Andy Husbands

Andy Husbands

Facebook: @SmokeShopBBQ

Instagram: @tremont647

Most chefs who appear on Gordon Ramsay’s “Hell’s Kitchen” tend to have their reputations diminished as a result; after all, very few chefs can withstand the constant deluge of shouting and insults and emerge unscathed from a night with Chef Ramsay. Andy Husbands is the rare exception.

The executive chef and owner of Tremont 657 and Sister Sorel in the South End of Boston and The Smoke Shop in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Andy has established a reputation as one of the best chefs in the country, a reputation that is sure to be solidified by his place on this list. Born and raised in Seattle, Andy moved to Massachusetts when he was 14 years old; that same year, his culinary career began when he took an after-school job working in a local bakery. After graduating from Johnson & Wales University, Andy took a job at the East Coast Grill as a sous chef before a cross-country motorcycle trip landed him in some San Francisco-based restaurant kitchens. Upon returning to Boston in 1996, Andy opened Tremont 647, and with its focus on seasonal and local ingredients, the California influence on the menu was clear.

Following on the success of Tremont 647, Andy opened Sister Sorel in 2000, and Andy has received critical recognition with semi-finalist finishes for James Beard Foundation awards in 2008 and 2009 and an “Award of Excellence” from Wine Spectator magazine.

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Andy’s culinary influences grew from his time in a variety of kitchens, and the menu at Tremont 647 reflects it. Offerings include smoked chicken wings with agave, BBQ spices and coleslaw; pineapple chili-glazed pork belly with crispy pork rinds and sesame cucumber salad; roasted beet salad with crispy herbed goat cheese, pickled grapes and horseradish-beet puree; arugula walnut pesto fettuccine with roasted cauliflower, broccoli, acorn squash, parmesan and walnuts; apple cider-brined pork chops with mustard spaetzle, apple-beet slaw and warm bacon vinaigrette; and grilled strip steak with broccoli rabe, cherry peppers, caramelized shallots, fontina-stuffed tots and horseradish cream. At Sister Sorel, the menu items are largely the same, but also include a pan-seared bluefish with roasted fingerling potatoes, dill yogurt and pickled vegetable relish.

At The Smoke Shop, the focus is on traditional barbecue dishes with a high-end culinary twist, with items such as fried brussels sprouts with creole-spiced pork skins, preserved lemon & Old Bay aioli; brisket plates; slabs of barbecue ribs; glazed barbecue chicken thighs; spinach salad with butternut squash, bacon, toasted walnuts, parmesan crackers and bacon vinaigrette; romaine salad with creamy dill dressing, sunflower seeds and fried shallots; and pulled pork.