CHEF JODY ADAMS
About Chef Jody Adams
"I have an enormous amount of respect for local cooking traditions." Chef Jody Adams
The connection between food and happiness began at an early age for Jody. Her mother was an adventurous cook and passed along an appreciation for European cooking, and, more importantly, European living. When she graduated from Brown University with a degree in anthropology, Jody took her first culinary position as part-time help to Nancy Verde Barr, a food writer and teacher. In her apprenticeship, Jody assisted in the classroom and helped test recipes for Nancy’s cookbook on Italian immigrant cooking, We Called It Macaroni (Knopf, 1991).
After deciding on a career in the restaurant business, Jody worked her way through the ranks of Boston’s best restaurants. She began as a line cook at Seasons restaurant in the famed Bostonian Hotel under chef Lydia Shire in 1983. Three years later, she helped open Hamersley’s Bistro with Gordon Hamersley as his sous chef. In 1990, she took the executive chef position at Michela’s in Cambridge. While at Michela’s, Jody developed her reputation for carefully-researched regional menus that combined New England ingredients with Italian culinary traditions.
“I have an enormous amount of respect for local cooking traditions. Regional cuisine has had time on its side — it’s taken centuries to figure out how to make the best of what’s available nearby. Technique on its own doesn’t count for much. A new technique or personal interpretation only becomes part of the tradition when it enhances the taste of the dish’s ingredients.”
In September 1994, Adams opened Rialto. Four months after the new restaurant’s opening, The Boston Globe awarded Rialto four stars, the newspaper’s highest rating, proclaiming that, “eating Jody Adams’ food at the stunning new Rialto is like stepping into a winter greenhouse just at the moment a spectacular hothouse orchid bursts into bloom, filling the senses.”
In addition to running Rialto, Adams published a cookbook, In the Hands of a Chef: Cooking with Jody Adams of Rialto Restaurant (HarperCollinsPublishers; January 2002). She co-wrote the book with her husband, Ken Rivard. It is a collection of recipes that follows her passions and palate as she cooks for family and friends and encourages cooks to spend time in the kitchen.
Of her success, Jody says, “If you’re going to work in the restaurant business, you have to love it. The stress is high, the hours are long and the pay is nominal. The reward is in the culture. It’s full of interesting, creative people who excel in the art of performance and making people happy. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
In 2007, Rialto was renovated from floor to ceiling. The new space and menu are a living record of Jody’s passionate relationship with Italy. Each dish is a reflection of her travels up and down the country, her long-standing friendships with purveyors, and her study of regional traditions. A white stone path inspired by an ancient Roman road leads diners past an onyx bar illuminated from below into the dining room, where s-shaped banquettes and cozy nooks create an intimate dining experience. Pumpkin, olive and white drapery evoke the warm colors of the Italian countryside, with inviting banquettes of gold and sage mohair.
Jody Adams is married to Ken Rivard and has two children, Oliver and Roxanne.
"If you’re going to work in the restaurant business,
you have to love it." Chef Jody Adams
Press Highlights & Awards
March 2003 - Received nomination for best Chefs & Restaurants cookbook from the IACP for her cookbook In the Hands of a Chef
May 2000 - Nation's Restaurant News inducts Jody Adams into its "Fine Dining Hall of Fame".
The August, 1997 issue of Boston Magazine named Jody Adams "Best Chef" in its annual "Best of Boston" issue.
May 1997 - Jody Adams wins "The Perrier-Jouet Best Chef Award: Northeast" at the 7th Annual James Beard Foundation award ceremony.
The September, 1996 issue of Bon Appétit named Rialto one of the top 25 hotel restaurants in the country.
In the May, 1995 issue of Gourmet, food writer Richard Sax called Jody a "dream come true" in his article "Chefs Across America."
The November, 1992 issue of Esquire listed Jody as one of "America's best young chefs to keep your eye on."
In June of 1993, Food and Wine magazine named her "one of America's ten best new chefs."
In September 1992, Restaurant Hospitality named Jody one of five "Rising Stars - a young and exceptional chef whom we believe will be a force, a star if you will, for years to come."
· In the Hands of a Chef:
Cooking with Jody Adams
"A new technique or personal interpretation only becomes
part of the tradition when it enhances the taste of the dish's ingredients..." Chef Jody Adams
Recipes by Chef Jody Adams
These Recipes are Free to copy for personal use.