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Oakland Pitmaster Matt Horn Under Scrutiny Again for Legal Drama. Here’s What to Know.

Plus a winemaking and gardening fundraiser in the Bayview and more food news

A hand rests on top of a brisket sandwich, the meat piled high on a round bun, with pink pickled onions and golden honey mustard on top Horn BBQ
Paolo Bicchieri is a reporter at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, coffee and cafes, and pop-ups.

It’s been just over a week since news broke that working conditions at Matt Horn’s flagship restaurant, Horn Barbecue, fell under scrutiny from past and current employees. Now, it’s come to light that a Stanford professor sued and already settled a lawsuit with Horn Hospitality Group, the company behind Horn’s restaurants, which include Horn Barbecue and Kowbird. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that, according to the lawsuit, David Kyuman Kim was once president of Horn Hospitality Group and now heads Stanford University’s Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. The lawsuit states Kim invested $3,000 in the business, brought in investors, and helped secure leases for Kowbird and to-be-opened Matty’s Old Fashioned.

In exchange for the work, Kim was to receive 5 percent equity in the business — but apparently never received any money. Horn offered salaries to Kim after the fact, which Kim summarily declined. The initial report on October 12 stemmed from allegations by at least 10 current or former employees who shared concerns about ongoing payment issues, sourcing woes, and on-the-job hazards. Horn, for his part, responded to some of the allegations in a lengthy Facebook post on October 18. “We will take this experience and use it as an opportunity to grow to ensure we remain a vessel for our community,” the post reads in part. Horn directly addressed workers' safety issues, writing he’s working with the police to better secure the restaurant property at night, but other concerns, such as that the restaurant has been buying meat from Costco, were not directly addressed.

Here’s where one of San Francisco’s best pizzaiolos grabs a slice

Tony Gemignani of Tony’s Pizza Napoletana can now say his business is truly world-famous. (His pie was ranked number two in the United States and number 10 in the world by Italy’s “Top 50 Pizza.”) SFGATE found out where the pie pro likes to get pizza himself: he favors the salsiccia and bufalina at Doppio Zero, the pestorrific or the buffalo chicken at Joyride, and further afield opts for A Slice of New York in San Jose, Bar Bocce in Sausalito, Raymond’s Pizzeria in Richmond, and Pizzeria Picco in Larkspur.

This San Jose food influencer promotes farmerworkers’ rights

Flor Martinez Zaragoza is a 27-year-old who grew up in 25 miles south of San Jose and, recently, participated in a 24-day United Farm Workers march to Sacramento. That’s because Martinez Zaragoza is committed to advocacy for immigrants with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status and farmworkers throughout California. KQED writes the influencer also patronizes Latino-owned businesses in San Jose like Tostadas, Con Azúcar Cafe, and Tostadas Prime.

Bayview fundraising party for gardening and winemaking

The 280 Project aims to teach winemaking skills to underrepresented San Franciscans, and Dragonspunk is a community garden outfit in the city. Both projects are teaming up to throw “Easy To Remember: Connection, Collaboration and Survival in the Natural World,” a fundraiser featuring San Francisco poet laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin and a host of local musicians. The party will take place on Saturday, November 12, from 3-7 p.m. at The Calibird Pollinator Sanctuary and Garden for Peace at 1820 Palou Avenue.

Raymond’s Pizzeria

130 Railroad Avenue, , CA 94801 (510) 609-4961 Visit Website


1733 Peralta Street, , CA 94607 Visit Website

Horn Barbecue

2534 Mandela Parkway, , CA 94607 (510) 225-6101 Visit Website

Doppio Zero

395 Hayes Street, , CA 94102 (415) 624-3634 Visit Website