Faculty Spotlight

John Matwijkow


Culinary Arts - 157 NFCI
Niagara Fals Culinary Institute
28 Old Falls Street
Niagara Falls, NY 14303
Phone: 716-210-2545
Email: jmatwijkow@niagaracc.suny.edu


Culinary Arts


  • Buffalo State College, Masters of Science / Adult Education (2007)
  • Buffalo State College, Bachelor / Career Technical Education (2003)


Chef John Matwijkow started at NCCC as a technical assistant in the Culinary Arts department in the Fall semester of 2003. One of the responsibilities that Chef Matwijkow was in charge of at that time (2003 – 2006) was the lunch service in the faculty dining room supervising the students work. He was teaching adjunct at ECC North at the time but patiently and passionately wanted to teach full-time at NCCC and NFCI. His wish came through in 2007 as a full time teaching position opened up and he interviewed for the position and was selected as the best candidate. Chef Matwijkow has owned an ice carving business since 2001 (wny-ice.com) and is a leader in the Western New York community for individuals looking to expand their ice carving skills. John says he is blessed and thankful to be able to teach students ice carving skills in the NFCI Ice lab. Chef Matwijkow has been an advisor to the NCCC/NFCI Culinary Club for years (2005 – 2016). The club’s students have raised funds through college food sales and community catering events, as well as volunteering for charitable events and foundations.

Chef Matwijkow’s Culinary Arts skills were developed through passion and hard work. He was cooking in restaurants, hotels and clubs from the age of sixteen and had always had great learning environments to groom his skills. Employed at the Hyatt Regency in Buffalo (1986 – 93) where Chef Matwijkow had the opportunity to work in the entire kitchen from fine dining to casual, garde-manger, saucier, banquets, pastry department and also carving ice. He started a catering operation (1994) and still has the DBA name, Unique Culinary Concepts. John was the head chef for the Blackthorn restaurant (1994 -96) in South Buffalo for two years before moving on to the prestigious Buffalo Club (1996 – 2004) on Delaware Avenue. There he fine-tuned his cooking and ice carving abilities. At the Buffalo Club a colleague of Chef Matwijkow’s (Chef Scott Steiner), mentioned to him about taking classes for a teaching degree at Buffalo State College and a Bachelor’s (2003) & Master’s (2007) degree later, he is instructing with Chef Steiner at NFCI.

The American Culinary Federation of Greater Buffalo has been a major factor in Chef Matwijkow’s life. Joining the ACF of Buffalo in 2003, John has been involved in every community event that the chapter takes on such as; Children’s Hospital Festival of Trees, Chef and Child Nutrition Day, raising funds for student scholarships, Northeast Regional Conferences and Chef Educational Sessions. Chef Matwijkow has donated time on the ACF of Greater Buffalo’s Board of Directors for over 10 years, as their Vice President, President and Chairman of the Board. As a member of the ACF, John has been able to get students and colleagues evolved in the chapter which assists them to strengthen their abilities and reinforces and develops the chapter.

John Matwijkow CCE, assistant professor of culinary arts was selected for induction into the prestigious American Academy of Chefs society in December 2017. He will be inducted at the ACF National Convention this July 2018 in New Orleans Louisiana. Below is a description of the Academy

The honor society of ACF, the American Academy of Chefs (AAC) represents the highest standards of professionalism in the organization, society and industry. The Academy’s primary mission is to promote the education of all culinarians by mentoring culinarians, awarding scholarships to students seeking a future in the culinary industry, and by providing grants to professional working chefs looking to further their career.

Research Interests / Areas of Expertise

  • Owner - Unique Culinary Concepts / DBA (Sole Proprietor)
  • Specializing in Ice Carvings
  • Specialty Charcuterie Work and Butchering Skills

Culinary Achievements

  • Chairman of the Board – American Culinary Federation of Greater Buffalo (2015 – 2017)
  • President - American Culinary Federation of Greater Buffalo (2011 – 2014)
  • Vice President - American Culinary Federation of Greater Buffalo (2007 – 2010)
  • Chairman – ACF Northeast Region Educational Forum (2015)
  • Co-Chair – ACF Northeast Regional Conference (2012)
  • Co-Chair – Northeast Regional Conference / Culinary Competition (2012)
  • Chairman – ACF of Greater Buffalo Golf Outing (2010 – Present)
  • ACF Chef/Chairman – Children's Hospital/Festival of Trees (2010 – 2012)
  • Attended - American Culinary Federation’s Northeast Regional Conferences (2006 – 2016)
  • Attended - American Culinary Federation’s National Conventions (2007 – 2016)
  • Coach for the ACF of Greater Buffalo’s Junior/Student Culinary Team 2011
  • Culinary Club Advisor (2006 - 2015) - Organize and supervise many events that the culinary club student/members contribute to the college & community.

Appointments and Awards

  • Assistant Professor of Culinary Arts at NFCI
  • American Culinary Federation of Greater Buffalo - Chef of the Year Award (2015)
  • International Food Service Executive Association - Silver Medal Award (2013)

Professional Memberships

  • American Culinary Federation of Greater Buffalo Chapter - Certified Culinary Educator

Professional Memberships

  • Editor of the Epicurean- American Culinary Federation of Greater Buffalo Newsletter – (2011 – 2014) Prepared a monthly newsletter for the chapter