Meet Tyler Kinnett, the New Face of Harvest
At the beginning of the year, Cambridge institute, Harvest, underwent massive cosmetic changes to usher in an new era at the 40-year-old restaurant. As part of the million-dollar project, the Himmel Hospitality Group procured a number of contemporary art pieces, built a year-round indoor/outdoor patio, and completely revamped its kitchen to provide more real estate for pastry chef Brian Mercury. But perhaps the biggest change occurred well after renovations were complete, when last week, longtime executive chef Mary Dumont announced that she would be leaving her post to pursue her own solo venture.
Today, Harvest promoted sous chef Tyler Kinnett to take over for Dumont, a young chef who began his career under the tutelage of Gordon Hamersley at Hamersley’s Bistro in 2009, and has since gone on to train in kitchens like Sel de la Terre, Paul Kahan’s Publican (Chicago), and Thomas Keller’s Michelin-starred Per Se in New York.
“I’ve trained under two chefs who have already worked here at Harvest, Mary, of course, but also Frank McClelland who I worked with over at Sel de la Terre,” Kinnett says. “So, I’ve had those standards stitched into my head for quite a few years. That’s one of the reasons the restaurant is so confident in me. I’ve been prepared by the alumni, so to speak. Those chefs are always going to be ‘chef’ to me and I just want to make them proud.”
Before being promoted, Kinnett played a major role in shaping Harvest’s new six-course tasting menu, something which was implemented after the restaurant’s three-month hiatus. Now, the chef says he’s eager to put his own stamp on the dinner menu, not to mention Harvest’s storied lineage which includes names like Lydia Shire, Chris Schlesinger, Barbara Lynch, Jasper White, and Keith Pooler. Expect to see all new dishes in the coming weeks, such as Kinnett’s carrot bisque with black garlic and butter poached lobster, and a riff on Dumont’s famous rooibos-marinated duck breast, this time with black pepper strawberry purée, pickled green strawberries, black rice, pea tendrils, and lavender-scented ricotta.
“Chef Mary and I cook in similar ways, so where the food has come from and where it’ll go, it’s not going to be this completely drastic makeover,” Kinnett says. “Really, I’m a combination of all the places and people I’ve worked with in the past. That’s why you’ll a see a version of Publican’s porchetta dish on my menu—something I fell in love with while I was in Chicago. I’m fortunate enough to have this opportunity at this really iconic restaurant where I can take the things I’ve learned at Per Se or the Publican and really show who I am. We have this brand new gorgeous restaurant and I feel like the possibilities are just endless. I want to push it as far as we can go.”
44 Brattle St., Cambridge; 617-868-2255 or harvestcambridge.com.