Cultural Stories

Black Chef's in America:
Matt Horn

Matt Horn: Founder & Chef at Horn Barbecue and Kowbird
You can't have a conversation about barbecue without talking about Matt Horn. Horn is a self-taught pitmaster, who has changed the landscape of barbecue in America. It's not an easy feat, especially considering the deep history and tradition of barbecue in cities like Memphis, Kansas City and Austin. But through combining techniques commonly found in Central Texas barbecue with elements from foodways of the Black South, Horn has created his own unique style, referred to as "West Coast barbecue". He views this new barbecue style as a way to bring a national spotlight to Black food and culture, and to honor previous Black pitmasters.

Horn got his start learning how to cook barbecue in his grandmother's backyard, and selling his food at farmers markets, sometimes making less than $250 a day. But instead of getting discouraged, he honed his craft and focused on delivering the highest quality food that he could.
Horn then started selling at pop-ups, and eventually opened his own brick-and-mortar restaurant, Horn Barbecue, in 2020. He's since been featured as one of Food and Wine's Best New Chefs. In 2021 Horn Barbecue won a Michelin Bib Gourmand and was a James Beard Award finalist for Best New Restaurant. Ever growing, Horn opened Kowbird, a Southern-style fried chicken restaurant this year, and no doubt has plans to continue finding new ways to share his talent with the world.
Celebrating Black History
All Year Long
We're bringing to life the stories of great Black chefs this month and throughout the year because the culinary impact Black chefs have isn't reserved for February. Join us year-round as we celebrate chefs like Gregory Gourdet (Kann), Eric Mckree (Filé Gumbo Bar), Keem Hughely (Bronze), Matt Horn (Horn Barbecue), and Jahmond Quander (1799 Prime Steak and Seafood) for their innovation, cultural impact, and incredible talent.