STAFF PICKS: Ashley Santos

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Interview by Jillian Marks

Ashley Santos has been at Trade for four years. She made her way working first at the flatbread station and then the back kitchen where she quickly moved up on each station. After about a year and a half she was chosen to be a sous chef.

What is your role at Trade?
I’m a sous chef and I also manage the kitchen staff. If there’s a problem I solve it, if there’s food I cook it. It’s really just day to day management of the staff and operations.

What were you doing before you came to Trade?
I was working at the Museum of Fine Arts at their restaurant called Bravo and before that I was working at a little barbeque joint in Miami where I’m from. I went to culinary school at Johnson and Wales and moved back home for a year before I came to Boston.

When did you first become interested in the restaurant industry?
I think I always knew that I was going to work in the restaurant industry. I have loved eating and cooking ever since I was a kid and when I was sixteen I decided that I was going to go to culinary school. When I was younger I would come home after school and cook. I used to host dinner parties for my friends all the time and any holiday was an excuse for me to make way too much food for my family. One mother’s day I made a seventeen-page menu! Cooking has just always been a source of happiness for me.

What led you to work at Trade?
When I was working at the Museum I had a co-worker who used to work at Rialto and he was always raving about Jody Adams. He had mentioned that she was opening a new restaurant so one day I came to eat here at Trade to check it out. I loved the food and the place so I decided to make a change and come work here.

What’s your favorite part about your job?
As a sous chef and kitchen manager I get to be a part of the bigger picture. I’m able to help create the culture here and be more involved in the menu and to me that is the best part of my job. I also love the people here! The owners, managers, and staff all work to foster a really positive work environment.

What’s your favorite dish at Trade?
The harissa chicken bowl.

STAFF PICKS: Lauren Choinski

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Interview by Jillian Marks

Lauren Choinski, a rising senior at The Boston Conservatory, has been working at Trade for just under two years. After graduation she plans to spend a few more years at Trade where she recently began training as a server.

What is your job at Trade?
I’ve been working as a food-runner since I started here at Trade, but I’ve recently begun training to be a server. Right now I’m training in the PDR (private dining room) where we host private events.

What led you to work here?
I’m originally from the DC area but moved to Boston in 2013 to pursue my bachelors in clarinet performance at The Boston Conservatory. I had a couple of jobs in retail but had never worked in a restaurant before. A friend of mine was working at Trade at the time and she referred me and I’ve been here ever since. It’s been a lot of fun to work here.

What is your favorite part about working at Trade?
I get to see and meet all the different people that come into Trade and get a glimpse into what they’re doing in they’re lives. I also love working with the staff here. Everyone is so nice, helpful, and positive. I definitely feel that Trade had taught me so much. I couldn’t have even told you what burrata was before I started working here!

What has been the most challenging part of moving from food-runner to server?
I think time-management has been the most challenging thing for me. As a server you always have to be paying attention to more than one table’s needs at once and there’s always a lot going on.

What do you like to do in your free time?
If I’m not here I’m usually practicing clarinet or watching Netflix. I don’t have too much free time to spend around Boston but when I do I like just walking around, getting out in the sun, and taking in the scenery.

What is your favorite dish at Trade?
Half chicken or burrata.

STAFF PICKS: Katie Gordon


Interview by Jillian Marks

Katie Gordon has been working at Trade for 2 years. She began as a line cook before switching over to pastry.

What is your job here at Trade?
I do pastry here. All of my experience is actually on the savory side but I’ve always wanted to do baking and had just never gotten into it. When they asked me if I would help with pastry that was my opportunity to learn and make the switch.

When did you become interested in baking?
I’ve baked all my life but not professionally until Trade. I have always enjoyed making stuff at home and experimenting with different things, like using applesauce instead of oil. I went to school at the Atlantic Culinary Academy with the intention to learn savory and then switch over to pastry so that’s happening now.

What was the most challenging part about switching from savory to pastry?
Savory and pastry are so different. I think the hardest part of switching for me was having to follow technique and recipes, which aren’t as crucial for cooking.

Was cooking and baking a big part of your family?
I grew up with my Nana and mom cooking and after my mom passed my dad cooked up a storm. I was always helping my dad out in the kitchen and when my sister got pregnant I would cook for her almost every night. I’ve really just been surrounded by cooking my whole life.

Do you create the dessert recipes on the menu?
Most of the desserts on the menu are Chef Adam’s recipes. She knows so much and comes in and goes over recipes and technique with me. I came to Trade to be able to work under her so it’s really incredible.

Can you tell me a little bit about the new dessert changes? Those were my idea! The grilled peaches will have smoked candy pecans as well as vanilla ice cream and a brown butter bourbon sauce. I also came up with the almond flavored cheesecake which will have a cherry caramel sauce and pistachio brittle on top.

Do you create your own recipes a lot?
Yes, I’m always playing around. I get my ideas from looking online, in books, at different restaurants, and just seeing what’s out there. I keep a list and every once in a while I bring in my ideas and see if they take them. They put these ones on the menu so it’s really exciting!

What’s your favorite part about working at Trade?
I love that the menu is always changing. Everyone here is also so nice and It’s a great atmosphere to work. The owners are great and they’re always here, active, and they know everyone’s names and that just says a lot about the kind of place that Trade is.

What’s your favorite dish on the menu?
I’ve always loved the calamari and the new dishes are amazing! The new pork ribs with pomegranate are so good!

STAFF PICKS: Steve Galgano


Staff Picks – Steve Galgano
Interview by Jillian Marks

Steve Galgano, originally from Connecticut, moved to Boston for school where he attended Emerson College. After spending a few years bar-backing he entered the bartending industry and has worked successfully as Trade’s bartender for the past eight months.

How long have you been bartending?
I’ve been bartending for almost four years but I bar-backed for three years before that. I was bartending at Coppersmith in South Boston for a while before I came to Trade.

How did you first become interested in bartending?
When I was bar-backing I started to get a real feel for the industry and I had a lot of good mentors throughout the years. I just thought to myself that this would be such a cool industry to break into so I kept at it.

What led you to work at Trade?
I worked at a lot of places that were kind of disorganized and I wanted to work in a really good place that served good drinks and where people cared about what they were doing. I definitely found that here at Trade. I also love the people that I work with here. They’re great.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Boston?
Besides drink? No, I love to go out to eat and drink. South Boston and Fenway are great. I love Lincoln Tavern, Loco, The Junction, and Sweet Cheeks.

Do you have a favorite dish at Trade?
The burger. It’s sneaky good. I also love the rigatoni.

What’s your favorite drink at Trade?
Beets by Trade! It’s the only one on the menu that I’ve created but I’ve had a few pretty successful “Trust Your Bartenders” as well. That’s just when the bartenders or servers come up with their own drink special.

Any last words?
Try Beets by Trade!