2020 Boston Rising Star Restaurateur Tiffani Faison of Big Heart Hospitality

2020 Boston Rising Star Restaurateur Tiffani Faison of Big Heart Hospitality
July 2020

From her first job at an ice cream shop, Tiffani Faison could not see a future without hospitality. She moved from her Santa Rosa home to San Francisco and took whatever restaurant jobs she could find, serving and bartending. In 2001, Faison moved to Boston and landed a fortuitous gig as a busser at Todd English’s Bonfire. She became attracted to the chaos of the kitchen and eventually joined the line. Faison split her time between Bonfire and Olives before travelling with English’s team to open more restaurants. She left to work the line at Chef Tony Maws’ Craigie On Maine before moving to Las Vegas for Daniel Boulud Brasserie at Wynn Resort. In 2006, Faison competed on the first season of Bravo’s “Top Chef,” placing second.

Faison returned to New England as chef de cuisine of Straight Wharf in Nantucket, then reconnected with English to run Riche in New Orleans. She took a couple years off from the restaurant biz and moved to California where she worked as a private chef and a restaurant consultant. In 2008, Faison circled back to Boston for a sous chef role at Tim and Nancy Cushman’s O Ya. One year later, she joined Michela Larson to open Rocca Kitchen & Bar as executive chef. When it shuttered in 2011, the ambitious Faison competed in “Top Chef: All-Stars” and then opened her own restaurant in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood: Southern barbecue spot, Sweet Cheeks Q. Upon its success and three-star review from The Boston Globe, Faison opened Southeast Asian-inspired Tiger Mama in 2015. 

Now under the restaurant group name, Big Heart Hospitality, Faison has continued to take Fenway by storm. In 2018, she opened “adult snack bar,” Fools Errand, and in 2019, the Italian-American Orfano. Faison has received many accolades, including a 2020 James Beard nomination for “Best Chef: Northeast.”