Chef Chat with Matt – Jody Adams

Food, Food Blog, Recipes

Jody Adams

1 Bennett Street
Cambridge, MA

540 Atlantic Avenue
Boston, MA

 By Matt Robinson

From Seasons to Hamersley’s to Michaela’s to her own legendary Harvard Square base and her latest Seaport adventure Trade, Jody Adams’ ventures and venues are as diverse and far-reaching as her cooking talents. A James Beard award-winner, Adams is as well known for her kitchen creativity as for her sustainable support of local farmers and area charities, including Share Our Strength and The Greater Boston Food Bank. A contestant on BRAVO’s popular Top Chef Masters, Adams is the definition of the term and was recently recognized by her home fans through induction into the Massachusetts Hospitality Hall of Fame.


EXHALE: How did you get into cooking?

Jody Adams: Memories from my childhood usually involve food and/or a kitchen….Cooking made me happy.  Cooking made others happy.   It was a win-win!


EXHALE: Where was your first professional kitchen experience?

JA: I began as a line cook at Seasons restaurant in the famed Bostonian Hotel under chef Lydia Shire in 1983.


EXHALE: What is your favorite dish to prepare?

JA: It depends on the time of the year and the circumstances.  A lot of what I love about particular foods is the way they evoke people and circumstances with whom I’ve eaten them, and I like calling up those feelings whenever I can. Down at the Cape where I spend time with my family every August, my favorite food is striped bass or bluefish, fresh out of the water, grilled at a picnic with friends, accompanied by local corn and tomatoes. 


EXHALE: What is the best part of your job?

JA: The spontaneity of the job and the diversity of the people I’m surrounded by. Every day is different and presents new opportunities to challenge myself and my staff. 


EXHALE: Who is your favorite chef in Boston?

JA: Impossible to answer.  There are so many great chefs in Boston.


EXHALE: What do you usually make for yourself at home?

JA: We shop more often than not at the farmer’s market. Our food is essentially a simpler version of what I serve at Rialto.  My husband, who is a great cook, does most of the cooking so I eat whatever he has cooked. 


EXHALE: If you could dine with any three people, who would they be?

JA: The Dalai Lama–I cooked for him once and was dying to be at the table with him to listen; Jamie Oliver–he says out loud the things we’ve all been thinking; Julia Child–I miss her, and she started saying the right things about cooking and eating 50 years ago.

Ed note: Rialto is offering a special for Valentines Day- A three-course fixed-price menu for $95 per person, with optional wine pairing available. There is also a special cooking class featuring  Somerville’s own Taza Chocolate on February 10.  For inquires and to reserve your space call 617-651-5050.



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