Behind the Table: Chef Liza Marvin
Liza Marvin started her restaurant career as a hostess, and she hated it.
During a busy shift, she was backing the bar and noticed the kitchen was drowning with orders. She told the kitchen staff she could cook and help relieve the exhausted crew, but all she heard from the kitchen was a flurry of “no’s.”
“Finally, I just did it anyway; and the next day, they put me in the kitchen and I never left.”
Liza is now the head chef at Matchbox Diner & Drinks in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she’s no stranger to pushing the boundaries of restaurant culture and cuisine.
“My numbers are great, but what makes me feel accomplished is selling out of a special and seeing people never put their forks down.”
In the kitchen, Chef Liza moves with speed and precision, all while humming along to music— usually Lady Gaga or Ke$ha. Matchbox’s menu is filled with traditional American-diner staples with twists inspired by Chef Liza’s travels and exploration of produce markets.
“I like to see what items [markets] have from other countries and play with them.”
Chef Liza grew up in the kitchen, with her parents inspiring her to learn and develop recipes. So it’s no wonder Chef Liza has given new life to traditional Midwestern homestyle dishes and provided customers at Matchbox a new way to experience a little bit of global flair in their favorite flavors.