Best of Boston

1998 Best Chef

Steve Johnson

An alumnus of Chris Schlesinger’s East Coast Grill and Gordon Hamersley’s eponymous bistro, Johnson is the quintessential product of Boston’s familial and sometimes incestuous restaurant scene. Bridging the gap between the austere classicism of Hamersley’s and the raucous atmosphere and aggressive flavors of East Coast Grill, Johnson also draws on sophisticated French and Asian influences. Having also mastered Schlesinger’s grilling techniques, he has now come up with his own imaginative and well-prepared rendition of the new American cuisine. All of which means that his combination of talent, patience, and perseverance is a winning one indeed. And as one of the founders of the local chapter of the Chefs Collaborative and the Fresh Sheet – as well as a tireless mentor – he’s a culinary gift that keeps on giving.

The Blueroom, One Kendall Square, Cambridge, 617-494-9034,