Chop House on the bricks in Thomasville, Georgia is owned by Matt and Kimberly Hagel. The Hagel's are long time Tallahassee residents and attended high school together. The two reunited after Kimberly moved to South Florida pursuing her Cosmetology business. Matt made the move to attend culinary school at The Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale previously. Kimberly ran a successful Cosmetology and Makeup Artistry business in both Tallahassee and South Florida as a booth renter and freelance artist. She was an educator with AVEDA Tallahassee managing a class of forty students as well as teaching Theory to more than one hundred students. Kimberly is in her last year of a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Flagler College, Tallahassee. She is a dedicated student also finding time to help our community through the Society for the Advancement of Management where she is an active member. Kimberly and Matt are working owners and equal partners sharing all responsibilities related to Chop House on the bricks. Kimberly is happy to manage the front as well as the business, allowing Matt to continue his artistry in the kitchen.
Matt has had passion for the culinary field from a young age, he started from the bottom at age sixteen working dishwashing jobs and eventually learning how to cook and how the industry functions. This lead to Matt attending The Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale and training among some of the most knowledable chefs in the country including Master Chef Klaus Friedenrich. After graduating with his associates degree he mentored under highly skilled chefs including Chef Mark Militello and Chef Mike Fiorelli of Mark's at the Park in Boca Raton, and Chef Brian Rutherford at Bistro Mezzaluna in Ft. Lauderdale. Then Matt helped launch restaurants in Marco Island and Naples, Florida. Relocating back to Ft. Lauderdale he successfully ran Grapevine Gourmet Catering and Bistro 256, the latter earning a Golden Spoon Award from Florida Trend Magazine and a Top Toque Award from South Florida Gourmet Magazine. Matt has been featured in several newspaper and magazine articles and cookbooks. He has been a guest Chef at events, charities, and functions, as well as Chef appearances on NBC 6 Good Morning Miami and WCTV in Tallahassee. Moving back to Tallahassee he was fortunate enough to establish a strong relationship with the Gwynn's' and Cypress Restaurant, as Sous Chef, Chef David allowed Matt to thrive and hone a style of his own. After several years at Cypress he left to pursue farm-to-table cuisine at The Miccosukee Root Cellar with Ruben Fields where he was able to educate himself on local, organic, and sustainable practices as well as network with dozens of farmers. With longtime dreams of owning and operating their own restaurant, Matt and Kimberly have chosen beautiful, historic, downtown Thomasville Georgia to launch their upscale chophouse concept.