CLAWSON, Mich. – Chef Matt Prentice, one of Metro Detroit’s most well-known chefs, died at the age of 62.
Prentice worked at many big-name restaurants across Metro Detroit, including Coach Insignia, Northern Lakes Seafood and, most recently, Three Cats restaurant in Clawson.
What some might not know is that Prentice was dedicated to giving back.
Prentice did multi-million dollar deals, had dozens of restaurants, delis and catering companies. He also would cook five star food for the homeless for years.
Prentice went to the International Culinary Institute, but left early to take his last $200 and keep his late father’s unique deli open.
He made and lost fortunes in the bare-knuckle restaurant business.
At one time, he swore he would never put a restaurant in Downtown Detroit, but he changed his mind.
“The amount of money they put into it and the faith really smart people -- far smarter than I am -- have put into the area is amazing,” Prentice said.
He opened Coach Insignia atop the Renaissance Center and expanded his empire.
He later had to sell his interest in his company.
With a five year non-compete in the area, Prentice needed something to do, so he went full time to work for his favorite charity: Cass Community Social Services.
He started a soup kitchen and worked closely with the Reverend Faith Fowler
“He cared about people and he never made them feel less than,” Fowler said. “I’m guessing he treated people at Coach Insignia as he did in our soup kitchen.”
In 2019, he helped start up Three Cats in Clawson. His partner and close friend, Mary Liz Curtin, said Metro Detroit has lost much with Prentice’s passing.
“He adored cooking. He loved his charity causes,” Curtin said. “He was incredibly generous, not just with his money and his food but with his spirit and his education. He was a wonderful teacher.”
His family said Prentice died after a long battle with colon cancer.
Cass Community Social Services and Three Cats intend to open a Prentice-themed kitchen and restaurant in his memory.
Prentice will be succeeded in the Three Cats kitchen by Drew Cayuela and Alex Matoin.