Q&A: Chris Coombs of Deuxave

Exterior of Deuxave | The Best Restaurants in Boston's Back Bay
Credit: Brian Samuels Photography

Chris Coombs launched his career in the hospitality industry at the age of 11 washing dishes at a North Shore seafood restaurant. After attending The Culinary Institute of America in New York, the budding chef went on to build an impressive resume that included working under Ming Tsai at Wellesley’s Blue Ginger and cooking for Laura Bush at The White House. Coombs moved back to Boston in 2005, and soon teamed up with restaurateur Brian Piccini to found Boston Urban Hospitality. He opened Deuxave in 2010, and has since earned widespread acclaim for his refined take on French and American cuisines. Coombs has been featured on both Forbes’ and Zagat’s 30 Under 30 lists, and was named Restaurateur of the Year by the Massachusetts Restaurant Association in 2015.

Boston’s best dish:

Hot and Sour Xian Hand-pulled Noodles (#16) at Gene’s Chinese Flatbread Café downtown.

Desert island spice:

Variety is the spice of life. Choosing one spice would be like expecting an orchestra to play with only one instrument.

Kitchen playlist:

Speaking of music, I’m not often the DJ in the kitchen, because my phone never stops ringing. But Kendrick Lamar, Jay Z, The Notorious B.I.G., old Wu-Tang Clan, and Drake are typical Pandora stations.

Favorite food destination:

It’s super easy to say Paris, Tokyo, New York, or Chicago. But I think every city has its fair share of amazing food and terrible food. I feel the most interesting food city in the world is Copenhagen; the highs are really high, and the lows are still pretty memorable. But the food culture is probably the most unique.

Cooking inspiration:

For me, cooking has always been about making people happy. Food is about gathering people, and sharing ideas and commonalities. As humans, there are very few things that we all have in common, but we all eat. Cooking is my opportunity to be a part of the conversation, and share my craft and passion with the world.

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