  

Matt opened Knox Mason in 2013, offering a contemporary twist on Appalachian cuisine, and Emilia, where Southern hospitality meets simple Italian cuisine, in 2016. The chef and restaurants have received accolades including: MetroPulse Best Chef Knoxville,’s ‘Rising Star Chef Tennessee/Kentucky,’  Knoxville Mercury’s Top Chef, Travel Channel’s ‘Best Dinner’ in Knoxville and Travel + Leisure singled out Knox Mason as a ‘Highlight’ in their best brunch cities.