Q&A: Rebecca Arnold of Whole Heart Provisions


This young chef earned her chops in some of Boston’s most respected kitchens—she was sous chef at Alden & Harlow and a cook at Sarma—before striking out on her own. Today, Rebecca Arnold’s at the helm of Whole Heart Provisions, which she opened in 2015 alongside James DiSabatino of Roxy’s Grilled Cheese. At the tiny, always-packed storefront in Allston, Arnold calls upon her past experience to serve up creatively prepared vegan and vegetarian bowls plus street food-inspired snacks.

Boston’s Best Dish: The Szechuan pickled vegetables at Sichuan Garden! I crave them so much that I often dream about them.

Desert island spice: Oh I don’t know where to begin with this one! I am a huge spice and seasoning fan, and we use such a variety at Whole Heart! Harissa, za’atar, turmeric, sumac, and Szechuan peppercorns definitely make my top five list!

 Kitchen playlist: We have a very musical staff at Whole Heart—lots of Berklee grads and band members. One of my current favorite bands is Honeysuckle. Holly, their lead singer, was one of our first Whole Heart employees, and their tracks are played daily here!

Favorite food destination: San Francisco holds a special place in my heart. It’s where I did my internship after culinary school (at Millennium Restaurant). And it’s where I really started to see and appreciate how beautiful foods could taste and become when starting with amazing product.

Cooking inspiration: Everyone who knows me will agree that I tend to sway towards Asian cuisines when cooking at home. I love to go to H-Mart or Super 88 and buy items I’ve never seen or used before. My pantry is always stocked with Asian vinegars, pickled peppers, dried mushrooms, noodles, rice cakes, fermented black beans, and a variety of kimchis and misos for throwing together a quick and spicy noodle soup!

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