Q&A: Tony Maws of Craigie on Main

Mike Piazza

In his first of 17 restaurant jobs, Newton native Tony Maws got his start waiting tables on Martha’s Vineyard before moving on to kitchens in Boston, San Francisco, Santa Fe, and Lyon, France. Maws won acclaim first with his Cambridge-based Craigie Street Bistrot and later at nearby Craigie on Main, where a nose-to-tail interpretation of French bistro cooking earned him a 2011 James Beard Award for Best Chef: Northeast. His TV credits include appearances on Chopped and Japan’s Iron Chef reboot. In 2014 Maws opened Kirkland Tap & Trotter, a more casual gastropub in Somerville.

Boston’s best dish:

Cilantro with Green Pepper Salad at Chilli Garden in Medford. Pasta at Craigie on Main.

Guilty pleasure food:

I don’t feel guilty about eating anything. But if you’re talking about “unhealthy” pleasure, then it’s Fritos, bad Buffalo wings, and my wife’s oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies (the best on the planet).

Kitchen playlist:

I generally let Pandora choose, by clicking on stations ranging from The Clash to R.E.M. to David Bowie and Wilco. Sometimes if we need some good laughs and a jolt of energy, I put on some old Van Halen.

Favorite food destination:


Cooking inspiration:

I’m okay at it, and it seems to make other people happy.

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