Chef Jody Adams says her priorities are working with people, working with food, and building a community, and she lives these priorities every day. Jody’s priorities and passions have driven her long career in the kitchen, in her philanthropic work, and in communities near and far.
Working with partners Eric Papachristos and John Mendez, she’s growing new, innovative concepts in Mediterranean dining. The team opened TRADE in 2011, which serves elegant, Greek-inspired cuisine steeped in the warmth and comfort of that region. In 2016, they opened the first of three Saloniki restaurants, offering fast-casual, locally sourced, scratch-made food, as well as Porto, serving coastal Italian fare.
Jody graduated from Brown University with a degree in anthropology, but a chance meeting with Julia Child and Sara Moulton sent her to work for Lydia Shire at Seasons, where she spent 4 years cooking on the line, then 3 years as sous chef for Gordon Hamersley at Hamersley’s Bistro. Her next move was to Michela’s, as an executive chef under Michela Larson. These experiences prepared her to open Rialto, where she spent 22 years before closing the restaurant in 2016.
Jody is committed to the philanthropic work she does at the local, national, and international levels. The organizations she supports focus on health and food insecurity, environmental stewardship, and restaurant and restaurant workers’ viability and security. She has long associations with the Greater Boston Food Bank, the Women’s Lunch Place, and Share Our Strength/No Kid Hungry. She has biked in the Pan-Mass Challenge for over 10 years, and in 2010, donated her winnings on Top Chef Masters to Partners in Health, where she is a trustee. In 2020, she helped found Massachusetts Restaurants United to advocate for restaurants, their workers, and support legislation in response to COVID 19.
Jody is married to Ken Rivard, a photographer and co-author of Jody’s book, In the Hands of a Chef. They have two children, Oliver and Roxanne.