Chef Jason Santos likes to have fun.
You can tell by his trademark blue hair, and more importantly, you can tell by his food. Liquid nitrogen salsa that smolders like a disco when it hits the plate? Check. Orange gel that forms into noodles when it hits hot broth? Got it. Black Truffle Dippin Dots Ice Cream that arrives tableside smoking? Absolutely.
The presentations of Santos’ dishes are whimsical and inventive, but the flavors on his plates keep diners coming back for more. His cuisine seamlessly combines Asian, French and traditional American flavors with dazzling visual and textural twists that consistently wow diners. His cooking style has been referred to as “Julia Child Meets Willy Wonka”.
Santos’ name is familiar to foodies. Known as “Jay” on the seventh season of Fox’s hit television show Hell’s Kitchen, Santos has been regularly complimented by one of the industry’s toughest critics, Chef Gordon Ramsay.
A graduate of Newbury College in Newton, Mass, he cut his teeth at Andy Husbands’ Tremont 647 and quickly rose through the ranks before assuming the role of Executive Chef at Gargoyles on the Square in 2005. In his years there, his cuisine transformed the restaurant from neighborhood stalwart to out-of-town destination dining hotspot. His fusion of new techniques and exotic ingredients into bistro fare has earned plaudits from The Boston Globe (including the cover of the Food Section), chowhound.com, Improper Bostonian, and most notably, Stuff Magazine (where he appeared on the cover twice). Santos is now the owner and Executive Chef at Blue Inc. located at 131 Broad Street in Boston’s Financial District.
It’s not just nights on the line, though – Santos gets around a little bit. He teaches culinary courses at both Boston University and Cambridge Rindge and Latin’s culinary programs. He had the honor of cooking to a sold-out crowd at the James Beard House in 2005 and 2010, and was invited to the Star Chefs Molecular Gastronomy conference in 2007, where he hobnobbed with the likes of Jose Andres, Wylie Dufresne and Grant Achatz.
Each year Santos donates his time to Share Our Strength’s Operation Frontline, an organization dedicated to educating disadvantaged families on nutrition, and serves as the restaurant chair for Taste of the Nation, Share Our Strength’s benefit to eliminate childhood hunger. He was also awarded second place in the country at the National Pork Board’s Annual National Taste of Elegance event in Baltimore. Santos appears regularly on Boston’s local Fox affiliate doing cooking demos and has recently appeared nationally on the CBS Early Show.