Honored by The James Beard Foundation as one of “The Best Hotel Chefs in America”, Executive Chef Peter Davis has created a popular, beloved culinary destination and a cult following with Henrietta’s Table, located in The Charles Hotel, Harvard Square. Named one of America’s “Best Farm-to-Table” restaurants by Gourmet, the restaurant is a perfect complement to The Charles’ hybrid culture of contemporary energy and awareness blended with traditional New England style.
Davis, whose motto is “fresh and honest”, as in “fresh from the farm and honest to goodness New England cooking,” came to The Charles with impressive credentials from around the world. After working in highly-ranked international hotels including the Hyatt-Singapore, the Bali Hyatt, the Grand Hyatt in Hong Kong, and the Beverly Hills Peninsula, he returned to his native city of Boston to become Executive Chef at The Charles Hotel in 1995. An avid conservationist with close ties to the fishing and farming communities of New England, Davis was one of the first chef proponents for the use of organic products. Many years later, he continues to avoid using any genetically engineered foods or products at Henrietta’s Table. A true “working chef,” heavily involved in the daily operations of the restaurant, the opening of Henrietta’s Table was a lifelong ambition.
In Fall 2008, Davis released his first cookbook, Fresh & Honest: Food from the Farms of New England and the Kitchen of Henrietta’s Table. A true work of passion, the beautiful cookbook is a testament to Davis’ love of delicious, fresh foods and the New England farmers and producers who supply them. In 2009, Fresh & Honest won a New England Book Festival award in the cookbook category.
Henrietta’s Table features an unpolished wood floor, mission-style chairs, an unpretentious ambiance, and a working market stocked with culinary treats and gifts crafted by New England purveyors at the entrance. The menu features daily and weekly specials, utilizing the best of open market ingredients. Davis cooks with organic and native ingredients from local producers throughout and beyond Massachusetts, creating an original and simple approach to classic New England cuisine. “Our main priority is the taste of the food,” says Davis, “so we try not to put more than three or four ingredients on a plate.” Davis’ keen awareness of the integrity of food in its natural state, eye for color and instinct for balance of tastes has earned him critical acclaim by Travel & Leisure, USA Today and the TV Food Network.
Davis is married with two children and lives close to the ocean in his native town of Nahant, Massachusetts.