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Championing Pizza on a National Scale

Eating Around

THOMPSON INFLUENCERS X MATT HYLAND

Matt Hyland is executive chef and co-owner of Brooklyn’s favorite pizza joint (and growing pizza empire), Emily. While the original Brooklyn outpost serves a traditional New York slice with New Haven sensibility and Brooklynite flair, they also serve a burger that’s become local legend. The boutique chain has grown to include outposts in Manhattan’s West Village and The Gulch, Nashville, serving up a “Detroit-style” pizza (and that signature burger). We ask Hyland about his career as a restaurateur and precisely what makes New York’s culinary scene so great.

What’s your favorite regional style of pizza?

New Haven and Detroit—both delicious classic American pizza styles.

What are the best and worst parts of being a restaurateur?

I love that there is a new challenge every day, like staffing, maintenance, or culinary. It’s fun to problem-solve but it can get tiring if it all happens at once. 

Is there a secret to having a successful restaurant? 

The only way to have a successful restaurant is to have a great team and sacrifice everything in your life for the sake of the restaurant—no more weekends or holidays with family. 

Do you have anything exciting on the horizon that you can tell us about?

I am opening a new grilled pizza restaurant. In NYC it is a very underrepresented style of pizza, and I am excited to make it more popular.

What are your favorite things to do with visitors to NYC?

I love taking them to dinner at very high-end restaurants and to my favorite dumpling shops in Chinatown. NYC has such a great range of restaurants for every occasion.

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