Matt Beasley was born and raised in Hamilton. He has since chased his passion for the culinary arts by travelling the world and collecting experiences. For a few years he lived in Vancouver and Toronto and, most recently, moved back to Hamilton to become the executive chef at Aberdeen Tavern and Knollwood Golf and Country Club.
What’s your favourite Hamilton memory?
Summers in my neighbourhood growing up. I grew up right by Buchanan Park, right behind Mohawk College, so you didn’t have to go anywhere. It was safe. You could go out all day, come in for lunch, go out again, come in for dinner, go out again until the streetlights came on. It’s a really good city to grow up in, and the biggest thing I wanted for my daughter was to hopefully have that same experience. All the trails, bike rides, going to the waterfalls and getting into mischief as kids do; but you always felt safe.
What’s your favourite natural place to hang out in the city?
I haven’t had a great deal of time since I’ve been back to be honest. I’d probably say my neighbourhood, for now, because it’s all I’ve had time to really experience. I’m on East 17th — we’re so close to the mall, but we’re tucked away so it’s quiet. It’s a great, quiet neighbourhood with lots of young families. I spend the majority of my time walking with my daughter, taking her to the park.
There’s a zombie apocalypse. Where do you go in Hamilton to survive?
We’ve talked about this at work. The Aberdeen Tavern used to be a bank, so the basement is a vault, and a great deal of food is kept down there. That would be the first place I would go.
If you could shop at one store in the city what would it be?
It would probably be Chris’ Store Fixtures. It’s where I spend most of my time. They have some really nice stuff, and Chris is there and he’s awesome.
If all of the Hamilton municipalities got into a Battle Royale, who would win?
I would say Downtown Hamilton. It’s always got kind of a bad rap, and that’s what people associate Hamilton with — the steel area and the rough-looking downtown; it was. It was in really, really bad shape years ago and it’s kind of come back. If there was in a battle royale I don’t think downtown would give up, which is what I like about Hamilton and especially the downtown core. It’s really picked itself up and gotten its act together. It’s exciting.
Who would you rather cook dinner for: Jughead, Optimus Prime, or Polkaroo?
Polkaroo. Because there’s never been confirmation if the guy was actually Polkaroo or not.
Would you tear the mask off ?
I would, because I want to know. It always frustrated me as a kid, like ‘why does this guy never find Polkaroo?’
Which fast-food restaurant has the best fries?
What’s your favourite thing to cook your daughter?
She doesn’t eat very much right now… she’s big on raisin toast. She’s at kind of a finicky age now where it’s hit or miss. One day she loves it, next day she doesn’t. I get to spend time with her in the morning, so whatever I’m cooking for her, it’s breakfast.
You are going to an island. You get to take four animals with you of any variety. Which four do you take?
Weiner dog. Worms. And two pigs, male and female.
Why the wiener dog?
Sheer entertainment. Everything they do is amazing. Just running around being a wiener dog.