ICE Alumni Spotlight: Matt Hyland, Chef-Owner, Emily Pizza

ICE Alumni Spotlight: Matt Hyland, Chef-Owner, Emily Pizza


Matt Hyland: I was in college and I was a
computer science major. I always loved cooking. I didn’t know cooking was really a possibility,
especially in a professional career track. I ran into an admissions director on the train
and then we started talking. The rest is history. All my culinary instructors there were great.
They didn’t really candy coat either what it would be like when you get out. I wanted
to specialize in something artisanal and pizza was a favorite food of mine, as it is of everybody’s.
I worked at Pizza Moto, Sottocasa, and Roberta’s to learn to make pizza. Once I started making
pizza I wanted to own a pizzeria and give people my own style.
Emily’s Pizza is special. We have the wood burning oven but it’s not really Neapolitan,
it’s not quite New York, it’s not quite New Haven. We use a lot of local ingredients,
we don’t import anything from Italy. My culinary voice is to have fun while cooking. I respect
the tradition of making pizza but I really like to have fun with fun ingredients and
fun toppings. The most rewarding part about owning a restaurant
is that I can look up and see a full dining room and people eating pizza and people just
enjoying it. I really like to make food that’s not pretentious, food that tastes really good,
and have fun doing it.

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