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Boston Chefs on Their Favorite Meat Dish to 'Elevate'

In honor of The Five Days of Meat, we've asked Boston food and drink personnel a variety of meat-related questions, and we'll share their responses throughout the week. Now, here they are on their favorite basic meat dish to "elevate," and what they like to do to it. (Previously: Boston chefs on the meatiest dish they've ever eaten, the most unusual meats they've ever eaten, and their favorite cuts of meat, both under-appreciated and overall.)

Josh Lewin - Rachel Leah Blumenthal.jpg"One of my past sous chefs, Matt Singer at Beacon Hill Bistro, likes to cut hot dogs into thin strips, leaving them attached at one end...and then deep-fries them. Hot dog stars. Pretty fancy stuff. Matt's from Chile, where I understand they have a long tradition of these hot dog stars." — Joshua Lewin, chef of Bread and Salt Hospitality
[Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

John Delpha - Provided.jpg"Hot dogs lend themselves to multiple levels of elevation. I like to wrap a simple dog in bacon, season with barbecue rub, smoke it at about 250 degrees, glaze it with barbecue sauce, and add some spicy onions and coleslaw." — John Delpha, chef/partner of Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar (opening summer 2014)
[Photo: Provided]

Jesse Hassinger - Chris Coe.jpg"I love doing burgers and doing spice mixes in with them, just getting a really great burger grind and almost making it into meatloaf, but still maintaining it and cooking it as a burger. I like putting in some paprika, some cayenne, some mustard, sometimes some ginger, definitely garlic, onions — just making it really full." — Jesse Hassinger, butcher at M.F. Dulock Pasture-Raised Meats
[Photo: Chris Coe]

Dante de Magistris - Official Site.jpg"Meatballs. We elevate them every day by cooking them the same way my Nonna taught me, but poaching them in sauce to keep them tender. This is more difficult to produce in the volume needed for a restaurant, but I couldn't do it any other way." — Dante de Magistris, chef/owner of Restaurant dante and il Casale
[Photo: Official Site]

Matt Foley - Official Site.jpg"Probably a burger. I have done everything from putting bacon, pork belly, eggs, kimchee, another burger, to fried oysters on top." — Matt Foley, executive chef of The Merchant
[Photo: Official Site]

Michael Schlow - Sophia Tsakmaklis.jpg"I think it would be a lay-up to say a hamburger because of what we've been able to do with it, so aside from the burger that we created, I would have to say a good pulled pork sandwich. I like to make a spicy fennel coleslaw with red chilis in it, a really good chipotle sauce to go with it, and a homemade bun." — Michael Schlow, chef/owner of Via Matta, Tico, and Alta Strada
[Photo: Sophia Tsakmaklis]

Samuel Monsour - Rachel Leah Blumenthal.jpg"I'd have to go with the burger. The burger cookbook that Richard Chudy and I are working on has over 100 recipes that have to do with making your own buns, or doing crazy shit with cheese, and then there's condiments and random shit, how to treat your meat, how to grind meat, how to season meat. The burger is this blank canvas that's more American than anything else, so how do you elevate it: Where are you buying your meat from, what's your fat ratio, how are you cooking it, what are you going to put on it, what are you going to put it on, etc." — Samuel Monsour of The Future of Junk Food pop-up and more
[Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

Brian Poe - Rachel Leah Blumenthal.jpg"I might share this interest with a lot of people, but I've probably been eating a burger a day for the past few months. I love the burger. We also did a fun twist on the idea of a hot dog last summer where we made a venison sausage with a seven-bacon-and-tomato salsa on top, with a chervil and truffle dijon mustard. I had actually made that once in my backyard, and my neighbor was like, 'Who does that to a hot dog?' Me, because I like it!" — Brian Poe, chef/owner of The Tip Tap Room and Estelle's
[Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

Kevin O'Donnell and Michael Lombardi - Provided.jpg"We're always suckers for a good roast chicken, elevated with just a tasty and light salad and some black truffles." — Kevin O'Donnell, executive chef, and Michael Lombardi, executive sous chef of The Salty Pig
[Photo: Provided]

Dennis Wilson - Provided.jpg"Kielbasa on the grill." — Dennis Wilson, chef of Gather
[Photo: Official Site]

Samuel Jackson - Callaway Photography.jpg"Gotta be a meat pie, right! Loaded with some tomato sauce on top and i'm good to go." — Samuel Jackson, owner of KO Catering and Pies
[Photo: Callaway Photography]

Peter D'Antonio - Facebook.jpg"Shepherd's pie. I like to throw in different vegetables as well as switching up the ground meat that goes inside, lamb or turkey." — Peter D'Antonio, executive chef of The Westin Waltham-Boston
[Photo: Facebook]

Chris Coombs - Rachel Leah Blumenthal.jpg"I love the Late Night Burger at Boston Chops. I wouldn't say that it is crazy "elevated," but it is executed very well — attention to all the small details and ratios that can make a burger completely perfect." — Chris Coombs, executive chef and co-owner of Boston Chops and Deuxave
[Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

Tim Wiechmann - Official Site.jpg"The hot dog!" — Tim Wiechmann, chef/owner of Bronwyn and T.W. Food
[Photo: Official Site]

Kyle Ketchum - Official Site.jpg"Tri-tip or skirt steak with a great marinatd and maybe a heavy vinegar-and-oil-based herb drizzle. In the summer, I like to simply prepare my meats on a grill and finish with a house-made chimichurri-style sauce." — Kyle Ketchum, executive chef of Bostonia Public House
[Photo: Official Site]

Tony Maws - Cal Bingham.jpg"We've approached a lot of dishes with this goal in mind, but my most recent favorite is the hot dog hash we make at The Kirkland Tap & Trotter for Sunday brunch. Our own KTT Hot Dog with slow-braised turnip, onion, parsnips, and mustard powder, served with a poached egg, paprika, hollandaise, and grilled focaccia. It's not often my own food makes me laugh with pleasure, but this one did." — Tony Maws, owner of Craigie on Main and The Kirkland Tap & Trotter
[Photo: Cal Bingham]

Joshua Smith - Rachel Leah Blumenthal.jpg"Chicken wings, super spicy with cold beer. Simple any time!!" — Joshua Smith, owner of Moody's Delicatessen & Provisions
[Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

Leo Asaro - Chris Coe.jpg"I would say either sausage, hot dog, or a burger. You could always put aiolis, different flavored mustards, relishes, different cheeses, different toppings for crunch (onion rings, crispy quinoa), avocado spreads. The list could go on." — Leo Asaro, executive chef of Tico
[Photo: Chris Coe]

"Pasta with bolognese sauce. Make it in a pressure cooker using pork ribs, short ribs, beef (grind your own), great red wine, and homemade pasta." — Dan Schroeder, chef of Forum

"Burger...coarse-ground, freshly-ground brisket, short rib, chuck...well-seasoned...pan-roasted in brown butter, medium rare, topped with muenster...lettuce, tomato, mayo on a soft roll. (Lamb, pork, veal, goat burgers...great alternatives.)" — Paul Booras, Director of Culinary Operations of Tavern in the Square

"Fried chicken. I love what we do with it at Savvor. We take the concept of Tennessee hot fried chicken (without destroying your mouth with heat) and add some house-made pickles, an aioli made from chicory coffee, and ham drippings. It's simple at its core, but the taste is a bit more complex than standard fried chicken." — Carey Dobies, executive chef of Savvor Restaurant and Lounge

· All coverage of The Five Days of Meat on Eater [~EBOS~]


371 Commonwealth Avenue, , MA 02115 (617) 517-5915 Visit Website

Forum Restaurant

755 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116 857 991 1831 Visit Website

Il Casale Cucina Campana + Bar

1727 Massachusetts Ave, Lexington, MA 02420 (781) 538-5846 Visit Website

The Merchant Kitchen & Drink

60 Franklin St, Boston, MA 02110 617-482-6060 Visit Website


1926 14th Street Northwest, , DC 20009 (202) 319-1400 Visit Website


16901 Wright Plaza, , NE 68130 (402) 932-3078 Visit Website

Bostonia Public House

131 State Street, , MA 02109 (617) 948-9800 Visit Website

Craigie On Main

853 Main Street, , MA 02139 (617) 497-5511 Visit Website

The Salty Pig

130 Dartmouth Street, , MA 02116 (617) 536-6200 Visit Website


75 Northern Avenue, , MA 02210 (617) 982-7220 Visit Website

T.W. Food

377 Walden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 617 864 4745 Visit Website

Boston Chops

1375 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118 617 227 5011 Visit Website

Via Matta

79 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116 617 422 0008 Visit Website

The Tip Tap Room

138 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02114 857 263 7614 Visit Website


255 Washington Street, , MA 02143 (617) 776-9900 Visit Website

Savvor Restaurant and Lounge

180 Lincoln St, Boston, MA 02111 (857) 250-2165 Visit Website