A restaurant is like a farm. It requires attention 24 hours a day. -Chef Jody Adams
When superstar chef Jody Adams was growing up in Providence, Rhode Island, she watched her working mom make dinner with natural ingredients and entertain with grace and true hospitality. The daughter of two librarians, she got the chance to travel to Europe and experience international cuisine. It wasn’t long before she knew she wanted to be a chef. In this interview, Jody takes us on a career journey defined by a powerful work ethic: “I burned myself and cut myself like nobody’s business, but I was determined to succeed. I just put my head down and worked harder than I knew I could.” Mentored by Julia Child, Lydia Shire and Gordon Hamersley, Jody put her stake in the ground in 1994 with Rialto in Harvard Square, spending 22 years nurturing her signature Mediterranean dishes and growing a stellar reputation. With the closure of Rialto in 2016, she ventured into the creation of TRADE, Saloniki and Porto, with partners Eric Papachristos, Sean Griffing and Jon Mendez. The winner of the prestigious James Beard Award, Chef Adams was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America in 2018. The lessons she has learned along the way about entrepreneurship and persistence are inspiring for anyone with a dream: “It takes getting up off your butt no matter how hard you feel and no matter how impossible it looks. Try to figure out the next move forward. Believe in what you are doing and get back up again.” Jody Adams has put her own advice to good use throughout the pandemic by becoming an advocate for small, independently owned restaurants in Boston and beyond. A firm believer that mom & pop restaurants are not only the backbone of America, but the heartbeat of our communities, Jody is determined to do what she can to help. www.saverestaurants.com/take-action. “Generosity and giving are what will see us through”, says Jody. For a dose of wisdom you can use, hit that download button.