Food for Thought
Chef Jody Adams draws inspiration from her worldly travels.
After graduating from Brown with a degree in anthropology, chef Jody Adams began her rise to the top of Bostonâ€™s restaurant scene when she was just 25. â€śWhen I came to Boston, I was told I was too inexperienced and too female to make it,â€ť she says. Naysayers be damned, Adams took a gig working with Lydia Shire and Gordon Hamersley at Seasons at the Bostonian Hotel, and the rest, as they say, is history.
These days, Adams is the chef-owner of the Italian-inspired restaurant Rialto, at the Charles Hotel, and a co-owner of the waterfront hot spot Trade. A world traveler, Adams infuses her dishes with international flavors and locally sourced ingredients. Here, the Brookline resident shares some of the things that spark her creativity in her own cucina.
1.Â SEASONAL HERBS
â€śSeptember is such a great time of year for farmers, and wild herbs have much higher nutrient levels,â€ť Adams says. Varieties like toasted sage and sorrel â€śgive foods unique flavor, nutrition, and lend a particular memory about an experience.â€ť
2.Â FARMERS’ MARKETSÂ
â€śI was so excited to see one pop up outside the Charles Hotel,â€ť Adams says. â€śI think everyone should support farmers as much as possible. Even food-assistance programs in Massachusetts have access to farmersâ€™ markets these days.â€ť
3.Â MUSEUM HOPPINGÂ
â€śThe redesigns of both the MFA and the Gardner Museum are just fabulousâ€”thereâ€™s so much to see,â€ť she says. â€śAnd visiting them is something that my teenage daughter will still do with me.â€ť
As a board member at Partners in Health, Adams once hosted a Haitian woman who was heading up a brand-new teaching hospital that was built after the earthquake. â€śFor some people, food is the first medicine because they donâ€™t have enough,â€ť she says.
5.Â BEYT BY 2B DESIGN
This Cambridge-based design house offers dĂ©cor and furnishings fashioned from antique ironwork. â€śThey have beautiful things,â€ť Adams says, pointing out two light fixtures crafted from old kitchen sieves on display by Rialtoâ€™s bar.
Adams observed kitchens in Morocco, Guatemala, France, Portugal, Holland, and Spain before returning to Boston to start her cooking career. There she learned to â€śkeep it simple and efficient, with lots of counter space and enough sinks,â€ť she says.
â€śWhen youâ€™re on a bike, you feel young, light, powerful. And itâ€™s a great way to see the world. Iâ€™ve started figuring out how to make food that can go in your back pocket when youâ€™re riding,â€ť says Adams, who is known to make spring rolls with veggies for a bike ride.
What Iâ€™m WatchingÂ
â€śIt makes you question morals and integrity and realize that lifeâ€™s choices donâ€™t always fit into a box.â€ť
What Iâ€™m DrinkingÂ
â€śIt reminds me of my father because he used to drink them.â€ť
What Iâ€™m Listening To
â€śThey speak about substantive issues without making it too heavy.â€ť
Where I’m TravelingÂ
â€śItâ€™s rolling hills, and simply just a beautiful part of the country.â€ť
What Iâ€™m ReadingÂ
Jeannette Wallsâ€™ The Glass Castle.
â€śShe had a life that required a lot of strength.â€ť
What Iâ€™m Blogging
Adams started her food blog, Garum Factory, with her husband in 2011.
â€śOnce a week I choose a recipe, set up the mise en place, he photographs as Iâ€™m cooking, and then he writes the introduction, and I write a little blurb at the end,â€ť she says.
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/property/article/2013/09/10/obsessions-jody-adams-rialto/