ROBERT GRANT | Executive Chef
Often we say to ourselves that no one could be as even-keeled or positive as Robert is all the time, but when you get to be around as much pork as he does, maybe you can? He was raised in all that fresh air out in Colorado and spent his school years at Johnson + Wales. He headed to Vegas to be infinitely inspired working for Mark Hopper at Bouchon and on to Boston to be butchered out as Barbara Lynch's Chef de Cuisine at The Butcher Shop. Can we blame him if he's a little wacky. It's just like his favorite movie, Bringing Up Baby except we don't have a leopard in the restaurant.. yet. Testing his perfect chicken since he was 15, we can't get enough of Robert's enthusiasm for his profession or his couture apron collection.
Most nights of the week Nick Zappia can be spotted crisscrossing the floor of The Blue Room. No surprise, as he's the restaurant’s starship commander, mother hen and unfailing inspiration, a man who can’t help but take care that every patron and employee is coddled and content. He knows the space well, having owned the restaurant once in part, now wholly, for sixteen years. Nick finetuned his service chops in Providence’s burgeoning culinary scene, at Johnson & Wales, and finally Cambridge’s celebrated East Coast Grill. When it comes to his other passions, golf and cassoulet, he is hardly a mother hen. He once drove a golf ball through the windshield of a 1975 Pontiac Malibu, costing him two months of hard-earned paperboy cabbage.
LIZ VILARDI | Owner
Liz Vilardi is a natural fit in the positions of Blue Room Owner and Wine Director, given that as a discerning youth she refused ham sandwiches in favor of escargot and duck confit, and held Kool Aid in withering disdain (holding out, no doubt, for a Jeroboam of 1977 Chateau d’Yquem). Lucky girl: she had a doting, gourmand father! Stints at Boston College and the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts further refined Vilardi's enviable palate and managerial prowess. And finally she’s come around to ham sandwiches, albeit with Spanish Jabugo, acorn-fed, and a thick slather of French butter. Kool Aid? No way, not ever.
ANDREW BONNER | Executive Sous Chef
Andrew Bonner once sweat bullets on stage as bass player for the band Piebald, now sweats bullets expediting forty plate pick-ups in The Blue Room kitchen. After his graduation from The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts we snagged Andrew to be his “in between gigs gig” but his American heart was still tangled up with Piebald. For more than 4 years now we’ve been lucky enough to have Andrew join us full-time as Sous Chef at The Blue Room. Now, he gets off more on his giant pick-ups than hammering away on his old Fender’s pick-ups. Yeah, you’re a part of it.
Fanny Katz | Belly Manager
Fanny showed up at the doorway to Belly siting a strong and strange desire to return to The Blue Room space (turns out she ran around our walk-in as a 3 year old) after years at B+G Oyster and Menton. With her signature vest and her siren’s song for a deep love of wine we accepted. After she bewitched us with wine, she switched to some strange language about cocktails. Words like down drinks, DOF glasses and something about Bamboo came from her lips. Is this wine rivaling cocktails Fanny? A student of the theater in the Windy City and a kid who grew up on the “hill” – Beacon Hill that is – we couldn’t be happier that Fanny’s vernacular includes both wine geek and cocktail chic.
A native of Cambridge, Mia truly represents the wonderful multicultiural fabric of the city as she is half Filipino and half Colombian which gives her a unique perspective. Almost lost to the WNBA, Mia came to her senses and attended Johnson + Wales for Baking/Pastry Arts. Thankfully we convinced her to join us as our Pastry Chef and now we enjoy tasty confections with a sprinkle of sass in the kitchen daily since her arrival. It is, however, unfortunate that we must endure her lip-syncing to The Backstreet Boys in the kitchen (sway to the left, sway to the right, spin) and her indignant insistence that Happy Feet is a real penguin.