Perhaps Top of the Market Chef Stafford Mather knew at an early age that he would end up in the culinary world. “I have always been fascinated by kitchens and cooking. My mom is a great cook of ‘healthy’ southern food (she hails from North Carolina) and she exposed me to many cuisines. She would take me to the Greek Orthodox Church Festival in Washington, DC every year and I absolutely loved the food. I think the simple Mediterranean flavors I experienced from those trips are still an influence on my cooking today.”
Stafford cut his teeth in the fast-paced and technically challenging fine-dining scene of 1990’s Washington, DC. Having worked himself up to a role of area chef for a hotel group, he then made a big shift. “My wife and I decided to break out of DC in late 2004 and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. It is an incredible place to be a chef with all the produce, seafood and farms available to you … I wished we had moved here sooner.” The prospect of a bounty of fresh seafood to work with each day and the opportunity to cook in an exhibition kitchen led Stafford to a 2 ½ year stint as Chef at Top of the Market in San Mateo beginning in 2010.
In late 2014, Stafford’s wife accepted a promotion and move, and with their young daughter, they relocated to San Diego. Within a year’s time, we were getting re-acquainted and talking about bringing back his considerable talents to Top of the Market. Today, you will find Stafford and his culinary team presenting the finest seafood menu that San Diego has to offer. The Fish Market organization’s commitment to the freshest fish and highest quality seafood is entirely compatible with Chef Mather’s focus on “food that showcases the quality and integrity of its ingredients and working with a company that values hard work, creativity and longevity.”