Matt and the EGG

As part of Big Green Egg’s 50th birthday celebrations, we’re sharing 50 brand-new recipes from an amazing cast of cooks. Next up is one of New Zealand’s greatest gifts to the British food world: the chef, fire-cooking expert and chilli sauce innovator Matt Burgess.

Matt, a proud Maori who spent seven years heading up the wildly popular Caravan restaurant group and now runs his own food consultancy, has an approach that’s typically Kiwi: a love of bold but balanced flavours and a complete rejection of arbitrary rules. He was already known as a barbecue master when he first got his hands on an EGG about seven years ago – and it blew his mind. “It’s like you’ve spent your whole life watching black and white TV, then all of a sudden you’re given an OLED screen,” he says. “I became obsessed with it.”


Almost as compelling a talker as he is a cook, Matt took time out to chat with us about his journey from adolescent troublemaker to big-name chef, his unconventional approach to flavour, and the night he celebrated his birthday with Kylie Minogue.

Matt Burgess | 50 Recipes | Big Green Egg


Giving a subtle kick to all three of Matt’s recipes is his very own Blak Fire condiment, a spicy soy chilli sauce offering a versatile blend of heat, spice and umami. “It’s got scotch bonnets in it, so it gives you an initial kick, but the heat turns off quite quickly and allows the spices – cinnamon, allspice, pimento – to really come through,” say Matt.

Matt Burgess | 50 Recipes | Big Green Egg


After learning his craft in Wellington, Matt moved to the UK in 1998 to cook at the newly opened Soho House before going on to work alongside legends such as Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver. For seven years he was executive chef of the Caravan restaurant group, which spread the Kiwi flare for informal, inventive small-plate dining to locations around London. Matt now runs the Kaiwhenua food consultancy and produces condiments through his Kai By MatBlak brand.

Matt Burgess | 50 Recipes | Big Green Egg

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Discover more recipes created by friends of the EGG.

Jack Stein 50 Recipes | 50th Celebrations | Big Green Egg

Join us for our 50th Celebrations

There’s no party quite like a Big Green Egg party. There’s something about cooking in the open air over fire and smoke that turns casual gatherings into special occasions and special occasions into truly memorable events. We’ve been providing those magical moments for people all around the world since the brand’s foundation exactly 50 years ago. Throughout 2024, we’re going to be celebrating the 50th birthday of Big Green Egg the only way we know how: bringing people together to share exceptional food and unforgettable experiences.

Redefining Barbecue for 50 years