BROWNSVILLE — Described as the most fun chef to watch on TikTok, Brownsville native Matthew Broussard made it to the Forbes 30 under 30 yearly list.

The 28-year-old chef attended Pace High School and worked at several kitchens throughout Brownsville and South Padre Island. During an interview, Broussard said one of his first big gigs was at the Fernandez House in Brownsville.

“I’ve been in kitchens since I was in high school — all over,” he said. “I even ended up doing dinners at the Fernandez House, that was one of my first big dinners. It was hosted by Sandy Stillman. That was really big, and from there I continued working.”

Broussard moved to Seattle in 2014 and has more than 4 million followers on TikTok, 352,000 on Instagram and 200,000 on YouTube. He is currently a chef at Spiceology, a spice company that made it to the list of Forbes fastest growing companies of the year, and has worked at several restaurants, including those of Chef Tom Douglas.

“At the beginning of 2014, I moved up to Seattle and started cooking for chef Tom Douglas, he’s a big chef here, and then I ended up working at all of his restaurants, he has 15 of them,” he said. “I also did pop-up dinners all over the country. A pop-up dinner is basically a dinner that you hold for a night at a random spot. It’s been a lot of cooking ever since I left Brownsville.”

When asked if he has any plans to come to Brownsville to cook soon, he said there is something in the works with Mayor Trey Mendez to be one of the chefs at the Crossroads Festival, which is set to take place in February.

When it comes to more long-term plans, Broussard has his eye on Brownsville.

“I would love to have a woodfire restaurant down there someday,” he said. “I love the thought of making barbacoa the classic way: on the ground. It would be really cool to do that. I just love the authentic Mexican food, and I feel like some people are starting to do it down there, but it is not very well represented. I feel like Brownsville needs to be put on the map for that, so I feel like someday I would love to bring that down there.”

The chef said he likes to visit Brownsville, where his family still lives, at least once a year. But this year, due to COVID-19, he has not been able to come.

“All my family is in Brownsville — grandma, aunts, mother,” he said, noting he visited last year. “It’s kind of nice to see what’s going on down there. When I was in high school, I used to love going to El Hueso, and they were barely starting to open things downtown. And now I see they are opening more things downtown, and it’s cool to see.”

Broussard said Mr. Yao, owner of Lotus Cafe on Boca Chica, was his mentor in the food world while growing up in Brownsville and he hopes to pay him a visit soon.

“I still always have to pay a visit and get his hot and sour soup,” he said.

When asked if he had any advice for those looking to pursue their dream, he recommended expanding their horizons.

“Leave the state, get out and see what’s possible,” he said. “Find a place that has like-minded people that are driven as much as you so you could find those opportunities.”