The connection between food and happiness began at an early age for Jody. Her mother was an adventurous cook and passed along an appreciation for European cooking, and, more importantly, European living. When Jody Adams graduated from Brown University with a degree in anthropology, Jody took her first culinary position as part-time help to Nancy Verde Barr, a food writer and teacher. In her apprenticeship, Jody assisted in the classroom and helped test recipes for Nancy’s cookbook on Italian immigrant cooking, We Called It Macaroni (Knopf, 1991).
After deciding on a career in the restaurant business, Jody worked her way through the ranks of Boston’s best restaurants. She began as a line cook at Seasons restaurant in the famed Bostonian Hotel under chef Lydia Shire in 1983. Three years later, she helped open Hamersley’s Bistro with Gordon Hamersley as his sous chef. In 1990, she took the executive chef position at Michela’s in Cambridge. While at Michela’s, Jody developed her reputation for carefully-researched regional menus that combined New England ingredients with Italian culinary traditions.
“I have an enormous amount of respect for local cooking traditions. Regional cuisine has had time on its side – it’s taken centuries to figure out how to make the best of what’s available nearby. Technique on its own doesn’t count for much. A new technique or personal interpretation only becomes part of the tradition when it enhances the taste of the dish’s ingredients.