#143 (Part 1) – Hospitality Meets Matt Burgess – Thriving after (a lot of) Adversity

My life have I got a story for you this week.

Introducing Matt Burgess (Known as Matt Blak on Instagram) who has a story so epic, a Hollywood writer should pick it up. I made a decision half way through chatting to Matt that I’ll just let this one roll for as long as it takes as frankly, there’s learning from the outset and all the way through. It’s a 2 hour chat so I’m breaking this up into two this week, the first part for you now and the second part on Friday.

So here is Part one.

And crikey it doesn’t disappoint.

We get through:-

  • Self care day
  • Very humble beginnings
  • Gangs
  • Horticulture
  • The connection to cooking
  • Piles of dishes
  • Learning through mimicking
  • Running the show
  • Winning some money
  • The danger of comfort
  • Australia
  • Mafia
  • Arrival UK
  • Soho House
  • Drug Use
  • Seeking help

Despite an epic journey of adversity, Matt’s approach to his story is one of deep reflection and humility and he tells it openly and honestly with a lot of humour thrown in. He does this in the hope that someone out there can learn from his mistakes.

Of course his story does not finish there and tune in later in the week for the superb part 2.


The Guest

Matt Burgess

A proud New Zealand Maori, Matt started his career in Wellington, cutting his teeth in some of the city’s most iconic restaurants; Dockside, Cafe Laffare and the legendary Matterhorn.

Matt moved to London in 1998 starting at the newly opened Soho House in Greek Street. He went on to work as a Senior Chef at Bluebird in Chelsea, Gordon Ramsey’s Maze Grill and Jamie Oliver’s Threadneedle Street.

In 2015, he was snapped up as the Group Executive Chef at Caravan and Vardo Restaurants, where he was part of the team growing the brand from two to seven sites.

With over 30 years experience, Matt Burgess, often known at @matblak on Instagram, began his next move in 2022 with a step into his own food consultancy business, Kaiwhenua.

At Kaiwhenua, which means food from the land in his native Maori, Matt now creates innovative recipes for companies including Goodman Steak House Group, Caravan Restaurant Group and premium ceramic BBQ brand Big Green Egg, to name a few.

Live fire and BBQ aficionado, Matt is a content creator and Ambassador for some of the largest global BBQ brands including Weber, Big Green Egg and Smokey Oak BBQ.

Matt also offers professional food photography and videography and is a qualified coach and mentor.

Matt Burgess runs a seasonal sell out supper club and has created a range of condiments under the brand Kai by Matblak.

  1. Instagram @matblak
  2. LinkedIn http://linkedin.com/in/matthew-burgess-426a4535
  3. Twitter @chefmattburgess


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