Matty Matheson Knows How to Throw a Cookout Without Fire
What I love most about Dead Set on Life is that it's real. We're in New Zealand, we're in the middle of a family gathering, and we're supposed to have a hangi, like a cookout with everything in this underground fire pit. We showed up, and we were going to do a hangi, but it was super dry, and there was a fire ban, and we couldn't. So we weren't like, "no, the show says we need to cook in a fire pit, we're going to start a fire and burn down the neighborhood." We were just like, "ok, what do you do in that situation?" It turns out they prep everything the exact same way, but instead pile it all into these steamers to cook, like New Zealand dim sum or a clambake or something. It's real life shit.
It's really inspiring to see that kind of shit shine through, and that people are still cooking that way today.
The more I travel, the more I realize a few things are universal. It's all just kind of similar, right? Like, in Newfoundland, we have what's called a Jiggs dinner, or a boiled supper: you just boil some salt pork, some sausage, maybe like some weird piece of moose, plus potatoes, turnips, yams, whatever you have. It's the kind of meal that comes from harder times, or distress, when you need to cook for a lot of people in the simplest way.
MAKE THIS: Mussel Fritters
So then I get to the hot springs, where the Maori people are cooking in these wicker baskets in the pools, and I realize it's the same thing. It was one of the realest things for me: it was in a touristy area, because that's where it is, but those pools weren't built there for tourism. They've been there for thousands—or millions—of years. It's crazy to think about that kind of shit. People have been using these for thousands of years, fucking cooking fucking clams. It's really inspiring to see that kind of shit shine through, and that people are still cooking that way today. They're making boiled dinners, they're cooking sous vide, people just making some fucking soup, man.
And if you're hungry for more Matty in the interim, check out our Dead Set on Life recipe collection .