Meet Chef Tony

  • Headshot of Chef Tony Matassa
  • Trained chef meets mad scientist. How’s that for an introduction?

    We could think of no better way to describe Chef Tony Matassa, BBQGuys’ longtime jack of all trades (and master of many) whose expansive knowledge of food science is rivaled only by his passion for food itself. That last part isn’t too surprising — he literally grew up in his family’s Italian restaurants, standing on stools to stir simmering sauces from the time he was just a few years old. But when the Matassas closed their Baton Rouge-area eateries, college-aged Tony decided to continue building on his culinary background and blaze his own trail in the food industry.

    He studied under various area chefs — most notably Chef Joey Distefano and French Chef Gerard Hemery, from whom he received hands-on training in old-school cooking techniques — and opened his own restaurant in the early 2000s. Coincidentally, that’s where Tony met BBQGuys founder and CEO Mike Hackley. They formed a fast friendship, and a few years later, Hackley asked the up-and-coming chef to produce a few recipe videos for his company’s grill retail website.

  • Stunned by the quality of grills, which reminded him of the commercial-grade equipment he used in professional kitchens, Tony hit the ground running and never looked back. In addition to transforming classic recipes into grilled dishes (have you seen what he did with New Orleans-style BBQ shrimp on the grill?), Tony became extremely involved with testing the ins and outs of every single outdoor living product we carry. He has put his scientific findings into dozens of product demonstration and testing videos over the years, helping raise the BBQGuys YouTube channel to new heights.

  • Tony still has a hand in those efforts, but these days he’s also a crucial part of our R&D team and is the food-science brain behind our Grillabilities℠ series. No matter what he’s working on, Tony brings relentless energy and a love for details to make viewers at home feel like they’re right there in the kitchen with a trained chef. Helping customers feel comfortable cooking and entertaining in their own backyard? There’s nothing mad about that science.

    To see Chef Tony in action, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow the man himself on social media using the icons below. Let us know if you’d like to see Tony demonstrate a particular recipe or review a new product, and check back often to see what he’s already got in store.

Chef Tony's Popular Recipes: