Chef/Partner of TRADE, Porto, Saloniki and La Padrona

Chef Jody Adams says her priorities are working with people, working with food, and building a community.  Currently balancing chef and co-ownership roles at seven, (soon to be eight) restaurants in Boston, Jody’s priorities and passions have driven her long career in the kitchen, in her philanthropic work, and in communities here and abroad.

She is a partner in A Street Hospitality, the restaurant group founded with partners Eric Papachristos and John Mendez, 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 Porto with a large vibrant patio serving coastal Mediterranean Italian fare, and in the same year, the first of five  Saloniki restaurants, offering fast-casual, scratch-made Greek food.

Jody’s currently devoted to La Padrona, a fine-dining Italian restaurant the group is developing for the new Raffles Hotel in Boston.

Jody graduated from Brown University with a degree in anthropology. A part-time job at a gourmet food store, a volunteer role at a fundraiser, and two important introductions put her on a different path. Prompted by Julia Child and Sara Moulton to go to Boston and work for Lydia Shire at Seasons, Jody spent 4 years cooking on the line, then 3 years as sous chef for Gordon Hamersley at Hamersley’s Bistro. Both positions  gave her an unparalleled education on French cuisine and restaurant operations. Her next move was to Michela’s, as executive chef under Michela Larson, exploring regional Italian culinary traditions. These experiences at three iconic Boston restaurants prepared her to open a new icon, Rialto, where she spent 22 years and won the James Beard Foundation Best Chef: Northeast Award.  Jody closed Rialto in 2016.  In 2018 She was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.

Jody is committed to the philanthropic work she does at the local, national, and international levels. The organizations she supports with time, education and money focus on health and food insecurity, environmental stewardship, and restaurant and restaurant workers’ viability and security. Starting with a volunteer job at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser in her 20s, Jody’s dedication continues through long associations with the Chef’s Collaborative, the Greater Boston Food Bank, the Women’s Lunch Place, and Share Our Strength/No Kid Hungry, which named her Humanitarian of the Year in 2010. A prolific fundraiser, she has biked in the Pan-Mass Challenge for over 12 years, and donated her winnings on Top Chef Masters to Partners in Health, where she is a trustee and has traveled to Haiti and Rwanda to support public health education and infrastructure projects. In 2020, facing restaurant shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, she helped found Massachusetts Restaurants United to advocate for restaurants, their workers, and legislation to give them financial and business support and, more importantly, a voice.

Travel continues to spur Jody’s interest in exploring new culinary territory, and she leads curated travel tours in Europe and Africa, often on a bike, exploring the food, kitchens, and communities where old ideas are renewed and new ideas are born.

Jody is married to Ken Rivard, a writer and photographer and co-author of Jody’s cookbook, In the Hands of a Chef.  They have two children, Oliver and Roxanne. 

Photo credit: Ken Rivard