Tufts Chefs’ Favorite Restaurants


Looking for a new restaurant to try around Boston?

Here at Tufts Dining, we asked our chefs which places they love. 

Chef Justin: Craigie on Main in Cambridge http://www.craigieonmain.com/

Chef Fred: Café Escadrille in Burlington http://www.cafeescadrille.com/

Chef Joann: Tre Monté in Woburn http://tremonterestaurant.com/

Chef David: East Coast Grill in Cambridge http://eastcoastgrill.net/

Chef Carlos: Highland Kitchen in Somerville http://www.highlandkitchen.com/

So try one out, and let us know which chef you side with!


The Champion Artist’s Fave

We asked Chef Fred “The Champion”, his favorite dessert, favorite pastry, favorite sweet, and he consistently gave us the same answer: Chocolate Falling Down Cake (Chocolate Lava Cake or Chocolate Molten Cake to some). According to Chef Fred, no one makes it like Olives, Todd English’s restaurant in Boston. Thankfully, Olives’ recipe is online for all of us to enjoy the deliciousness of a dish that’s “never, ever been off the menu, and it never will be.”

Find the recipe here!


These Are A Few of My Favorite Things…FRUIT

We asked the Chefs what their favorite fruits were and here’s what they had to say:

Chef Toby: Apples

Chef Fred: Melons, Cantaloupe in particular

Chef Peter: Fresh figs, but not from the US.” (He probably means freshly picked off the trees in Greece knowing Peter!)

Chef Joann: Blackberries

Chef Justin: Watermelon and Apples

Please share your most favorite fruits with us in a comment below.


Hell’s Kitchen

If you can’t stand the heat…get out of the kitchen!

If you’ve ever watched Gordon Ramsay’s hit reality show, Hell’s Kitchen, you probably think he’s an over-the-top monster. There’s no way real-life chefs are like that, right? Unfortunately, wrong. Our very own Chef Fred and Chef Toby have personally worked under chefs like Gordon Ramsay—and liked it! Both saw their time under hellish chefs as unparalleled learning experiences, a time in which they were forced to constantly rise to the challenge. Chef Fred remembers, “He was a hard guy and the business was hard, if you couldn’t handle him, you couldn’t handle working in the field.”

Chef Toby had the heat behind him while he paused (above) for a very quick photo.


Chef Fred Part 1: The Champion

When we said Chef Fred is a champion, we weren’t kidding. He’s won gold in the National Association of College & University Food Services’ (NACUFS) New England Culinary Challenge, which recognizes outstanding food preparation and presentation skills in collegiate dining services. It’s sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation, so you know it’s legit! His winning dish? A Kansas style beef tenderloin with corncakes and apple braised rainbow chard. Yum! Chef Fred’s also a member of the Boston Epicurean Club, which brings together chefs in the food service and hospitality profession. He went to Germany with the Boston Epicurean Club for a competition and helped the New England team win sixteen gold medals, three of which won distinction—for a perfect score. After experiencing culinary glory, Chef Fred seeks to instill his love of food and competition in others: he recently competed on another NACUFS event with Chefs Toby and Justin!


Introducing Executive Chef Fred: The Champion Food Artist

"We live in a fast paced society. We tend to lean towards fast and easy processed foods. Slow down and get back to basics." 

Executive Chef Fred grew up with five brothers in a family that believed everyone should help out so he was forced to learn his way around the kitchen at an early age. Since then, he’s won the gold at National Association of College & University Food Service competitions, cooked an inordinate amount of holiday dinners for over 28 guests, and been to Germany on cooking competitions.

Check out our interview with Tufts’ own Chef-Artist:  

What’s something people wouldn’t know when they meet you?
I love the outdoors. I have a place in the White Mountains, and I go hiking with my daughter all the time.

Favorite food? Comfort foods like Smoked Shoulder

Favorite thing to cook/bake?
Here, I enjoy making Filet Mignon with different sauces. At home, I love making braised short ribs with pasta (made from scratch) and Swiss chard.

Best thing about working with Tufts Dining?
We’re like a family. People work here for many years and get to really know each other and Tufts. I’ve been working here for 26 years and there are people who have been here longer than I have!

Best memory while working with Tufts Dining?
We served Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Bobby Orr (Bruins hockey player). Bill Clinton was unforgettable, he got here earlier than we expected and all of Gifford house, dining included, was on lockdown. He came back and asked for a second dessert!

Do you cook a lot at home?
Yes, I do about 95% of the cooking. My wife “forgot” how to cook after we got married! The other 5% is done by my daughter, she’s learning how to cook from me.

To read more about Executive Chef Fred and our other chef bloggers, scroll through the About page of this blog.