Matt Basile

Matt Basile

Founder, Fidel Gastro’s

Matt Basile believes that food should be fun, and that in the food business you have to do things differently to be memorable. The creator of the Toronto-based street food brand Fidel Gastro’s, Matt started his career in advertising as a copywriter, but when he was just 26 years old he left it all to host his first underground popup in Toronto. In under four years, Fidel Gastro’s has grown from a fold-up table to a food empire receiving national and international attention.

Outside of Fidel Gastro’s, Matt also operates one of Canada’s most recognizable food trucks and a street-food inspired cicchetti bar called Lisa Marie. He is also the host of the reality television show Rebel Without a Kitchen on Travel and Escape Channel, the Cooking Channel, and the Asian Food Channel and hosts a original cooking shows on YouTube including Chefs In Cars Getting Takeout, Date Night with Grandma, YAAAA Brunch, and much more!

Matt and his partner, Kyla Zanardi, are the bestselling authors of two cookbooks, Street Food Diaries and, most recently, Brunch Life. He is also a food writer for both The Huffington Post and Vice, and is a regular guest on programs such as Global Morning and Breakfast Television.

In 2015, Matt was nominated for a coveted Canadian Screen Award for Best Host of a Canadian Reality Series.

Disrupting The Food Industry

The typical five-year trajectory for a culinary professional goes from culinary school to dishwasher to prep cook to line cook. Matt Basile is the creator of the Fidel Gastro’s street food company, and his five year career has taken him from advertising, to underground pop-up sensation, to Canada’s best food truck, to restaurateur, TV host, and cookbook author.

Matt’s motto of “always being different” has allowed him to break through an industry steeped in tradition and completely shift how the food business can take on many shapes and forms. His advertising mindset, combined with his passion for food, has allowed him to be creative and idea-forward when looking at creating food experiences that people want.

Hear his story from the moment he came up with the idea, the family that inspired it all, and the endless sacrifices he made to make sure his business made an impact.