By Emily Rushton
Crème brûlée, beef bourguignon, and baklava – these are just a few of Dominic Mathison’s favorite things (to make).
Mathison, IT specialist for UIT Network & Communications Infrastructure (NCI), has been cooking since he was a kid. It runs in his family: his grandfather served in the Navy as a chef; his uncle attended culinary school and became a pastry chef; and his dad grew up cooking and working in restaurants (eventually owning his own pizza restaurant).
"I was always around food,” Mathison said. "[My dad and I] would watch Jacques Pépin cooking videos and then try to replicate it. Ever since I was little, we’d always cook together."
Mathison has had an interesting life thus far. He was born in Ketchikan, Alaska, and, thanks to his parents’ entrepreneurial tendencies, has lived in Puerto Rico, Florida, India, Montana, and Utah over the course of his life. While in Alaska, his parents opened an internet café in the basement of his dad’s pizza restaurant.
"That’s kind of where I got my start in IT," said Mathison. "I could type my name before I could write it."
His parents started multiple ventures from there, including a technical kiosk company (think hotel business centers), a housing company, and an effort to install internet for multiple small Indian villages.
Through all that time, Mathison continued learning how to cook with his dad, and picked up new skills, techniques, and recipes from each place he lived.
"I think every area definitely influences a lot," he said. "I’ve picked up a little bit from each place."
Mathison enjoys trying different recipes and styles of cooking, including Julia Child’s famously difficult beef bourguignon recipe, which took him six hours to recreate.
"It was really fun to do," he said. "Different cuisines are always fun to try making homemade."
In addition to cooking, Mathison has also recently started roasting his own coffee beans for espresso, an interest that came about after he was unable to find a good quality espresso in Salt Lake City. Combined with the price of buying a double espresso at least once a day, Mathison said, “There’s got to be a better way.” After a little internet research and equipment purchasing, Mathison began roasting his own coffee beans and hasn’t looked back. His home-roasted coffee beans double as a great gift idea, too.
"It’s really nice to give to people," he said.
When his parents moved back to Alaska in 2015, Mathison decided to stay in Salt Lake City to finish attending college at the U.
"I didn’t know how to cook for one person. I’d cook for myself, but there would be food for four," he said, laughing. Nowadays, he often cooks dinner at home for his roommates, who (surprise!) never complain about having to eat all that delicious food.
"It’s really fun to cook, and it’s even more fun to watch other people enjoy it," Mathison said. "It’s one of the best gifts you could give people – something delicious to eat."