Raised in an extremely tight-knit Italian-American Lebanese family in a small town in Upstate New York, Matt’s training began at an early age rolling meatballs with his Nona. He went on to graduate from the Culinary Institute of America as Valedictorian.
Before Matt’s meat smoking passion culminated in the launch of Pig Beach, he served as the Chef de Cuisine of Del Posto in New York City. During his eight-year tenure, the restaurant not only earned the prestigious Relais & Chateaux designation, but also received a coveted four-star review fromThe New York Times —the first time an Italian restaurant had received the highest rating since 1974.
Both an award-winning pitmaster and classically-trained fine-dining chef, Matt first made his mark in the competitive barbecue scene at the 2015 Memphis in May World Championship, earning both the 1st Place Poultry and 2nd Place Whole Hog titles as part of teamSalty Rinse—captained by future Pig Beach partner Rob Shawger—at what was their very first appearance. In 2016, team Salty Rinse joined forces with the highly-competitive team Ribdiculous Bar-B-Krewe, captained by Balthazar alum Shane McBride, to launch Pig Beach in Brooklyn.
Since then, these masters of meat have continued to win big across the country, taking home the BurgerBash “People’s Choice” award at both the NYC Wine & Food Festival in 2016 and 2019, and the SouthBeach Wine & Food Festival in 2021, where they also won two additional “Heinz Best-Dressed Burger”titles for the veritable triple crown.
Matt Abdoo is the Executive Chef & Partner of Pig Beach BBQ restaurants in Brooklyn and Queens, New York, with new locations opening in West Palm Beach, Florida this winter and Louisville, Kentucky in spring 2022.
Today, Matt is a frequent guest chef on NBC’s TODAY, and often appears as a celebrity guest or judge on Food Network programs such as America’s Beat Bobby Flay, the Kitchen, Battle of the Brothers, Kitchen Crash, and more. Matt has also appeared on the Dr. Oz Show and DirecTV’s Fantasy Zone. Matt and Shane are currently co-writing the Pig Beach BBQ Cookbook: Smoked, Grilled, Roasted, andSauced, which launches in May 2022