Rising Star Chef Carl Dooley of Craigie on Main - Biography

Cambridge, MA

January 2015

When Carl Dooley was 16, he got his professional start at a lobster shack in Maine. It was his first exposure to the chef lifestyle—to kitchen camaraderie and shift drinks (gin and tonics, in particularly)—and he liked it. Back at home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and back in class, Dooley got an after-school job at Formaggio Kitchen, where he learned to respect and use quality ingredients. His drive and enthusiasm were so great that Dooley would sometimes skip school and stay home to read cookbooks and experiment in the kitchen. 

After high school, he enrolled at the New England Culinary Institute, and he finished his culinary education an ocean away at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck in England, where he spent six months. Upon returning stateside, Dooley went to work for a chef who would become his most influential a mentor: Tony Maws at Craigie Street Bistro in Cambridge. From Maws, Dooley learned discipline and professionalism. 

In 2007, Dooley moved on to Washington, D.C., where he cooked at Palena, eventually becoming Chef Frank Ruta’s sous chef before going on to work for Eric Ripert as his executive sous chef at Westend Bistro at the Ritz Carlton. Next, Dooley made a year-long stop in Brooklyn to join the 2013 Rising Stars duo Walker Stern and Joe Ogrodnek at Battersby before coming home in the fall to cook again with his mentor Maws, this time at Craigie on Main as the chef de cuisine. Dooley is leaving Craigie this spring to pursue his first role as executive chef.