Won Best New Chef At West Bridge, Cambridge, MA
Why He’s Amazing Because of his compelling twists on regional New England cooking: Think mussels with uni butter, and clam chowder with sunchokes and pork shoulder.
Born 1971; Melrose, MA
Raised Sudbury, MA
Culinary School The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts (Cambridge, MA)
Quintessential Dish “Egg in a jar”: slow-cooked duck eggs, hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, potato puree and crispy duck skin
First Job Washing dishes, at age 15, to save money for a car.
Beer of Choice Dale’s Pale Ale
On Living and Cooking In NYC “I missed the smaller ambience of Boston, [which] feels like a village compared with New York. If it wasn’t for Brooklyn, I probably would have lost my mind. It’s how we kind of see Cambridge—[as] the borough on the other side of the river.”
Historic Space West Bridge’s industrial design is a nod to the building’s past: It once housed the Boston Woven Hose and Rubber Company, which manufactured fire hoses in the 1880s.
“I sat down to eat at West Bridge at 6:30 p.m.; I sent a text to our restaurant editor, Kate Krader, at 7:04. ‘Kate!’ I typed as quickly as I could (I was excited), ‘West Bridge is off the charts!’ I had already cleaned my first few small plates, including a thick cauliflower steak topped with bone marrow and a bright harissa-sherry vinaigrette. Matthew Gaudet modestly describes his cooking as ‘refined New England grub with French influences.’ It’s crazy delicious, with combinations that are playful and smart—as in his calamari ‘noodles,’ a soupy, briny dish prepared with cockles, whelks and small, sweet tomatoes. Gaudet’s plates are perfectly balanced, a skill he credits in part to Marcus Samuelsson, who mentored him at Manhattan’s Aquavit, and also to Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who taught him that it’s OK to take away components of a dish so it’s not overwrought.”—Kate Heddings
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.