Matthew Lightner1



Manhattan Star Chef. Born in 1980.

After graduating with high honours from the Western Culinary Institute in 2001, Matthew Lightner pursued culinary excellence in some of the world’s finest kitchens.

From Copenhagen’s renowned “World’s Best Restaurant” Noma to California’s L’Auberge, alongside James Beard award-winning chef Paul McCabe, Matt grew roots in the ideologies of season and place.

In 2007, as one of only fifteen chefs awarded the Young Chefs Culinary Scholarship in Spain, he met his mentor, Andoni Aduriz at Mugaritz. There, Matt gained a very natural perspective on modern cooking which built the foundations for the cuisine that garnered him accolades at Castagna in Portland, OR.

In 2010, Matt was named one of Food & Wine’s “Best New Chefs in America”, he received nominations for Rising Star Chef by the James Beard Foundation in both 2010 and 2011, and was included in Restaurant Hospitality’s list of “10 Chefs to Watch” in 2010.


Atera relies greatly on Matt’s innate connection to time and place to create a completely unique dining experience. The menu is a modern play on traditional flavors and is totally dependent on what is available daily therefore changing accordingly.

Since opening in March 2012, Atera has earned numerous accolades including a 4-star review from New York Magazine, a 3-star review from The New York Times, a spot on Bon Appetit’s Best 50 New Restaurants list, Esquire’s Best New Restaurants list as one of the Chefs to Watch, and was, in 2013, named StarChefs’ Rising Star.

The intriguing fine dining counter holds two stars in Guide Michelin.


At Atera, Matt’s main aim is to stimulate, to educate, and to entertain. With 20 plus courses and no printed menu, at Atera you are encouraged to let your imagination run wild and guess the ingredients and composition of each dish. Atera is a completely fascinating experience, to say the least.

“My creative process is 24/7. I work mostly on the idea – on the reason I’m doing a dish, on the texture I want, on the experience I want from that – until things click.”


Matthew Lightner exclusively offers his gastronomic excellence for lectures, food festivals, consultancy, private dining and exclusive dinner parties.

In case of interest or/and press, please contact Kristian Brask Thomsen at:


Bon Vivant Communication is a culinary embassy representing star chefs and restaurants, chateaux and high-end wineries as well as working close together with various luxury hotels, gourmets festivals and bespoke concierges services.

The diplomacy speaks to a strong network of 500 journalists, bloggers and writers, as well as 2000+ luxury diners around the globe.


Hungry for more? Have a look Behind the Scenes.





Take a look at what you can expect to experience at this acclaimed fine dining counter.


‘[Atera] opened almost two years ago, and it immediately gave New York something new entirely: a temple of gastronomy bent on challenging the boundaries of American cuisine via techniques Lightner picked up at Mugaritz and Noma.’


Technical mastery and a sensitivity to nature’s forms distinguish Matthew Lightner’s 28-course tasting menu at Atera, by The New York Times.


“A culinary rollercoaster that will leave no one untouched.”



North Coast Halibut, Young Garlic, Whey

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Razor Clam, Seaweed and Squid Ink Baguette


Sunchoke Skin with Buttermilk Filling

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Yogurt, Shad Roe, Rhubarb, Liquorice

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Salty Caramel Walnuts

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(Cover photo by Signe Birck)


“He wants to stimulate, to educate, and to entertain, and in terms of range, technique, and quirky inventiveness, he does as good a job of this as any chef in New York.”

– Adam Platt, New York Magazine.