Today he may helm the hottest new pizza joint in Brooklyn and Manhattan, but Matthew Hyland’s introduction to the restaurant world was as an information science grad, working part-time in a fine dining establishment and wondering if a culinary career might be his true calling. In classic New York City fashion, fate stepped in on the subway: noticing his chef whites, a stranger asked Matt if he was in culinary school. “I said no and he gave me his card,” Matt says. “It turned out he was a recruiter for ICE. I really took that as a sign and enrolled just a few days later.”
After externing at Public and working various positions in the culinary world—from garde manger to pastry to The Breslin’s opening administrative team—Matthew had the chance to help open Sottocasa, a pizza restaurant in his neighborhood. Within the first few weeks, Matt knew pizza was his calling, and after a year training to make pizza, he and his wife went on to create their own neighborhood pizza mecca, EMILY, in January 2014. As chef-owner, Matt was able to exercise full creative control, and his inimitable pies and exuberant love for his craft has garnered attention from even the world’s most discerning pizza (and burger) lovers. Among the widespread acclaim, when Saveur ranked Brooklyn as their #1 food destination for 2014, EMILY was chosen as the borough’s must-try poster child. Since opening in 2014 the Hylands have expanded their pizza empire to include Emmy Squared in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and EMILY in the West Village.
- Institute of Culinary Education, Culinary Arts, 2005
Awards and Honors
- Rising Star, Star Chefs, 2017
Specialities / Areas of Interest
- Detroit-style Pizza