Mary Dumont

Why she won Because she prepares beautifully intricate dishes using products from her historic New England region and her huge kitchen garden.
Born Lowell, Massachusetts; 1974.
Experience Jardinière, Campton Place and Elisabeth Daniel, all in San Francisco; Blackbird in Chicago; Sonoma Saveurs in Sonoma, California.
How she got started "My family is in the business. My parents had a restaurant, my brother's a chef, my other brother runs a restaurant, my sister owns a restaurant. I wasn't going to cook—I went to Simmons College in Boston for creative writing. Still, look where I ended up."
What she loves about her restaurant That it's part of Strawberry Banke, a historical museum with gardens full of heirloom vegetables. "I see varieties that have historical significance. And there's no genetically modified basil."
What she loves about Portsmouth "I can stand at the stove and look out one window and see the Atlantic Ocean and look out the other window and see my garden."
Next project An after-school program for local kids, who will work in the garden and keep a photo journal.

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