Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Honoring Matt Hassett's Life and Work

Chris Amirault

Recommended Posts

As many of you know, the eGullet Society lost one of its own this week when host Matt Hassett passed away. Click here for the announcement.

We're using this sad occasion to introduce a new feature of eG Forums: Member News. Click here for an overview of this new forum, which provides us with an opportunity to share our news and memories about the things we all care about: food, drink, cooking, and eating.

A quick scan through for the list of posts that Matt wrote helps us to remember why he sparked such passion about food, drink, cooking and eating here at the eGullet Society. Indeed, his very last post, about a meal at Raoul's on July 30, is characterized by that passion and care. He closes by pointing out that "it helps to be good friends with the sommelier"; as many of us can testify, even the briefest meeting helped others become good friends with Matt.

So, for the next week, we invite you to honor Matt's lasting presence on eG Forums and to share your remembrances here of Matt's love and appreciation for food and drink, cooking and eating. We also ask that you click here to send condolences to the family.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Matt was an incredibly charismatic, interesting, quirky, brilliant young man. He'd walk into a room filled with 50 people and come out with 50 new friends. Matt passed away only a few days before we were scheduled to complete the editing an eG Radio interview we did together with Will Goldfarb of Room4Dessert -- one of the many eating and drinking establishments where Matt was known and loved. It was all done except for some narration he was supposed to add between the segments. I'll try to pull that together this month so you can all hear his voice.

Matt was an unapologetic champion of excellence in food and drink. He demanded the best from every meal. If an experience fell short, he let it be known. If it met his standards, chances are he'd be back again and again, and that soon enough he'd be hanging out with the staff after work. He and I spoke many times about how dedicated he was to the goals of the eGullet Society, and how he felt as though he had found an online extended family of kindred spirits here.

My deepest condolences to his family. Matt's youth makes his loss all the more painful, however he has touched more people's lives than most people three times his age. All of us who had the privilege of interacting with him, virtually or in person, will I'm sure do our best to carry on the spirit of adventure and connoisseurship that he embodied.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Matt was the first person from this board who I met in real life. He invited me down to Pegu Club one night. I don't know why I should have been, but I was shocked at how young he was. His posts certainly didn't seem callow. But what a great guy! I'm sure we're going to be reading a lot in this thread about how personable and likeable Matt was. But there's a reason. That night, he was like the social director of the Pegu Club. He seemed to be friends with everybody. And not in an indiscriminate, insincere way. It was just his obvious -- and here we can't help but get a bit legubrious -- zest for life. Twenty-two years old. What a loss.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


The above photo pictures him having a good time with his foodie friends, at the eGullet Society China 46 Fundraising dinner back in late January of this year. This is just how I remember him, when I drove him home to his parent’s house in Teaneck after a night of Chinese New Year festivities that cold winter evening.

I remember how we talked about how he dreamed of someday cooking at a restaurant as a head chef or owning his own place. He carried himself well and was a fun guy to be around.

Matthew’s post record on eGullet is indicative of a young person with an intense passion for fine food and dining, and although I didn’t know him very well, I feel like he lived a lot in his short life. He ate at all the finest restaurants in New York City and could hold very intelligent discussions and opinions on them for such a young kid. Frankly, I didn’t know he was only 22 years old until hearing of his passing today, for in so many ways he was far beyond his years. At 22 I didn’t have the sophistication in understanding restaurants, wine, spirits and cuisine like he did, and I’m still catching up with him with many of the places in NYC I have yet to eat at.

Goodbye Matthew. At my next fine meal, I’ll be toasting to you.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had the pleasure of meeting Matt and sitting next to him at a dinner at Studio Kitchen in Philadelphia on March 17th of this year. Like Sneakeater I was surprised to discover that he was so young. His posts and experience belied someone much older than he actually was. He packed a lot into his brief 22 years.

One of the things that I will always remember about Matt is his voice - his very, very deep voice. He also had a very deep voice here on eGullet. His posts were always courteous and knowledgeable.

One product that I will always think of him when I encounter it in print or in person is Manni olive oil. I remember it as being one of his favorite food products.

Rest well, Matt.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I first met Matt in person a few months ago when slkinsey introduced him to me at Pegu, along with Megan. We hit it off pretty well that night, but it was what happened subsequently that really stood out. After that first encounter, we tried to get together as often as possible to either enjoy fine cocktails -- while talking about cocktails and food at the various NY cocktail haunts.

As Sneakeater said, he seemed to know everyone at these places and everyone knew him. I will miss him greatly -- we actually were supposed to get together in the coming month to work on some cocktail ideas we have been messaging back and forth.

Egullet suffered a great loss, as did the everyone -- as he was a smart, charming and personalable man.

I fondly remember the last drink we enjoyed -- a New York Flip. I will never have that drink again without thinking of you Matt.

Cheers to you my friend.


John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2


I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Matthew Hassett came to my attention very quickly, with his first few posts after he joined the eGullet Society. As he continued to post, he very quickly established himself as a person of substance whose views on food and drink commanded respect, because his writing was always clear and incisive and showed a depth of knowledge and experience that suggested someone at least twice his age. What his posts and his private communication with me also showed was a person of great character, a genuinely nice and very enthusiastic person, who lived life to the fullest and obviously got great pleasure from sharing his knowledge and love of food and drink. I regret that I never met him in person, but I feel that I have lost a friend. I am proud to have been Matt's colleague and very shocked and saddened that he is gone. I would like to honor him by reposting some early posts by him, which show his love of good food and drink, his enthusiasm (which just pours forth so fast in the first of these posts that it can't be constrained by ordinary sentences), and his sense of humor. Matt made a great impact in a relatively short time. He is now a part of the legacy of the eGullet Society, in the best sense of the word "legacy." Enjoy the foie gras and cocktails in Heaven, Matt, and save some for us when, God willing, we join you there someday not too soon.

I went to Pegu wed. I started with the Pegu Club (dry gin orange bitters orange curac.) very nice offered nice balenced flavors. Then I had the the Jimmie Roosevelt(cog bitters grean chart champ)  one of the best drinks I have ever had definetly is 3 drinks in one it offers many levels of flavor and changes as you drink it a very fine drink indeed . I then had a Tanq 10 gibson perfect(50-50 dry sweet verm) very well made stirred served with extra in ice chilled dacanter. Then it was on to the tantric sidecar(cog calv countr lemon pineapple green chart) I realy liked the addition of calvados I could have lived without the pineapple though. Now on to food the chicken satay nice spicy most like cajun blackened chicken could have used more chopped peanuts in sauce. Sloppy duck pulled duck on potato bun with trop fruit bbq sauce the suace was a little to sweet for me very good high end white castles(in a good way). I also tasted my friends fifty-fifti(half gin half dry vermouth) very nice I tend to order martinis with nice pours of vermouth so I liked this drink a lot. 

All in all a GREAT place good atmosphere informed staff good food and Great cocktails. This is my new neighborhood bar and I live in north jersey :biggrin:. I will definetly order the J.Roosevelt and the sloppy duck again.

edit: ignore spelling grammer errors I typed this on treo.Fedex says my new laptop is still in transit. Well gotta shower and head over to saka gura and then Pegu for more research :biggrin:

Just came across this http://www.nj.com/living/ledger/index.ssf?...4620.xml&coll=1

qoute: "Don't expect much to change right away at D'Artagnan, the Newark-based purveyor of fine specialty foods -- including duck, game, organic poultry and foie gras -- now that there is just one person calling the shots instead of two. Just look for some new products being added to the existing lineup, like wild boar saucisson, nitrite-free bacon, marinated duck breasts and even duck prosciutto. "

I just checked their site and they already have a few of the new products mentioned, sounds good to me,  :smile:

At the market maybe a month ago, I saw a woman complaining to the manager that the bread she bought was a ripoff because it had "all these hollow holes" in it. She then said she never had this problem with wonder bread, and she would never be buying this "ripoff fake bread" again. The bread was of course a very good bread made locally. Well more for me I guess :biggrin: .

Michael aka "Pan"


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Matt and I had corresponded for some time on our favorite, and shared, love: cuisine of every shape and form. When Matt announced that he would be coming to Atlanta, he inquired about the style of cuisine we might enjoy sharing together .. after some ruminating and conjecture, we both decided to have a classic French meal at the local (now closed ..prophetic?) Brasserie Le Coze in the tres chic Lenox Square Mall in Buckhead ... the meal was excellent (pourquoi non?) and he dove into his chicken rillettes with energy and enthusiasm .. I had the skate wings avec buerre noir ... and we shared a molten chocolate cake amid laughter and shared tales of our eGullet friendships ... sometime later, Matt decided that he would be willing to share his personal biography .. I was thrilled ... let me share some of the high points here now:

Oct 11 2005

A short history of a brief life:

I was born Oct. 2nd, 1983, in Teaneck, NJ. I have lived in various parts of North Jersey since then, with plenty of time spent at a second home on Cape Cod. My love of reading started early on, we were always a family that sat around and read and our homes were always filled with books. I am actually, sin of sins, a high school dropout. I had too many issues with teachers ONLY teaching out of textbooks: you would ask a question and they consult the book, some of whom you could barely hold a conversation with unless it related to pop culture, you know the story teachers who want to be “friends” as opposed to educators and mentors. Not to say they are all bad. Some I still keep in touch with and privately agreed with me on my decision. This explains many of my grammatical and spelling issues. I have my GED and have taken many continuing education courses on subjects ranging from Proust to genetic engineering.

My love of food has been with me since I can remember. I had one of those “Suzy Homemaker Easy Bake Ovens” when I was five or so, not to mention my playdough kitchen. I have experienced eating out and fine dining since a very young age. To my parents credit, they taught me the rules early and the one time I made a scene in a restaurant I was taken to the car by my dad and went hungry that night. Needless to say, it has not happened again. I have eaten in France, England, and Japan. I enjoy all cuisine but my preference is classical French bistro fare. Cooking-wise, I can thank my mother, as I am sure most of us can, for starting my interest. I always remember being her sous. I gradually overcame her as a cook (she said that not me). I love cooking from recipes, but my passion is going to the market seeing what is good and going from there.

Spencer (my one year three month old Papillon) and I live alone. Well I rent a room to a friend of mine but we have different schedules, which is a-okay by me. I am somewhat of a loner. I am the guy eating at a restaurant with a book. My days are currently occupied with reading (I have a huge appetite I probably read on average three to four books a week in addition to the 2 dozen or so weekly/monthly magazine/journals. I subscribe to NY Review of Books, New Yorker, Foreign Affairs, etc...) long walks with Spencer, NYC museums, painting, wooden model boat building, and of course anything and everything related to food.

Well this is getting a little lengthy so let me wrap it up. My only plan is to, within the next year, start culinary school probably, CIA. Well then the world is my oyster as they say (side rant who are “they” everyone is always talking about them but who the hell are they?). I am sure that this is more then you wanted, Melissa, but if there is anything else just pm me.


Matthew Xavier Hassett

Even today, as I read this with the knowledge that young Matt will not reach the goals he held for himself, I feel tears welling in my eyes. He had a lot ahead of him and he would not have faltered, had his health allowed for it ... an aside here: after this lunch, we decided to go into Neiman-Marcus nextdoor to the Brasserie and peruse the sales in the men's department. His fashion taste, need I say it, matched his taste in food: classic.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like many of you, Matt first came to my attention through his incredibly thoughtful and intelligent posts. I thought to myself, “What a great new member. This dude really knows what he’s talking about!” Matt was gracious enough to send me a PM early last October, telling me how much he liked my drink creations and how much he appreciated me “helping to make eGullet all it could be.” :wub: Needless to say, I was unbelievably flattered. I wrote back and thanked him, and our friendship was born. We exchanged e-mails, drink recipes, and talked about restaurants, food and cuisine at great length. I was finally to be in New York a few weeks later and Matt and I exchanged phone numbers. We met at Pegu Club, had some drinks and some laughs and solidified what was already a mutual admiration society. Like many of you, I was shocked and amazed when I asked Matt his age. He carried himself with such self-assurance and was so incredibly passionate and knowledgeable it was hard to believe he had so much experience and such refined taste at such a young age.

I managed to meet up with Matt (always) for drinks and (sometimes) a bite to eat on every subsequent trip I made to New York. I had a wonderfully memorable meal with him feasting on oysters, caviar, bone marrow, foie gras and pigeon and washing it all back with Champagne at 2:30AM at Blue Ribbon one night. It was outrageously decadent, and an experience I’ll never forget.

Matt made it down to Philadelphia a few times too. He made it to a couple of dinners at Studio Kitchen, which I know made him very happy. He always came to visit me at Amada for lunch, and would try out some of the cocktails and often gave me suggestions that improved them. He’d work quietly on his laptop at the end of the bar while I was busy making drinks or serving other customers, and would patiently wait for me to finish work so we could go have a drink elsewhere, or go shopping for various gourmet food products or accessories. I took him to Reading Terminal and he had a field day at the spice shop and cookware store. I turned him on to House of Tea, my favorite tea shop, and he bought quite a selection of different teas, many of which were meant to be gifted to various friends of his at home. He was incredibly generous like that, and always went out of his way to bring someone something he thought would be interesting to them or would make them smile. I introduced Matt to many of my friends and co-workers in Philly, and he left a positive impression on every last one of them. He was just like that.

Matt and I often discussed his future plans, and his desire to go to culinary school and someday open his own restaurant. He picked my brain relentlessly about restaurant operations and how to run a successful beverage program. His thirst for knowledge about spirits led him to begin his studies recently at Beverage Alcohol Resource, a certification program for bartenders taught by the most recognizable experts in the industry. It’s an intensive program and I know Matt was excelling in his studies. I hadn’t heard from him in several weeks and I assumed it was merely because he was studying so hard and working at improving his bartending skills. I wish I’d been more persistent about calling him sooner, because I now know I’ll not hear his sonorous voice or infectious laugh again. And that makes me incredibly sad.

In looking back on my friendship with Matt so I could write this tribute to him, I now realize that Matt was what I think of as an “old soul”. He’d clearly been born too late. As Melissa mentioned, he was a very snappy dresser. He had impeccable taste in clothing as well as fine food and drink. His shoes were always polished, his shirt always pressed, his suit jacket well tailored and fitted. He was a real gentleman in his demeanor as well. His gracious manners were a pleasant surprise from a young man of his generation. He unfailingly would hold the door, give up his seat or light a lady’s cigarette for her. I have no doubt that if spats were still fashionable, Matt would have had several snazzy pair. He should have been around during the Jazz Era or been a Rat Packer. It would have suited his sensibilities perfectly. Luckily for all of us that had the pleasure of knowing him, either in person or virtually, he was here now.

Young Matthew (a nickname I often called him, much to his chagrin), I toast you. I’ll look for you tending the bar behind the Pearly Gates when I get there. You were and will always be my dear sweet friend, and I will miss you very much.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

M.X. Hassett.

When the name first appeared on the eGullet forums, I thought to myself, "What a fantastic name." A name full of elegance, intelligence, strength.

And that is what Matthew Hassett turned out to be. A young man who nonetheless was a big man, in the best and fullest sense.

I went back today and re-read some of his first posts here, to be sure that I was not wrong in thinking of Matthew as having a huge generosity of spirit, an enormous warmth that extended itself with curiosity about so very many things, and an open-hearted joy about the many good things that life could offer.

Matt shared his love of books with me, and in so doing made me feel as if I were part of a special world inhabited by those who love the world books carry. He read widely and intently, and read well.

His knowledge of food and drink was incredible for one his age. I did know how old he was, and indeed, just as Katie said - Matt was an old soul.

It seems so terribly wrong that he should leave here, now. I am glad to have finally seen a photo of him. . .he is handsome, and smart-looking, and he looks like he would be a very good friend. And I am honored to read the bio he shared with Melissa - thank you for sharing that. And I too have shed tears for this fine young man who with his posts on this forum touched so very many people.

His time here was too short. But he himself was so big that I do believe he touched as many people as others who are much much older.

Jorge Luis Borge said, "I have always imagined Paradise to be a kind of library."

I wish that for you, Matthew, with a fine place to drink and dine right alongside it.

May peace and joy and love be with you. You will be greatly missed.

If these things are possible, I do believe that you, were a sort of angel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I first met Matt at the Pegu Club when I was in town to attend eG's China 46 event. We spoke then of eGullet and how much he enjoyed it. I further interacted with him at the China 46 event and we corresponded off and on since then. I also had the pleasure and honour of recruiting Matt to become a host for the Society. Matt was an asset to the Society and was a friend to me. When I first read this last night, this hit me hard. 22 is too young. I will miss you Matt.



Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yesterday, I read the obit of a fine man who brigthened my life through his writing, [Posts]. I had no idea how old he was, but he seemed happy and was able to spread that happiness will other friends here at EG.

The fact he was taken so young, is tragic.

What a nice lad, friend and fellow member, I like other assumed, wrongly, that he was much older. While not much older he was a wise fellow and good friend,

I am glad we have a place to say fare well and until the next time we meet.



Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"


One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was fortunate enough to meet Matt here in Philadelphia on a couple of occassions and was struck by his passion for and knowledge of food at such a young age. When I was that young, my staple food was Domino's pizza and there he was talking to me about El Bulli's cookbook, at Studiokitchen no less. I imagine he brought this same passion and energy to other things in his life.

I was so profoundly saddened and disheartened to hear of his loss. Gone too soon.


Dough can sense fear.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I only met Matt a couple of times, but even in those few hours in his company, his passion and zest for food and drink came through as clearly as they do in his posts and work left behind here on eGullet. He had an open and warm spirit, something you could tell the instant you met him.

The world has lost an incredible talent and a wonderful soul. Every time I go to Pegu for a cocktail, I'll be tipping my glass to Matt.

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I only met Matt one time when he visited Atlanta. He sat at the kitchen bar and ordered the tasting menu.

He ate the way that scares most chefs. Chewing slowly and thinking.

I am not the type of chef who is very good with table visits. I have trouble shaking hands and kissing babys and usually pay a quick visit and vanish.

With Matt however,I ended up delivering much of the meal myself, and remember talking for quite a long time after the meal about molecular cocktails and NYC restaurants. He spoke of the kitchen he was filling with immersion circulators and his dream of enrolling at CIA.

I remember feeling that Matt was going to accomplish something great, that I was going to see him on the cover of a magazine one day. Whether it was cooking, mixology, or writing, he had so much ahead of him. And after hearing about how he has impacted many of us, I know that he did accomplish something great.

Richard Blais


Link to comment
Share on other sites

i, too, met matt at the pegu club. he was in the company of other e gulleteers discussing manni olive oil and vermouth!

he insisted that i try a proper vermouth on the rocks. and i loved it.

his knowledge was contagious. he inspired me to read more and open my mind.

matt, you will be missed........

thank you for all of your sharing.

"the soul contains three elements in dining: to feel, to remember, to imagine." --andoni luiz aduriz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A few of us from Pegu attended Matt's service yesterday in Teaneck. I met his parents, Jim & Dora, and we talked for a little while. It is easy to see that the apple didn't fall far from the tree; they are very, very special people. Really intelligent, gentle, & loving folks. There were a number of photographs of Matt displayed around the room, and it was very warming to be able to take a look at them. Matt's father showed me his favorite picture---Matt was sitting down on the steps outside of their house in Cape Cod. The sun was beaming down on his face, and he was looking up directly into the camera and the sun with a big, big smile.

Everything about Matt was sterling....I loved him a lot and thought of him as family. I spent the last number of days recollecting the times we spent together. His visits to Pegu, the various meals we shared, and our incredibly stimulating conversations during those times together. And I love that he lived like a rockstar, but even more importantly, I really admired what a respect he had for all of it as well. He had an enormous appreciation and respect for everything.

The gaze, the voice, his energy....what a beautiful person he was. He had great presence and such a brilliant mind; it's hard to let go. I asked his family to send us a picture of him so that we can keep it behind the bar; the entire staff at Pegu is feeling his loss as well. He was part of our clan. For the time-being, I printed out the one that Jason posted above (thanks Jason), and hung it behind the bar & in our service area where everyone can see it.

I worked in the well last night after his service, and it was very comforting to look over and see that pix hanging there. Not far from one of his favorite barstools. Not very far at all.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although my words will echo so many of the sentiments already posted I very much wanted to add some thoughts about Matt.

Matt was a fascinating person whom I knew for much too short a time. The kind of person that “had you at hello”. I’m not surprised he had vast, and fast friends, even as a self described loner. Tall, Dark, Handsome (reminded me of Orlando Bloom) and smart as a whip. He had impeccable taste in everything we ever discussed. His clothing and style was extraordinary. His knowledge and passion about the culinary world was encyclopedic.

I agree with others that he was an old soul, the ultimate class act. I concur with Katie that he could have been a Rat Packer or The Great Gatsby. I never had the opportunity to dance with Matt, but am certain he would have been an outstanding touch dancer and would be attired in a perfectly tailored white dinner jacket looking smashing. (I seem to remember a post about him eating in a white dinner jacket and flinging ketchup all over the place, so obviously, and not surprisingly, he had one.)

I find it fitting that his last post had him eating Beluga caviar and dining in fine style. I also found a mention of his name in connection with a Cocktail presentation at the Museum of the American Cocktail on July 25th. Given his association with B.A.R. I assume it was he - Did anyone attend?

I thought I had some pictures from Matt’s March visit to Philadelphia but was unable to locate them. If anyone has any photos of Matt they would be willing to share I would certainly enjoy seeing them.

“Never in my word land could there be words to reveal in a phrase how I feel.”

Lullaby of Birdland – Ella Fitzgerald.

So I will leave it at this; the world has lost a truly special person. I will think of him often and fondly with a smile on my face and an ache in my heart. God speed Matthew you will be missed.



"selling fame in fifteen second increments for pints of beer "

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As is probably not surprising, I too met Matt at Pegu, where he was perched comfortably on his favorite stool, enjoying a cocktail and making clandestine Manni olive oil trades with shadowy characters. And within a few minutes we ended up in a deep conversation about food and drink and eGullet and human nature as a whole. And as many have stated, his depth of knowledge about restaurants and cuisine in particular was amazing.

Within a few minutes of conversation, it became clear that he had to come to Philly for a StudioKitchen dinner, and he not only did so, but also immediately, smoothly, comfortably, became something of a regular. He was always at the top of my list of people to invite, and I'm really pleased he was able to join us in Philly a few times. It somehow didn't seem at all unusual for him to drop in from out of state for dinner. I always enjoyed his company, and his obvious enjoyment of the events was gratifying.

After his first SK dinner, Matt, Katie Loeb and I went out for a couple of drinks (of course...) and over the course of a few cocktails, he left me absolutely stunned by his encyclopedic knowledge of EVERY minute detail of eGullet history. It was his ability to pull those arcane details to mind instantly, as well as to reference recipes and restaurant dishes effortlessly that made me think of him as a professor that decided academia was just too dry for him. (But then, his tweed jackets were always a bit too perfect for him to be a rumpled scholar....) I'm not sure I was aware of his exact age, I certainly felt he was a few decades wiser and more centered than he had a right to be. It's rather amazing to discover that he wasn't a burnt-out academic, just an amazingly curious and intelligent self-motivated searcher.

As others have noted, I too expected to see great things from Matt, and am saddened that we won't get to see what he would have done. I'm sure it would have been interesting. I didn't know him well, but I liked him a lot, and I'm really glad to have had the opportunity to meet him and share some good food, drink, and conversation a few times. He was a truly unique guy, and I'll miss him.

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Matt was a VERY special person. He PM'd me about some funny bit and we kept up our correspondence via emails, periodically sending each other bon mots, book opinions and funny asides. He invited Kiddle and me to join in some outings, but we've been spare in our outings this past year, and we never met up with M.X. (our name for Matt)in person. I'm really touched to read everyone's writings on Matt, and how he connected with so many of us. I've learned so much about this charming young man that I didn't know before, and I'm not surprised one bit at the glowing memories everyone has of him. He was a fine man. I know that I am better for having known him, even brielfy. Dear Matt, may you be having a great meal while reading a fantastic endless novel, followed by a night of excellent drinking and fun. See you soon.

More Than Salt

Visit Our Cape Coop Blog

Cure Cutaneous Lymphoma

Join the DarkSide---------------------------> DarkSide Member #006-03-09-06

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It always makes me sad to see a life cut short, but in this case a veritable light has gone out. Much like others here, I was taken aback by Matt's profundity and maturity for someone so young, and his passion for life came through in every word. We had planned to meet for a cocktail after a fabulous correspondence, but alas did not have a chance to do so. I regret missing out on a face-to-face encounter with someone who so clearly embodied l'art de bien vivre.

Jennifer L. Iannolo

Founder, Editor-in-Chief

The Gilded Fork

Food Philosophy. Sensuality. Sass.

Home of the Culinary Podcast Network

Never trust a woman who doesn't like to eat. She is probably lousy in bed. (attributed to Federico Fellini)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have never posted on egullet before and I can think of no better time to start than the passing of Matt.

Losing him has left my head and heart very heavy for the past week. A day doesn't go by that I don't see his smiling face at the end of my bar or hear his growling voice order some obscure cocktail from some out of print cocktail book he just read.

I miss him more than I can express to anyone close to me. He was not only my favorite customer but a kind, generous and learned friend - something there is too few of in this world today.

I imagine he probably is in heaven at the Angel's Share bar sandwiched between Jerry Tomas and Charles Baker Jr. drinking and having a conversation he's always dreamed about.

Here's How! Matt

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...