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Chef Andy Husbands of Tremont 647 - Boston Rising Star on StarChefs.com
Andy Husbands
Tremont 647
647 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 266 460

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Interview:
Amy Tarr: Who are your mentors? What are some of the most important things you’ve learned from them?
Andy Husbands: Chris Schlesinger. He didn’t just teach me how to be a chef, he taught me how to be a man! I call him my de-mentor. He treated me with respect and pushed me to learn so much. I’d do anything for him. I call him all the time.

AT: Are there any secret ingredients that you especially like?
AH: I make a list of proteins like lamb, for example, then produce, like asparagus, then regions like Italy- and I’ll think gnocchi. I also consider levels of lightness to each meal. For example I think about decadence in holiday time.

AT: What is your most indispensable kitchen tool? Why?
AH: My six-inch Henckel. I’ve had this one for ten years. I’m old school. I love new toys, but it’s my good friend. I can still filet a salmon or tuna. If that’s the only thing I’ve got on an island, I’ve got to say I’d have that.

AT: Is there a culinary technique that you either created or use in an unusual way?
AH: Application of flavors – with the wood grill. I try to build flavors in layers. I like to be somewhere in the middle of flavor and technique.

AT: What is your favorite question to ask during an interview for a potential new line cook?
AH: Where will you be in 5 years? I’m looking to see that they have dreams. We like to help people accomplish their dreams.

AT: What tips would you offer young chefs just getting started?
AH: If you can’t do it now, what makes you think you can do it later? After putting in 15 hour days, you’re either going to do your reading and research or you’re not.

AT: What are your favorite cook books?
AH: Elisabeth Rozin “The Flavor Principle” (out of print). It goes through a lot of the ethnic cuisines. For example, for Korean cuisine, think peaches + brown sugar + soy. For Greek, it’s oregano + honey and garlic. And Chris Schlesinger’s “The Thrill of the Grill” helps you as a young chef.

AT: What cities do you like for culinary travel?
AH: Thailand and El Salvador.

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Andy Husbands
TREMONT 647 | Boston


Biography
Born and raised in Seattle, Husbands moved to Massachusetts with his father in 1984 when he was 14. That was the year that Andy took an afterschool job working at a neighborhood bakery, and he has never looked back. In 1992, following graduation, and many, many cooking jobs in restaurants in and around Boston, Husbands was hired as Sous Chef at the nationally renowned East Coast Grill, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he worked under James Beard award-winning chef Chris Schlesinger. In 1993, Andy was appointed Executive Chef.

In 1995, Husbands took the year off to travel the West Coast on his motorcycle, living and working on Elizabeth Berry’s Organic farm in Abique, New Mexico and apprenticing at several San Francisco Bay area restaurants.

A year later, Andy returned to Boston and decided to turn his long-time dream of opening his own restaurant into a reality. Standing in front of a boarded up storefront at 647 Tremont Street, the 26-year-old chef thought about everything he had done in his life to bring him to this moment. Andy and high school friend Chris Hart took all of the money they had, opened a joint bank account, and began to actively seek out investors for this very ambitious project. Over the next six months, they met with financial advisors, architects, real estate brokers and potential investors, built up a capable team of professionals, and turned this once raw retail space into a beautiful and funky high-end eating establishment.

Tremont 647, at long last, opened its doors in December of 1996 with the mission to provide high quality food and hospitality, in a professional, fun and funky environment. The 70-seat restaurant, in the heart of Boston's South End, serves up boldly flavored American cuisine, with inventive global influences. Husband's commitment to locally grown ingredients is reflected in the restaurant's eight-season cycle-the menu is changed bi-monthly to take advantage of what's fresh in the market.

Building upon his success with Tremont 647 (and next-door Sister Sorel) Andy decided to try his luck as a Chef/Restaurateur once again, and opened another lively neighborhood spot in the South End. In the fall of 2002, he teamed up with former Tremont 647 Bar Manager, Peter White to open Rouge, at 480 Columbus Ave., where Husbands is serving up his famed award-winning BBQ and casual American cuisine. Upon the opening of Rouge reporters have humorously begun dubbing the South End as “Andy Land”.

In September of 2004, Andy Husbands released his first cookbook, “The Fearless Chef”, and spent the better part of the fall traveling the country, making TV, radio, and bookstore appearances on his wildly successful national cookbook tour. He has also been awarded the extremely high honor of Chef/Restaurateur of the Year, 2004, by the Nation’s leading hunger relief organization, Share Our Strength, which Andy has worked very closely with for the past 8 years. Most recently, in the spring of 2005, Andy was honored by the National Pork Board, as only one of 5 chosen “Celebrated Chefs” in the country. Husbands participated in the NPB’s national media tour for their “Pork, The Other White Meat” campaign.

Andy Husbands, along with some good ole’ friends, also participates in BBQ competitions under the team name; iQue BBQ, sponsored by Harpoon Brewery. Husbands’ team has been competing since 1998 and has received the 2002 and 2003 Yahoo Cup for “Team of the Year,” awarded by the New England BBQ Society as well as and 2003, 2004, and 2005 NH State Champions, 2002 VT. State Champions, and the 2004 New England Regional BBQ Champions. As part of the UFO Social Club, Andy traveled to Lynchburg, Tennessee to compete in the 2002 Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational BBQ contest where the team took 10th place overall, and also placed competitively again in 2003 and 2004.

Andy Husbands is on the advisory board of the Boston Operation Frontline, a program that fights hunger by using chefs to teach cooking and nutrition to low- income families. He co-chairs the Boston Taste of the Nation, an annual fund raising event for Share our Strength, one of the country’s leading hunger relief organizations. Share Our Strength (SOS) works to alleviate and prevent hunger and poverty in the United States and around the world. By supporting food assistance, treating malnutrition and other consequences of hunger, and promoting economic independence among people in need, Share Our Strength meets immediate demands for food while investing in long-term solutions to hunger and poverty. Andy’ motto: “Anyone who thinks that they are too small to make a difference has never been bit by a mosquito.”

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Interview Cont'd
AT: What are your favorite restaurants – off the beaten path – in Boston?
AH: Miami Café – that’s where I get my Cubano. S & S Deli – across from the East Coast Grill for chopped liver sandwiches. I crave them! Tacos El Charo – for burritos and tacos. The Busy Bee for breakfast in Brookline is awesome.

AT: What trends do you see emerging in the restaurant industry now?
AH: It’s got to go to all humane-handled, natural beef and meats. More organic and locally produced vegetables – it’s got to go that way.

AT: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In 10 years?
AH: I’ll be here at Tremont 647. I’m really happy. I have a really good team.

AT: Tell me more about your involvement in Share Our Strength:
AH: I’m a big Share Our Strength supporter. We have to change this world. The world would be a better place if everyone spent one hour a month to help someone else.

 

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  •    Published: March 2006

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