Earlier this year, Chef Matt Hinckley opened up his highly anticipated Hinckley’s Fancy Meats sandwich and charcuterie shop inside East End Market, our local Orlando food hall and a kind-of start-up incubator for food concepts. In addition to sandwiches, the meat shop also offers up cured meats, sausages, and all sorts of meaty delights for purchase.
The sandwiches and charcuterie here, in my opinion, are some of the very best Orlando has to offer – the quality of the ingredients and the wonderful flavors that Chef Hinckley is able to create and craft together are truly top notch.
The menu at Hinckley’s includes:
PORCHETTA Salsa Piccante. Broccoli Rabe. Roasted Peppers. Ciabatta. $14
PASTRAMI ON RYE Russian Dressing. Fresh Horseradish. Cabbage. Havarti. $14
CHICKEN SALAD Roasted Chicken. Citrus Aioli. Celery. Arugula. Croissant. $13
THE CUBAN Apple Wood Ham. Mojo Pork. Swiss Cheese. Yellow Mustard. Pickles. $13
FRENCH DIP Grass Fed Roast Beef. Caramelized Onion. Gruyere. Bone Broth Jus. $15
BLT Apple Wood Smoked Bacon. Bacon Jam. Tomato. Lettuces. Smoked Paprika Aioli. Brioche. $15
BANH MI Country Pâté. Duck Liver Pâté. Pickled Veggies. Radish. Cilantro. French Baguette. $14
THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO Grass Fed Roast Beef. Apple Wood Smoked Ham. Mojo Pork. Provolone. Fresh Greens. Pickled Veggies. Radish. Lemon Vinaigrette. $15
Chef Hinckley has literally traveled the world honing his craft from Africa to New Zealand before returning to Florida. Driven by a food philosophy committed to “respectful farm-to-table cooking, sourcing locally and honoring the quality of fresh ingredients” and “zero waste”, he has since accumulated over 15 years of culinary experience including leadership positions in both James Beard award-winning and Michelin-starred kitchens.
Notably, Chef Hinckley’s Charcuterie Box has been featured recently in the New York Time’s Holiday gift guide for their fabulous sausages and smoked meats.
In Miami, he worked with James Beard award-winning Michael Schwartz at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink. In New York City, he worked with Brad Farmerie first at Saxon + Parole and then at the helm of the Michelin-starred flagship, PUBLIC.
“I learned a lot of new techniques in both kitchens and had the privilege of working next to some very talented cooks and chefs. We maintained the Michelin star and I moved on once again. This time headed back, full circle, to Orlando where the adventure began,” chef Hinckley said.
“I want to bring all of the knowledge that I gained, all of the technique that I learned, all of the responsible farming practices I became familiar with, and all of the stories that I picked up along the way back home so that I can share them with my friends and family.”
Ricky Ly of Tasty Chomps: Tell us about your background – what inspired you to become a chef?
Chef Hinckley: I spent the early part of my life trying to find “real jobs”. I’d get frustrated with cubicle work and rebound to the hospitality industry where I could make quick cash bartending or waiting tables. I fell in love with the people that gravitated to this industry, but the pirate-like camaraderie of the back-of-house was ultimately better suited to me. I found inspiration by looking up to the chefs who came before me.
Tasty Chomps: What are some of your most memorable moments in the kitchen through the years?
Chef Hinckley: I’d say that the most memorable moments in the kitchen for me come from mistakes. Either mistakes that I’ve made or mistakes that I’ve seen other chefs make. You become better at anything by recognizing your weaknesses and learning from your failures. Any success that I have in the kitchen has a long history of mistakes and failures behind it. It’s important to remember that and to stay humble.
Tasty Chomps: What made you want return to Orlando?
Chef Hinckley: My family moved to Orlando in the 1980’s. I left for about 12 years to work and travel both internationally and here in the States. When I was in NYC trying to figure out where to put roots in the ground with my own business, setting up shop close to family was really the only option.
Tasty Chomps: What is your favorite thing about living here in Orlando?
Chef Hinckley: There’s a true southern hospitality in Orlando. At our core, we are friendly, hospitable, and full of empathy. You don’t notice it when you’re stuck in traffic on I-4. But I saw an outpouring of love and a sense of community after Pulse that I’ve never seen anywhere.
Tasty Chomps: What are some of your favorite cuts of meat to work with right now?
Chef Hinckley: I’m drawn to the “fifth quarter”. I like using livers, gizzards, tongues, etc. And I like using off-commodity proteins – things you won’t find in Publix – like elk, antelope, wild boar, etc. I think that the mark of a great chef is in taking what other chefs discard and turning it into something extraordinary. That’s what I’m all about. I just got in some elk hearts this week.
So the contest is not to make them palatable, so that someone can say, “Look Instagam! I ate an elk heart! And lived!”. I want people to taste that and think, “Holy shit! Why haven’t I been eating elk heart my whole life!”. Just meeting peoples expectations makes for a pretty dull career.
When someone is apprehensive about ordering something that’s outside of their comfort-zone, and you supersede their best possible expectations, as a chef, you win.
Tasty Chomps: What are your most popular dishes right now at the shop?
Chef Hinckley: The most popular sandwich is the Pastrami on Rye. The most popular thing in the deli case is Duck Liver Pate.
Tasty Chomps: What are some dishes you like that more folks should try?
Chef Hinckley: I’d encourage folks to step outside of their comfort zones. Try new things. Explore. Don’t get into routines of always eating the grilled chicken with a Diet Coke. Eat the headcheese. Try the Smoked Antelope Sausage. Maybe some Duck Liver Pate. You might love it! And even if you don’t, we’ve got all sorts of craft beers that you can cleanse your palate with. We promise you’ll survive.
Tasty Chomps: What is the secret to a really good sandwich?
Chef Hinckley: Ingredients. Ingredients. Ingredients. Every single one down to the salt. No technique can mask inferior quality ingredients. Start with the best ingredients that you can source (or grow yourself!) and keep it simple. Good food doesn’t have to be complicated. If it’s an ingredient that your grandmother wouldn’t recognize, get it off the plate.
Tasty Chomps: What is your first memories around food growing up?
Chef Hinckley: My family always throws down around the holidays. So my earliest food memories go back to sitting around the table, impatiently waiting to open presents.
Tasty Chomps: What are some problems with the current food system you see right now that you would like to see fixed?
Chef Hinckley: We rely too much on other people to fix our food system. By the time the government enacts change it is too late. Corporate lobbyists essentially write in policy and law. If you want change in the food system it has to happen on your plate. The market will respond to consumer demand. Rather than rely on votes cast in the voting booth, we need to vote three times a day with our fork. Spend your money at places that treat their land, people, and animals well. The real power in this country belongs to the people.
Tasty Chomps: What are some of your favorite places to eat around Orlando right now?
Chef Hinckley: I love Chef Blake’s food over at Rusty Spoon. Ken’s sushi at Shin is awesome and close to home.
Tasty Chomps: I hear you like Chinese food – what are some favorite Chinese places for yourself?
Chef Hinckley: Little Giant regional Chinese cuisine pop-ups are the best Chinese food I’ve had in Orlando. Kristine’s breaking away from the typical American Chinese food and offering up something new and exciting.
Tasty Chomps: Favorite dish to cook at home after a long day – some comfort food?
Chef Hinckley: One pot wonders! People think that I eat meat like a Flintstone because I own a meat shop. Truth is my wife and I eat mostly veggies and whole grains at home. We mostly use meat as a component in a dish rather than the star of the show.
Tasty Chomps: Upcoming plans for Hinckley’s Fancy Meats this year?
Chef Hinckley: We’re settling in to our new home at East End Market for the time being. We’re exploring options beyond that. But for the time being, we just want to perfect what we’ve started.
For more information, visit https://www.hinckleymeats.com/ or at their shop at East End Market at 3201 Corrine Drive, Orlando, FL.