Dining With the Stars: Where to Find Celebrity Chefs in Downtown Boston

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Posted May 19, 2014 by Olivia Kemp in Eat & Drink
Fork knife spoon

Want to rub shoulders with celebrity chefs? Look no further than your own backyard. With the advent of food-based reality TV shows and competitions, Boston has become a welcome home for former culinary TV stars looking to open their own restaurants. Here’s who they are and where Bostonians can find them:

Celebrity Chef: Jason Santos

Where to find him downtown: Blue Inc. (131 Broad St.) and Abby Lane (255 Tremont St.)

The deets: Formerly the executive chef known for his imaginative cuisine at Gargoyles on the Square, Chef Jason Santos made a name for himself as a runner-up on Season 7 of FOX’s Hell’s Kitchen in 2010 ( he also made a guest appearance on the show in 2012 and hosted auditions for the show last year). Upon returning to Boston, Santos opened Blue Inc. on Broad Street in 2010. He is also co-owner at Abby Lane in the Theater District (opened in 2012), also serving as executive chef. At Blue Inc., diners can find Santos’ signature whimsical dishes and liquid nitrogen-filled cocktails. Diners can turn to Abby Lane for a more relaxed, simpler, and comfort food-filled menu.

If you go: At Blue Inc., don’t miss Santos’ famous liquid nitrogen milkshakes. Santos is part chemist and part chef, and these drinks are the best way to experience his mad scientist-meets-epicurean skill.

At Abby Lane, Santos is deliberately creating meals to appeal to the diverse crowd of theatergoers. Highlights include juicy, delicious hamburgers with unique toppings as well as marinated flat iron steak with perfectly cooked veggies and herbed goat cheese butter.

Celebrity Chef: Jamie Mammano

Where to find him downtown: Teatro (177 Tremont St.) and Mooo. . . . (15 Beacon St.)

The deets: Even though Chef Jamie Mammano may not be a household name compared to other celebrity chefs, his resume has certainly landed him on this list of Boston celebs. He established his reputation as the executive chef at the Four Seasons Hotel Boston, earning local and national accolades for its dining room, Aujourd’hui, by Zagat, Boston Magazine, and Condé Nast Traveler.

After leaving the Four Seasons and opening the incredibly successful Mistral, Mammano opened a second restaurant, Italian-inspired Teatro, with partner Paul Roiff in January 2003 in Boston’s Ladder District. They opened Sorellina in January 2006 and Mooo. . . . inside the XV Beacon Hotel in August 2007. Mammano has appeared on NBC’s Today Show as well as CNN’s On the Menu. His work has also been featured in Food & Wine and Esquire magazines.

If you go: At Teatro, don’t miss the pumpkin apple soup appetizer. Flavorful without the heaviness of cream, it is a pleasant surprise. Also not to be missed is the tuna carpaccio. This dish is light and delicate—a great balance for some of the heavier entrees on the menu.

On the other hand, Mooo. . . . is a tried and true steak house that sticks to the classics and caters to the after-work crowd. The a-la-carte menu features large portions and steak-house classics. Shining stars include the prime cuts of dry-aged beef and fresh, perfectly seasoned sides such as the creamed spinach and B&B mushrooms.

Celebrity Chef: Barbara Lynch

Where to find her downtown: No. 9 Park (9 Park St.)

The deets: One of Boston’s most prized celebrity chefs, Barbara Lynch has created a culinary empire that includes seven award-winning restaurants and a catering company. She has been named one of the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America and has started her own foundation. Additionally, she is working on her memoir and has even given a TEDx Talk. In addition to a special appearance on Season 9 of BRAVO’s Top Chef, she has also launched two chefs who have wound up competing on the show, including Kristen Kish, who won her season. At No. 9 Park, diners can enjoy elegant and refined dishes with Italian and French influences.

If you go: Lynch’s flagship restaurant now has 15 years under its belt, and to this day, the pasta still shines. A good place to start is the prune-stuffed gnocchi with foie gras and almonds.

Jody Adams

Bostonians can find celebrity chefs like Jody Adams right in their backyard. Photo Credit: Susanna Bolle

Celebrity Chef: Jody Adams

Where to find her downtown: TRADE (540 Atlantic Ave.)

The deets: Chef Jody Adams, known for her warmth of character and charitable work, is a James Beard Award-winning chef and co-owner of TRADE. You may recognize her from competing on Season 2 of BRAVO’s Top Chef Masters; her cookbook, In the Hands of a Chef: Cooking with Jody Adams of Rialto Restaurant; or from leading food tours on bikes across Sardinia. She has been recognized by local and national publications including Esquire, The Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal, Gourmet, Food & Wine and The New York Times. At TRADE, diners can enjoy an eclectic menu in a striking space with menu influences drawn from all over the world.

If you go: There is something for everyone here. Dishes range from curries to enchiladas, burratas and everything in between. Fan favorites include the ginger braised beef short rib, which is slow-cooked for more than three hours, as well as their signature dessert—Baked Alaska.

No matter what kind of dining experience you are looking for, Boston boasts many celebrity chefs who could be located right around the corner.

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