Experienced chef at the range in Mathews restaurant
And in fact Wilkes is accomplishing this four nights a week, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, serving dinner at this old home in Mathews Court House. Circa 1840, the building was once a Mathews hotel, but is remembered by many locally as the Bailey Hudgins house; it is now listed on the National and Virginia Registers of Historic Places.
“We make everything here, use as many fresh products as possible, love to create new dishes with new names, and I don’t claim to be a pastry chef but do as much as needed,” said Wilkes. This is the formula in the Wilkes kitchen where he works closely with sous chef Holly Dietz.
Wilkes was born in Chile, grew up in Richmond, and is now a resident of Gloucester. Having spent the first part of his adult life as a painter, becoming a chef was something that happened in a unique way. “I’ve always loved to cook,” he said, “so when the opportunity came about, I gave it a try. My wife was working at the Red Sky Restaurant in Middlesex; we were living there at the time. She came home one evening and mentioned that the chef was looking for some help. I decided I would give it a try for two days a week. The two days a week turned into five days a week. That was my beginning. When the chef left to open his own restaurant, I stayed on as executive chef.”