5 Questions with Chef & Pitmaster Matt Horn
Soul. Passion. Tradition. Barbecue found MATT as much as Matt found it. Getting his start, like so many pit masters before him, Matt began by experimenting in his grandmother’s backyard, ultimately developing a singular style of barbecue that expresses the soul of his people and the power of his imagination. The Horn way features the meat-smoking techniques of Central Texas infused with the deep food ways of the Black South. From farmers markets to their wildly popular pop-ups, Matt and his wife Nina have introduced a new food movement that draws from those roots in Texas and the South. Matt calls it “West Coast barbecue.” It’s a cuisine that tells the story of their people and their traditions. This is why Horn Barbecue is launching in WEST OAKLAND. This neighborhood was the cultural center for food, music, and the arts for the families of the great Black migration. Matt cooks with the passion and purpose of a chef who knows that he has a responsibility to represent the best of his people. “I am their story,” says Matt. “We are their wildest dreams.” The dream is HORN BARBECUE.
BFiO: Whose food in Oakland do you enjoy as much as your own?
CHEF MATT: Rico Rico Taco
BFiO: What food do you think is overrated?
CHEF MATT: Avocados.
BFiO: What’s missing in the Oakland food scene?
CHEF MATT: A greater appreciation for the craft of barbecue.
BFiO: At what local Oakland markets do you shop for ingredients/food?
CHEF MATT: I usually shop at Ver Brugge to my select cut of meats.
BFiO: What does The New Normal look like for Oakland restaurants & food businesses in the age of COVID-19?
CHEF MATT: Even more emphasis on health and safety measures for staff and customers. Hopefully people find some measure of peace during these uncertain times. I know I am.