Todd English ’82 Executive Chef/Restauranteur
Todd English is executive chef and restaurateur for The Olive Group, which he began in 1989 with the opening of Olives in Charlestown, MA, and which has since grown to 15 restaurants nationwide.
After graduating from the CIA in 1982, he continued to hone his craft with Jean Jacques Rachou at La Côte Basque in New York City and through apprenticeships in Italy at Dal Pescatore and Paraccuchi, where he developed his unique style and approach to cooking. Chef English returned to the U.S. in 1985 when he was asked to be executive chef of the award-winning Michela’s in Cambridge, MA. He stayed at Michela’s three years before deciding to open Olives, then a 50-seat storefront restaurant featuring rustic Mediterranean cuisine.
In recent years, Chef English has launched additional Olives locations, in New York City, Las Vegas, Aspen, and Washington, DC. He has also opened KingFish Hall in Boston and, along with the golf great, Greg Norman’s Australian Grille in Myrtle Beach, SC. His Olive Group also includes four Figs restaurants in the greater Boston area and two at New York City’s LaGuardia Airport, along with the Italian-inspired Tuscany at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT, and Bonfire, a steakhouse in the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. Among his many other ventures are Todd’s Real Pasta (a line of fresh-frozen pasta sold in New England supermarkets) and a restaurant on board the Queen Mary 2 cruise ship.
Chef English caught the culinary world’s eye in 1991, when the James Beard Foundation named him the “National Rising Star Chef.” Three years later, the Foundation named him “Best Chef in the Northeast.” The first recipient of the Robert Mondavi Award for Culinary Excellence, he was also named one of the Nation’s Restaurant News “Top 50 Tastemakers,” and one of Food & Wine‘s “Top 10 Chefs.” In 2001, Chef English was hailed as “Restaurateur of the Year” by Bon Appétit and one of the “50 Most Beautiful People” by People magazine.