Katakis-Matthew

Matthew Katakis

Biography

Pitmaster and owner of Butcher Bar, which has won several awards including both awards at the 2016 Backyard BBQ at the NYC Wine and Food Festival hosted by Bobby Flay and Michael Symon, was born and raised in Astoria, this Queens native’s main passion is food and smoke!

Having travelled the world in the pursuit of great tasting food among other things, his mission was to bring it all back to his hood. He started his first restaurant Pita Pan in 2003, a modern day Greek Grill specializing in Gyros and Souvlakis, which has become... READ MORE

Pitmaster and owner of Butcher Bar, which has won several awards including both awards at the 2016 Backyard BBQ at the NYC Wine and Food Festival hosted by Bobby Flay and Michael Symon, was born and raised in Astoria, this Queens native’s main passion is food and smoke!

Having travelled the world in the pursuit of great tasting food among other things, his mission was to bring it all back to his hood. He started his first restaurant Pita Pan in 2003, a modern day Greek Grill specializing in Gyros and Souvlakis, which has become a classic, offering the tastiest and freshest Greek cuisine this side of the Atlantic.

Although Butcher Bar evolved into a modern-day smoke house, it started as a butcher shop and it’s inspiration came from a trip to Morocco!

A small space, with only 22 seats and a small back yard became available across the street from Pita Pan, and he began to dream and design his new concept, Butcher Bar. Butchers first and restaurant after, he chose to do Smokehouse BBQ because it was not being represented properly in Astoria, and wanted a way to showcase the meat as well as vent it in case it didn’t sell. His focus was on organic and natural vegetables and meat locally sourced from sustainable minded purveyors who abstained from using prophylactic hormones and antibiotics on their animals and farms who practiced organic principles.

Having limited experience with BBQ, other than backyard grilling, he taught himself the art of low and slow hard wood smoked BBQ.

Butcher Bar recently opened its second location at 146 Orchard Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan!

Mtthew is also co-owner in Slice Astoria, a local pizza joint that used to be the original Butcher Bar location, until it relocated next door at the current location and Blend Astoria, a very popular Latin fusion restaurant and the third unit of the Blend Brand from Long Island City, Queens.

His future plans include expanding out of the state with his various concepts and has begun a second career as an author. A cook book is in store in the future!

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What is your favorite NYC restaurant? And what is your go-to dish? KYKLADES, Fresh grilled fish. What is your ultimate meal? BBQ What three things are always in your pantry? paprika, olive oil, garlic powder If you weren't a chef, what would you be? a rock star If you could cook with anyone, who would that be? Jesus What’s your favorite NYCWFF memory? Winning the first ever COCA COLA BACKYARD BBQ! Winning both the fan favorite and the Judges competitions!