The TT 46

Matt Jennings

Townsman, Boston, MA
Photo: Courtesy of Townsman

Why he killed it in 2015: Jennings surprised folks when he closed his beloved James Beard-nominated Farmstead in Providence, Rhode Island, and moved 50 miles back to his native Boston. Here, he's reviving an offbeat neighborhood outside of recent hotspots Cambridge and Somerville with his New England-style brasserie. Jennings distills whatever inspires him—from his cheesemonger background in the house terrine and the Northeast in his squid and local cream-laden clam chowder—and draws new hometown fans.

How would you describe your food? "Modern New England farmhouse."

What's your signature dish? "I try to make every dish a signature dish."

Do you have a go-to kitchen knife? "Konosuke Fujiyama 210-millimeter Gyuto. It's a workhorse."

What are the three essential cookbooks on your shelf? "Jacques Pépin's La Technique: An Illustrated Guide to the Fundamental Techniques of Cooking, Paul Bertolli's Cooking by Hand and Judy Rodgers's The Zuni Cafe Cookbook."

What dish would you cook for the rest of your life? "Fat rib steaks on a grill, over an open fire, in the middle of the woods, with the snow falling around me."

Rank pancakes, waffles and French toast from favorite to least favorite. "Pancakes, French toast, waffles."

Next Chef
Get the Tasting Table newsletter for adventurous eaters everywhere