Chef Brian Rae grew up in Ridgefield, Connecticut. After high school, he was off to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. With his degree in hand, he started his career in his hometown, at Bernard’s and The Elms Inn.
A zealous young chef, Rae began his introduction to serious seafood with Chef Steve Cavagnaro at Nantucket’s long-standing seafood institution, Straight Wharf Restaurant. Cavagnaro’s simple approach to food taught Rae how to best utilize and highlight ingredients.
Seeking more experience in a culinary city, Rae joined the opening team for Rick Moonen’s first Vegas restaurant, RM Seafood, as Sous Chef. After a year, Moonen promoted Rae to Chef de Cuisine of the fine dining arm of the two-in-one restaurant. Under Moonen, Rae continued his extensive training in seafood, with a focus on sustainability, and further developed his ingredient-driven sensibility.
A 2008 StarChefs Rising Star, Rae joined the team at Rialto in November 2009 and assumed the role of Chef de Cuisine in 2010. He joined the opening team at Jamaica Plain’s Centre Street Café in 2014 as Executive Chef, overseeing the Italian-leaning menu at the neighborhood favorite.
He was the opening chef at Les Sablons in Harvard Square before taking the helm at Coppa in the South End. In 2022 he helped Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette’s JK Food Group, expand into the Back Bay as the opening chef at Faccia Brutta on Newbury Street.