Chef Brian Poe was born in the town of Macon, Georgia, and grew up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Weekends were spent in Haleyville, Alabama, where his grandmother, Ms. Leaty, would cook after-church suppers for up to 50 friends and relatives, composed of Southern classics raised on the family farm: corn on the cob, fried okra, fried chicken, and catfish (caught by young Poe himself in his grandfather Papaw Drake’s pond.) Some of Poe’s fondest childhood memories involve the time spent in Ms. Leaty’s kitchen while she baked biscuits from scratch and he cleaned freshly picked beans. The most trouble he can recall ever being in as a child was when he ate all the crust off of one of her freshly baked apple pies.
Poe went to school at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, where he soon found himself back in the kitchen, working his way up the back-of-house ranks at the Auburn University Hotel and Conference Center. From there, he was promoted to Sous Chef at the Northeast Atlanta Hilton – during the Olympics. Next, the corporate task-force team relocated him to Scottsdale, Arizona, naming him Chef at Steamers Oyster Grill in Phoenix and then Executive Chef at the American Grill, a gentlemen’s steakhouse serving a seasonal menu that featured different styles of regional cooking: Southern, Midwestern, Pacific Northwestern, and Southwestern. It was here that Poe created and perfected his now-famous Grilled Green Chile Cornbread.
Poe next repaired to the resorts of Scottsdale, where he worked as chef de cuisine at the famous Piñon Grill. This is where he honed his wine-pairing expertise, traveling with his team up and down the West Coast and writing menus back at the Grill to complement the wines they tasted. He also did many task-force missions for the Millennium Hotel group – from the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles to the Millennium Bostonian Hotel, where he ran Seasons Restaurant. The latter eventually became home. Following in the footsteps of such great culinarians as Jasper White, Lydia Shire, Gordon Hamersley, Jody Adams, and others, Poe spent five harmonious years cooking his way to the top of the food chain, securing the dual title of Executive Chef and Food & Beverage Director at the hotel.
His success at Seasons brought Poe to a new career point. He took advantage of the opportunity to travel throughout South America – from Brazil and Argentina to Chile, Peru, and Bolivia – in an effort to prepare for his next challenge: manning the newly branded Poe’s Kitchen at the Rattlesnake Bar & Grill. With the hearty support of the Rattlesnake’s owners, Poe has successfully brought food to the forefront of what was already a see-and-be-seen institution in the Back Bay.
In June of 2012, Poe opened The Tip Tap Room in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. True to its namesake, The Tip Tap Room dishes out a variety of inventive “tips” accompanied by an immense selection of beers on “tap” in an upscale pub setting.
Chef Poe is also a culinary instructor at Newbury College, an active board member of the American Institute of Wine and Food, and a board member of several local and national charities. He often serves as personal chef to such local celebrities as Curt Schilling and his family,
With his fond childhood memories and his love for Boston, Chef Poe has finally come full circle from his travels across 38 states and beyond, ready to settle in Boston for good, though the flavors from his world travels stay with him and make daily appearances on his menu at Poe’s Kitchen.