Fresh Food, Fresh Ideas

Chef Matt Fulwood shares his vision for the Blue Palmetto Café and what he’s working on this summer to tempt our taste buds!

by Matthew Fulwood, Chef & Café Services Manager

Recently, I was offered the opportunity to take over as head chef at Bok Tower Gardens. I was extremely excited, and maybe a little nervous. After all, this is something I have been working toward since beginning in the food service industry more than 12 years ago. The support from co-workers and guests has been outstanding, and I look forward to keeping the Blue Palmetto Café moving in the same direction it has been—UP! We’ve enjoyed significant growth since I started at the Gardens a year-and-a-half ago, and more is on the horizon with the addition of a new outdoor kitchen and plenty of extra terrace seating at the café.

During my tenure, I will continue to strive for excellence and to remain on the cutting edge of food trends. One of my primary goals is to build more relationships with our local farmers and to have most of our produce sourced locally rather than from large food suppliers. Nothing beats fresh!

Over the summer, I will be working feverishly to devise new seasonal menus for the café. They will still feature quite a few of our current selections, but there will be some new items added that have not been seen at the Gardens before. (Not to worry, our soups and chili will remain on the menu and will always be homemade.)

We will continue to email out our daily specials for the week and begin featuring new fusions of flavors to pull people out of their comfort zones and try something new and exciting. To receive these updates, please email us at

I love to cook and have fun in the process, so also on my radar are the various special events we host throughout the year. From our Live at the Gardens concerts to Pinewood Estate dinners, I’m excited about revealing my inner personality and character through the food I prepare.

Next time you’re at the Gardens, please take a few minutes to stop by the café and say hello.