Chef Matt Jennings on Returning to Boston

Chef Matt Jennings discusses the path of his career, from his cheese shop and restaurant in Providence, to his latest restaurant in Boston.

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[MUSIC] Some people like to try and peg me as somebody who wanted a bigger stage, wanted to move to the big city and show what we can do. And it really has nothing to do with that. It felt like it was time to come home. I don't really know how else to describe it. It was just time for the next chapter. [MUSIC] My wife and I we were kind of starting to compile our ideas for what type of place we were going to open and where we wanted that to take place. We spent a weekend in Providence and just fell in love with the city. The south coast of New England has this kind of coastal farm land which is actually really unique. All the sorts of different produce are incredible ingredients, it's very idyllic. Farm Center opened in 2002. The goal is basically to have an urban, artisan food showcase, highlighting producers, talking about why these foods are important to our food culture without being preachy. [MUSIC] In Rhode Island you actually can't sell booze and food out of the same space in a retail environment, you can only do that if you're a restaurant. So I would do, you know, tastings with different chooses of chart query and wines in the shop, totally legally like put out force tools, pull the shades down. What I wanna do in kinda more legit format The space next door became available. It was an old hair saloon. We broke a hole through the wall and we put it in 40 seats and looked around and said we have a full restaurant let's do this thing. Farmstead had some kind of I don't know what was created there, but And it was special for me. We are people who really desire to create a product that's based on passion. And I feel like if we're passionate about it, and we can figure out a way to get that across to guests, then it becomes infectious. I think that's why it meant so much to so many people. [MUSIC] When we started the project, we told ourselves that it would be a ten year plan. We had every intent always of coming back home to Boston to raise our family. We have two small boys but I wanted to Do the types of things with them that I did with my dad, go to Red Sox games and go fishing on the North Shore. It was kind of always on the back of my mind. Yeah I mean it was wicked sad. There's still people who come into Townman and say we miss you in Providence. And it hurts a little bit every time but. We kind of had to make a decision that was right for us. [BLANK_AUDIO] I think the goal for us is just to keep improving. Make food that we're proud of, that connects with people. That creates a memory. [BLANK_AUDIO] I don't think so much about what's happened in the past. I think about what's going to happen tomorrow, and how we're going to get better. [MUSIC] That ability to be able to look at your craft, your career, and what you do, and be able to evolve. That's what keeps you alive,
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Chef Matt Jennings on Returning to Boston