Together with a team of volunteers — including the Street Royalty Motorcycle Club — popular pitmaster Matt Horn prepared and served 600 pork and chicken sandwiches to feed the entire staff at Valley Children’s Hospital in Fresno.
Rather than lament the delayed opening of his eagerly awaited Horn Barbecue brick-and-mortar restaurant in the heart of Oakland, last month the pitmaster created a philanthropic project, the Horn Initiative, which has since mid-March facilitated the making and serving of over 4,000 meals to frontline workers and others in need.
“Our dream is to feed the world with our love-driven food. In times of crisis, our hope is that the meals we make with care will bring welcome relief, especially for those most in need,” Horn said.
“We are a company that has been blessed with a sense of abundance. And our vision is to share that abundance as an expression of our love for people. From gratitude comes service, and from service comes love,” said Horn, who credits this sense of commitment to his parents.
During his youth, they opened their home to the homeless, cooked for the hungry, and even gave away their own shoes to those who had none.
Video of the recent Fresno event can be viewed here.
Having grown up in Southern California, Horn worked in retail until a change of heart led to a change in career, fueled by fond memories of family members’ backyard barbecue pits.
Since then, he has become one of the nation’s most-watched Central Texas-style barbecue masters. At pop-ups around the East Bay and beyond, avid fans have been known to gladly wait more than four hours for his famous brisket and other pit-smoked meats.
The brick-and-mortar Horn Barbecue was set to open this year in the West Oakland space that formerly housed Brown Sugar Kitchen, but a delay was announced in February. Now the restaurant is expected to open next winter.