Rachel Klein Comes Home to Roost

With the opening of RFK Kitchen in Needham and the prototype for a fast-casual concept focused on rotisserie chicken.

rachel klein chicken

Photograph by Toan Trinh

As a young chef, Rachel Klein made a deal with the devil: In exchange for raising her family in the ’burbs, she was forced to spend a lot of time lugging her infant son into the city to keep up with her culinary contemporaries. This spring, after decades in the business, the former Om and Liquid Art House chef is bringing that same level of attention-grabbing skill to her hometown—Needham—where she’ll open RFK Kitchen (as in, Rachel Francis Klein), a modern American eatery serving everything from à la carte burgers to six-course tasting menus.

And she’s not stopping there. Klein plans to subsequently launch the prototype for a fast-casual concept focused on rotisserie chicken, the signature dish at her former Back Bay digs. Think an upscale Boston Market with organic free-range birds, expert sides, and an app for easy ordering. “I know how I am,” Klein confides. “I don’t really cook at home anymore. I’m either eating out or taking in.”

948 Great Plain Ave., Needham, rfkkitchen.com.