Have you ever watched a Guy Fieri show and thought, “He doesn’t shout enough”? Maybe you’ve looked at those flame-print bowling shirts and wished they were flannels, then wondered how his frosted tips would look covered in a cap that doesn’t quite fit on his head all the way.
Maybe you wished he was Canadian. Or perhaps you aren’t a Fieri fan, but want to watch a comedic and charismatic chef on a channel other than Food Network.
Either way, Matty Matheson is the solution to all those desires and more.
Matheson hosts two shows on Viceland, “Dead Set on Life” and “It’s Suppertime!” The former can be called an international “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” unless you aren’t a fan of that, in which case it’s a travel and cooking show hosted by a chaotic Canadian.
“Dead Set on Life” takes Matheson on culinary journeys throughout the world, with meals ranging from cheap to extravagant, while learning about various cultures such as Iceland and Australia. But if you want the Big Dog himself to teach you how to cook loud and proud, “It’s Suppertime!” fits the bill.
“It’s Suppertime!” features Matheson making a meal with a few components. A Valentine’s Day episode features steak, lobster, potato crostini and chocolate lava cakes, and in a seafood spectacular Matheson makes oysters, clams and mussels in a variety of ways.
He even does an eggplant parm episode as a shoutout to vegetarians, so there’s just about something for everyone, even those who may not consider themselves to be chefs.
At the start of each episode, Matheson ranks the difficulty of the meal he will make on a scale of small dog, medium dog and big dog, usually barking and growling after he makes the declaration. “It’s Suppertime!” can be called a Food Network show taken off the rails, in which the host’s swear words and clumsy nature aren’t edited out.
Watch Matheson burn himself as you yell at him not to touch the food on a hot grill with his bare hands in the fajitas episode. Or you could marvel at his tattoo-covered body as he gets overheated in the kitchen and takes his shirt off in the cod chowder episode, and almost every other one in the 12-episode first season, which has gotten positive ratings.
Matheson’s show is well received because of his chaotic yet entertaining nature. And the chaos cannot be denied. Matheson sits on the floor by the oven and later brings others who work on the show into the kitchen so he can feed them queso or make them kiss fresh cod right on the mouth.
Each episode of “It’s Suppertime!” also brings him somewhere outside of the kitchen, where you can witness the hilarious but genuine interactions he has with other chefs at their restaurants.
There’s also the occasional interaction with the general public, so you can watch him set up a table at a nearby mall to give people free ambrosia salad and wonder, “Is he allowed to do that?” The answer is, “Who knows?” but it’s Matty Matheson, and he can do whatever the hell he wants.
The genuine, tell-it-as-it-is and do-what-he-wants qualities Matheson possesses are what makes his show more hilarious, but also more approachable. While he is a chef with several restaurant credits to his name, he wants viewers to join in on the cooking experience.
The encouragement is partly achieved by the dog difficulty scale Matheson uses, but also in commentaries embedded in the show, in which he reassures the viewer. In one instance, he makes homemade tortilla chips and admits that you can just buy chips — a store-bought purchase that many television chefs would never promote.
It gives Matheson a down-to-earth quality, even when he goes on to shout about how what he’s making will get you laid.
Those confessions and asides make Matheson even more real and relatable as a host. Most viewers aren’t chefs who own restaurants and they often don’t have the time to make everything homemade, and Matheson seems to get that. Making him even more personable are the stories he interjects into episodes that don’t get cut out in post-production.
He tells stories of his family, including one about his grandfather who loved to cook and judged Matheson’s lack of cod butchering skills with the hilarious comment that he “never saw someone kill a fish twice.” Through these humorous anecdotes, viewers learn about Matheson and can connect with him even more.
If you’ve seen all three seasons of “Dead Set on Life” and are caught up on “It’s Suppertime!” but still want to watch in awe and laughter at Matheson’s cooking escapades, there’s always Munchies’ series “Keep It Canada,” which follows Matheson around his home country as he meets and cooks with other chefs.
You can also check out Munchies’ other series, “How-To,” that features Matheson in some episodes. His whirlwind personality still shows itself on the YouTube series, especially when he makes donuts in an almost-shirtless, Halloween-inspired leather harness outfit (and almost burns himself again on hot oil).
It’s the common occurrences of near burns and clumsy drops that “It’s Suppertime!” dares to keep in that make it stand apart from other shows. Food Network’s bigger programs almost all center around competition, and while that can be exciting to watch, it can be just as exciting to watch the simplicity of a chef in a kitchen.
Matheson jazzes up the simplicity with his charismatic and loud personality in that uncensored way only Viceland can achieve.
New and old fans of Matheson can also get a taste of him in book form later this year. According to Matheson’s Instagram bio and posts, his first cookbook is set to come out in Oct. 2018. So from television shows to YouTube videos to the soon-to-come cookbook, Matheson is accessible on platforms galore and waiting to change how you think about the cooking show scene.