THE BUTCHER SHOP | Boston
David Reynoso's career began when he left his family farm
outside of Mexico City at the age of 15 and took a job as a dishwasher
at the popular Spiaggia restaurant in Chicago. There he
quickly moved up to prep work, peeling potatoes and dicing onions.
Encouraged by the restaurant's chef, who recognized Reynoso's talent,
he embarked on an eighteen month restaurant program at the Washburne
Trade School in Chicago while working full-time at the restaurant
and taking classes in English and Italian.
After graduating from Washburne in 1990, Reynoso headed to Italy
to stage in several restaurants in exchange for room and
board. The experience opened the door to a period of intense traveling
A year later and much more seasoned in his craft, Reynoso made
his way back to the United States where he worked in a variety of
restaurant positions. He eventually became head chef at the well-known
Italian Trattoria Mangia in Kenosha, Wisconsin and then
at Tuttaposto Mediterranean Tavern back in Chicago. He
also worked for a year in Verden, Germany to assist in opening Pades
Restaurant, an intimate Italian eatery with a reputation for its
tasty homemade pastries, breads, and pasta.
Returning to the United States, Reynoso began the next phase of
his career. Hired as the first head chef of Spoodles at
the Walt Disney World Boardwalk Resort in Orlando, Florida, he was
involved in all aspects of opening the restaurant and developing
the diverse Mediterranean menu.
In 1998, David moved from Florida to Boston to assume the position
of chef at the brand new Café Louis which received
local, regional, and national accolades under his direction. After
a one-year sabbatical in Mexico, Reynoso returned to Boston and
became the Chef of Kitchen Operations for Chef Barbara Lynch's two
South End Restaurants: The Butcher Shop and B&G
Oysters. He currently spends the majority of his time at The
Butcher Shop in the kitchen, leading cooking classes, and overseeing
the menu and retail development.
AT: Who are your mentors?
What are some of the most important things you’ve learned
DR: I love Alice Waters. I
met her once. I love books from Patricia Wells – like the
Home in Provence” cookbook. I love Tony’s book (The
AT: What is your philosophy
on food and dining?
DR: I like food that has soul,
background, tradition. I see food as holding family together, a
way to connect to each other. I don’t like things that are
too out there. I like more simple, more traditional foods.
AT: Are there any secret ingredients
that you especially like?
DR: I like to use cloves. It
settles in the back of your mouth. I make a rabbit dish with clove
and cinnamon. These ingredients go back to my background–
clove, cumin, garlic, onion.
AT: What is your most indispensable
DR: Rubber spatulas –
you’re able to get everything in the pot or bowl. They’re
useful for tossing pasta. The metal spoon breaks it. The spatula
is more gentle on the pasta.
AT: What is your favorite
question to ask during an interview for a potential new line cook?
DR: Do you want to be a star?
Are you in this business to be a showman or do you want to cook?
I’m interested in someone who’s more about the food,
not the show.
AT: What tips would you offer
young chefs just getting started?
DR: Be honest in what you do.
Work hard. Be humble. You need to be humble and learn from everyone
else. That’s what I try to do.
AT: What cities do you like
for culinary travel?
DR: Chicago. My brother lives
there and has a taqueria place. I like to go to Mexican restaurants
there. My favorite is on Milwaukee Ave. It’s run by a kid
who used to work for Rick Bayless.
AT: What are your favorite
restaurants – off the beaten path – in Boston?
DR: In the North End there’s
a place called Pizzeria Ernesto. Their pizza is really good. I like
the white pizza with ricotta and broccoli.
AT: What trends do you see
emerging in the restaurant industry now?
DR: Lot of food to-go, like
what we’re trying to do at The Butcher Shop. People go out,
but they also want to do one or two meals with really good food
AT: Where do you see yourself
in 5 years-10 years?
DR: I see myself doing something
on my own someday.
AT: What range do you cook
DR: I cook on four Chefmaster
induction burners and a Rationale combi- oven. This place was never
meant to be a restaurant. Business has grown a lot in last year.
AT: Tell me about your cooking
DR: I started doing them last
spring for neighborhood people. We did them upstairs and closed
for the night. We had a Cinco de Mayo theme! Another theme was wild
game and wild wine. They are an opportunity for me to introduce
myself to our customers.