Chef Todd English of Olives - Biography

New York, NY

November 2011

Todd English began his cooking career at the young age of 15 when he first entered the doors of a professional kitchen. At 20, he attended the Culinary Institute of America and graduated in 1982 with honors. He continued to hone his craft with Jean Jacques Rachou at New York’s La Cote Basque and then relocated to Italy where he apprenticed at the well-established Dal Pescatore in Canto Sull O’lio and Paraccuchi in Locando D’Angello. It was in Italy that English, drawing from his Italian heritage, developed his unique style and approach to cooking. English returned to the United States at 25 and was asked to be the Executive Chef of the award-winning Northern Italian restaurant Michela’s in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He served there as an executive chef for three years, garnering high praise from both the press and the public.

In Spring of 1991, English caught the culinary world’s eye when the James Beard Foundation named him their National Rising Star Chef. English followed through on that promise, as the James Beard Foundation subsequently named him Best Chef in the Northeast in 1994. Nation’s Restaurant News named English one of their “Top 50 Tastemakers” in 1999. In 2001, English was awarded Bon Appetit’s Restaurateur of the Year award and was also named one of People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People. Todd has recently been named to the James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who in Food and Beverage in America.”

Since opening his first Mediterranean-influenced Olives restaurant in Charlestown, MA in April of 1989, English has gone on to become a prolific restaurateur, chef, cookbook author, and television personality. His restaurants span the continent, from New York to Las Vegas to Florida (and even the high seas, with restaurants on the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Victoria). Like English himself, his restaurants have received numerous accolades, beginning with Boston Magazine's "Best New Restaurant" for the original Olives.

His cookbooks include the lauded The Olives Table, The Figs Table, and The Olives Dessert Table, as well as the recently published Cooking in Everyday English.