PUTTING A NEW, SPICY TWIST ON
the tried and true is the essence of Matthew Pearsall and Maggie Barch’s business and their relationship. Former high school sweethearts and now co-owners of Vermont’s Spice of Life Catering, Matthew and Maggie offer innovative interpretations of traditional menus, along with easy and interactive menu planning, and an awareness that each one of us is unique, with different tastes, styles and needs.
Even before completing his culinary degree at Newbury College in Brookline, Massachusetts, Matthew knew that he needed more variety than restaurant work could offer. “I didn’t want to create the same menu every night,” he says. Rather, he wanted the opportunity to “create unique menus, build field kitchens and develop a different atmosphere for each event.”
Matthew’s talent and passion led him to serve as executive chef for catering companies in Vermont, Colorado and Boston, where he developed the catering division of award-winning restaurant Legal Sea Foods. There, he regularly served celebrated musicians, actors and politicians, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton included. Matthew’s culinary adventures also led him to the Cajun backwoods of Opelousas, Louisiana, where he adopted the local style of home cooking in his popular clambake and barbecue menus.
As Vermont natives, Matthew and Maggie hoped one day to return to the state, “live on a quiet dirt road and own our own catering company,” Matt says. In 1999, they settled in Fayston with their young family. Maggie developed the budding events program at ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, and Matthew served as executive chef at the Round Barn Farm’s Cooking from the Heart. The couple launched Spice of Life Catering in summer 2003 with a booth at the Mad River Green Farmers Market in Waitsﬁeld.
Today, the company is a scrumptious success, specializing in superb meals and powerful presentation, whether the celebration takes place in a rustic barn, a mountain meadow or one of the many beautiful inns around the state.