[UPDATE] Stephanie Cmar Joins SRV as Pasta Maker

The move is part of broader chef movement around the Fairsted Kitchen restaurant group.

Former Top Chef contestant, Stacked Doughnuts queen, and Barbara Lynch Gruppo alum Stephanie Cmar is taking her talents to the South End. Cmar is leaving Fairsted Kitchen in Brookline for SRV, joining the Coda Group as a daytime pasta maker.

The SRV team is thrilled to have our longtime friend, Stephanie Cmar, help us out in the kitchen while she plans her next step in her bright culinary career,” reads a statement from the Coda Group. “She has been reunited with several of her former Barbara Lynch Gruppo colleagues and is happy to support SRV partners and co-executive chefs Michael Lombardi and Kevin O’Donnell to continue to create their Venetian cuisine that is already attracting repeat guests and national attention.”

Fairsted Kitchen co-owner Andrew Foster initially shared the news yesterday, adding that Jason Albus, executive chef at the Frogmore, Fairsted’s Jamaica Plain sibling, is taking on that role at both restaurants. Before the South Carolina native helped open the lowcountry restaurant, Albus was sous chef at Fairsted Kitchen.

Matt McPherson, formerly of the Frogmore, Menton, and Study, is joining Fairsted Kitchen as executive sous chef. “He will bring his love of fine dining and travels through Turkey and the Middle East to our incredible Brookline neighborhood,” Foster says.

The Frogmore is also getting new leadership; Kelly Marts is now executive sous chef there. Previous stints on her résumé include Upstairs On The Square, Sweet Cheeks, and Barcelona Wine Bar. 

A Johnson & Wales graduate, Cmar spent five years with the Barbara Lynch Gruppo at B&G Oysters, Stir, and No. 9 Park. She was a contestant on both season 10 and 11 of Bravo’s Top Chef, making it final six chefs during her second TV stint. She then focused on her gourmet doughnut venture, and along with pastry chef Justin Burke-Samson, evolved it into Party of Two. She joined Fairsted Kitchen about nine months ago.

Over the summer, Cmar lent her kitchen to the Coda Group, which is also behind the Salty Pig, Coda, and Canary Square, for a pop-up preview of SRV’s cicchetti and pasta.

Her new role at SRV allows her to “get back to the basics” and gives her more time to focus on family, the Fairsted Kitchen team said. It also will enable her to travel more, and return to her roots as a private chef, “which I love,” Cmar told Eater Boston.

SRV, 569 Columbus Ave., Boston; 617-536-9500 or srvboston.com.

UPDATE, February 29, 12 p.m.: This article has been updated with a statement from the Coda Group, which operates SRV.


Jacqueline Cain Associate Food Editor at Boston Magazine jcain@bostonmagazine.com