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Chef Gordon Hamersley

Celebrity Chef

Gordon Hamersley discovered early in his career that for him food was a way of life. "I realized that food and cooking were a passion that was all consuming, not only for me, but for many others, too," he affirms. He started cooking as a student at Boston University in the early 1970s and began his culinary career at various French restaurants in the Boston area. In 1979, he escaped New England winters and moved to Los Angeles, where he trained at the famed Ma Maison restaurant under Wolfgang Puck. It was there that Gordon discovered the real potential of food and began to seriously hone his skills as a chef. In 1982, he and his wife Fiona moved to Nice, France. Cooking by day and dining in restaurants by night, they absorbed the nuances of French cuisine, and Gordon found his inspiration and discovered his culinary "voice." A year later the pair returned to Boston where Gordon began working as sous chef to Lydia Shire (Locke-Ober, Excelsior) at the Bostonian Hotel.

In 1987 Gordon and Fiona opened the original Hamersley's Bistro in a tiny storefront in Boston's up-and-coming South End. "We wanted our restaurant to be more like the informal, relaxed bistros in France that we felt ourselves drawn to again and again," says Gordon. The restaurant's homey, French-inspired bistro food was an immediate success. In 1993, they moved their restaurant into a larger space a few blocks down Tremont Street into an historic building alongside the Boston Center for the Arts. Hamersley's Bistro quickly became one of Boston's favorites. Gordon has kept his cooking unique yet simple, and his food always reflects the freshest seasonal New England ingredients.

In his "spare" time, Gordon is a respected cooking teacher and mentor to many aspiring chefs. He teaches classes at Boston University and in many other cities around the country. Students find his ability to relate food history to modern cooking techniques both informative and fun. Gordon also served on the Board of Advisors of the New England Culinary Institute from 1997 to 2002 and he currently is part of several environmental groups that help protect New England's vast natural resources.

Hamersley's Bistro has received enthusiastic attention from magazines and newspapers like Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Food & Wine and The New York Times and is consistently rated as one of Boston's top four restaurants for food and popularity in Zagat's Restaurant Guide. The restaurant has received four stars from both The Boston Globe and Boston Herald and has been inducted into the Nation's Restaurant News Fine Dining Hall of Fame. Hamersley has been named one of Food & Wine's best new chefs and has received the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef in the Northeast.

Gordon brings the spirit of Hamersley's Bistro to any home kitchen with his first cookbook, Bistro Cooking at Home, which won the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) 2004 Cookbook Award in the Chefs and Restaurants category. The book has received rave reviews and includes more than 150 of his classic recipes. Gordon comments, "Bistro cooking is bold and fully flavored and yet it feels more like the best home cooking than restaurant fare. This collection of recipes works especially well for entertaining and demonstrates just how liberating bistro-style cooking can be."

Gordon lives with Fiona and their daughter Sophie near Boston, Massachusetts. They spend as much time as possible in Vermont, enjoying the fishing, skiing and local bounty.