January 18, 2021


All Things Delicious

Matt Marcus: Houston Food’s Earth New music Maestro

7 min read

The French foodstuff author Lucien Tendret the moment wrote, “To give daily life to beauty, the painter uses a full range of shades, musicians of seems, the prepare dinner of preferences.” Tendret recognized the art of a excellent meal was like the artwork of a fantastic music, each created from a area of enjoy by artists who comprehend and respect their elements. A great deal of this, a pinch of that, each observe building upon the other right until its beauty is sent into the planet (or, at the very least, table quantity five).

It’s no question numerous restaurant gurus are also musicians. In Houston alone, there are likely way too quite a few to count, but Houston Press did go in research of some to find out how their culinary and new music lives intersect, why the two pursuits gratify them and how their songs ordeals eventually make your eating knowledge a improved one. We’re that includes some of the city’s most acclaimed, completed food stuff names around the up coming number of days. Every shared what is new at their institutions and reminded individuals that Houston eateries are open up and keen for enterprise. And, they all spoke at duration about the new music they engage in and really like. The sequence kicks off with Houston’s number one Phish supporter, Matt Marcus.

“Music and food go hand in hand. You’re not gonna go to a cafe wherever it is lifeless silent, there’s normally gonna be audio actively playing,” mentioned Matt Marcus, one of the founders of 8th Wonder Brewery and founder and govt chef of the award-winning Eatsie Boys food items truck. “Music is so significant to me and so is food items. They’re two genuinely enjoyment sections of lifetime and I’m really lucky to be doing the job and elevated in both equally avenues.”

Marcus established himself as a Houston food icon by serving to to soar start out the city’s meals truck scene. He honed his kitchen area abilities by way of the Culinary Institute of The united states, where by he attained a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Administration, as very well as associate degrees in both equally Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry Arts. Within just 5 years of launching just one of Houston’s oldest chef-driven foodstuff trucks in 2010, he was remaining lauded in foodstuff circles and by Houston Company Journal, which integrated him in its 40 Beneath 40 course of 2014.

Individuals accolades were being acquired from Marcus’s eclectic menus, which frequently fuse Houston’s varied preferences into solitary, refined foodstuff truck offerings. Head to Eatsie Boys’ truck, parked at 8th Surprise and serving customers from midday to 8 p.m. day by day, and marvel at the to-die-for Elote Fries, for occasion — a mattress of seasoned, crisp waffle fries topped with buttered corn, very hot sauce, cotija cheese, mayo, eco-friendly onion, a hint of lime and a Very hot Cheetos crumble. The truck’s Matzah Ball Pho pulled from Marcus’ Jewish heritage and just one of the city’s go-to lunch dishes. The new spin on the Vietnamese soup turned Eatsie Boys’ breakthrough menu product. Marcus considers it his “greatest strike.”

“I try to remember writing (the recipe) and it was a person of my masterpieces and I’ll often carry that with me, just like Fleetwood Mac is often gonna enjoy ‘Dreams,’” he explained.

Eatsie Boys’ Elote Fries: a perfect orchestration of tastes

Photo by Jesse Sendejas Jr.

A indigenous Houstonian, Marcus mentioned he had an early fascination in food, sparked by his grandmother. But his foodstuff passions then couldn’t contend with new music. He’s performed saxophone considering that grade school. He attended Parker Elementary, a new music magnet school in southwest Houston, and was questioned to choose an instrument on the initial day of first quality, he recalled. The band director’s desk was lined with mouthpieces.

“I reached out for a saxophone mouthpiece and I blew into it and he’s like, ‘Okay, you’re participating in the saxophone!’”

A lifelong obsession with audio began that only. He started playing tenor sax and discovered how to study new music. Later, he attended army faculty and performed in the school’s marching band.

“A ton of John Philip Sousa,” he laughed. “That’s in which I kind of expanded my musical prowess and I commenced enjoying with guitar and drums. I basically moved from the saxophone to the bass drum and I played the bass drum for this marching band for nearly 3 several years of my significant faculty job. It was extremely great for me. I was the heartbeat of every step that these navy young children have been using. I generally believed that was so amazing.”

Main the band could quickly be observed as formative for anyone who would 1 day oversee thriving food stuff functions.

“I’ve always savored composition in my everyday living. I have normally been most thriving when there’s composition and just like a band has a hierarchy of leaders, a kitchen has a hierarchy of leaders,” he explained. “I really feel like the chef is the composer and he’s major the group and telling them what to do and how to play and at what tempo. All of the diverse ‘musicians’ are the chefs and the cooks – whilst it’s created in a recipe, all people plays the take note otherwise.”

Marcus claimed he’s performed in groups but as his job arrived into focus he lost his relationship with structured songs.


“I do not seriously perform in bands any more. If I have some more time and I see the saxophone there and it’s contacting my title, I decide on it up and I play a pair of notes. Same thing with the guitars and with the drums.”

What’s keeping him from individuals instruments recently is consulting operate. His hottest projects incorporate aiding with the menu for the new Treebeard’s area in Memorial and assisting the legacy cafe New York Deli and Bagel Shop develop into a new spot with a point out-of-the-art kosher bakery.

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Marcus claimed he listens to music even though functioning. He’s a admirer of all types, from Fela Kuti’s Afrobeat to Kamasi Washington’s boundary-pushing jazz to techno and outdated-university state. He could be Houston’s major Phish admirer. He’s witnessed the band live extra than 120 periods and stated, “Trust me, I’ve been in lots of kitchens where it is like, ‘Hey, we gotta get there right before Matt’s there due to the fact he’s gonna set on fucking Phish again and we’re gonna pay attention to a 20-minute tune.’”

Individuals tunes clear his mind and direct his electrical power for the task at hand and Marcus claimed creating a new recipe is really related to producing a music.

“I think we’re fortunate with meals that a large amount of folks consume with their eyes. Something can be absolutely gross but appear attractive and somebody’s even now gonna chomp it down in their mouth,” he said, “but with tunes, 1st of all nobody’s heading to be capable to look at a piece of music and say, ‘This is going to audio lovely!’ Extremely number of people today will. When that initial take note hits, you have almost certainly obtained 5 or 6 bars just before someone modifications the station or tunes you out.

“I’ve in no way been good plenty of at new music to produce. I signify, really don’t get me completely wrong, I’ve written some silly-ass tunes and things, but any time I have sat down to create a menu or suggestions for somebody I have always imagined of myself as creating a rating of songs or a hit music. A chef has their best hits, we have our finest hits, a cafe has its best hits.”

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