CitySpace At Home: The Men Of Curated Cuisine

The COVID-19 outbreak has forced many of our favorite neighborhood haunts, date night spots and go-to watering holes to close because of government restrictions. As a result, owners face a bevy of tough decisions down the road: can they support out-of-work staff, is a take-out operation manageable, or can they afford to reopen when life goes back to normal?

We at WBUR CitySpace have been moved by the outpouring of love and support for our hometown restaurants and bars. For our part, we’d like to highlight guests who have joined us for Curated Cuisine, our monthly conversations with renowned local chefs where we dig into everything from their journeys into the world of culinary arts to the must-have food in their pantries.

Andy Husbands

Husbands is a restauranteur with over 27 years of experience owning and operating award-winning restaurants in Boston, including The Smoke Shop BBQ in Kendall Square and the Seaport. He was named the 2014 Massachusetts Restaurant Association Chef of the Year and is author of six cookbooks, including his latest, “Smoke Shop Backyard BBQ”.

Husbands was CitySpace’s first official guest when we opened in March 2019. He brought the house down with samplings of ribs, wings and cornbread for our audience. Check out his Curated Cuisine video below.

You can support Husbands and his restaurant teams by shopping at The Smoke Shop BBQ online store where you can find all of his cookbooks, gift cards, packaged snacks, apparel and gifts, and follow @thesmokeshopbbq on Instagram for take-out and delivery updates.

Alon Shaya

Our friends at Jewish Arts Collaborative brought Shaya from New Orleans to Boston to discuss his recently released first cookbook, "Shaya: An Odyssey of Food, My Journey Back to Israel." In 2015, Shaya won the James Beard Award for Best Chef: South and in 2016, his modern Israeli restaurant, Shaya, won the Beard Award for Best New Restaurant. Check out his Curated Cuisine video below.

Since Shaya’s restaurant isn’t local, we were fortunate to have The Chubby Chickpea serve some snacks for our audience. The Chubby Chickpea food truck is continuing contactless take-out and delivery. Check their Facebook page for more info.

If you want to support Shaya and his restaurant teams, you can purchase restaurant gift cards on the Shaya website here.

Ayr Muir

Muir is the Founder and CEO of Clover Food Lab, a nationally recognized restaurant company operating 12 restaurants in the Greater Boston Area. Clover seeks to help meat lovers become vegetable lovers and sources an unprecedented amount of its nutritionally conscious menu from regional suppliers.

Muir demonstrated how to make syrup for homemade soda with carrots and paw paws, a tropical-like fruit native to North American, which he describes as “like a cross between a banana and a mango, but distinctly different.”

With all Clover Food Lab locations temporarily closed until further notice, Muir has launched In Ayr’s Kitchen, a live cooking show from his home. Here he is making quick pickled vegetables with virtual guests Michael Docter of Winter Moon Roots and Jesse Docter of Oleana below.

You can support Muir and his restaurant teams by purchasing gift cards or merch from the Clover Food Lab website.

Douglass Williams

Williams opened MIDA in 2016, a South End neighborhood restaurant inspired by the simplicity of classic Italian culinary traditions with a welcoming neighborhood vibe. When he joined us, he was developing a second project, APIZZA, in the new Hub Hall in North Station.

Williams showed us how to put together a beautiful charcuterie board, and gave out samples of his homemade ginger gelato. Check out his Curated Cuisine video below.

You can support Williams and his restaurant teams by purchasing pasta during MIDA’s Pasta Drive. 100% of the proceeds will go to the MIDA staff directly or be used to offset their living costs. 


More resources to support other Greater Boston restaurants and small businesses:

Do617 has a list of delivery and take-out from restaurants and other small businesses.
SupportYourSpot, a directory of small Boston businesses that offer online gift cards.
Mass.gov COVID-19 Resources and Guidance for Businesses
Eater Boston's directory of ongoing fundraisers and ways to support and their list of online merch stores.

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