Dan’s Taste 2021 Chefs Countdown: Matt Fisher, Queens Custom Barbecue

Matt Fisher
Matt Fisher

Pitmaster Matt Fisher has enjoyed his fair share of acclaim over the years—being named Brisket King and Rib King of New York City, getting to cater at the prestigious James Beard House and being featured in The New York Times and several other print and digital news outlets. His latest venture, Queens Custom Barbecue, invites barbecue-lovers to email him at [email protected] to place a custom order of his city-famous meats for pick-up in Ridgewood.

Luckily, East Enders won’t have to travel that far this summer, as he’ll be bringing the goods to Dan’s GrillHampton this August!

For tickets and more information on all Dan’s Taste 2021 events, visit DansTaste.com.

First word (or words) that comes to mind when you hear “Taste of Summer?”

Farmstand corn.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

The power of food memory.

You can invite three people, living or dead, to your dinner party. Who are they, and what would that meal be?

James Beard, Jackson Pollock and Dorothy Parker. Steamed Montauk lobster, clarified cultured butter, corn milk soufflé, panzanella, couer a la creme with mulberry compote. Lots of free-flowing wine.

What’s your favorite dish to prepare, and do you enjoy eating it as much as preparing it?

Anything for my wife. Not usually.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Always tell the truth. It’s the easiest thing to remember.

Share your funniest, most unforgettable or oddest kitchen incident.

Opening night Friday of a brand new restaurant on Union Square with a full house when the glass door of the oven holding the bulk of our food that we had easy for service got smashed and the glass covered the food. It was a long night.

Who do you most admire in the food/wine world and why?

Alive: José Andres for his commitment to giving and inspiring.

Dead: Edna Lewis for her gift of food, stories and breaking barriers.

What is going to be the “next big thing” on the East End food scene?

Niche brewery tasting rooms with high-end rotating food residencies.

What are your hobbies, passions and interests outside the world of food, wine and work?

I have a home music studio, collect paintings of my cat, Nugget, and love to travel with my wife.

What’s your comfort food and why?

Pizza. Because it is pizza.

If you were not in the food or wine business, what would you be doing?

Writing about food.

What is the most memorable thing you’ve ever tasted?

My first home-grown tomato.

What recent travels have you taken that have inspired you?

A trip to Cape Cod on which we ate seafood on the dock as the fishermen were bringing in their hauls.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Getting my wife to marry me.

What’s a unique kitchen ritual you practice?

Kissing my smoker.

What has surprised you the most about working in the East End culinary scene?

The incredible community.

What is your go-to karaoke song?

“Don’t Rock the Boat” by Midnight Star.

It’s your last weekend on earth—what’s the menu?

Ribeye, home fries, fried onion, Neapolitan pizza and my father’s chili.

We just handed you a glass of bubbly. Now please make a toast to summer on the East End.

May your sunsets be clear and your beaches stay near!

To learn more about Matt Fisher and Queens Custom Barbecue, visit backyardchef1.wixsite.com/mattfisher-1.

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