About Matt Horn

Matt Horn

Matt Horn is a rising star in barbecue and, as one of Food and Wine’s ten “Best New Chefs for 2021,” in the US restaurant scene generally. Matt grew up in the agricultural breadbasket of North America, California’s Central Valley, where he built his own smokers from discarded oil barrels and abandoned propane tanks. His barbecue education included extended stays with his grandparents in Oklahoma, where he picked up their secret BBQ recipes and learned the basics of the German-inflected Texas-style BBQ that prevails in that state. As his interest in barbecue grew, he studied with the Texas legend Robert Patillo, of Patillo’s BBQ in Beaumont, but he remains to this day largely self-taught. About eight years ago, Matt started doing pop-up restaurants just about anywhere that would have him, from breweries to wineries to churches and farmer’s markets, and he became a San Francisco Bay Area legend as a result. In September 2020 he opened his first restaurant, Horn Barbecue, in Oakland, which has been getting rave reviews in both local and national media and where lines to get in regularly stretch for a block or longer; the restaurant recently landed a coveted “Michelin Guide Restaurant” designation and is a 2022 James Beard Foundation “Best New Restaurant in the US” finalist. Matt is beloved in the Bay Area and is the founder of the Horn Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to food equity and social justice, which daily feeds people in need free lunches of barbecued brisket and other dishes. He lives with his family in the Oakland area. @matthornx