The first thing you need to know about Chef Peter McCarthy is that he’s a licensed pilot and an avid sailor. The second thing you need to know is that he’s just as fearless in the kitchen as he is in the air or on the water.
McCarthy showed his culinary moxie in 1994, when he stepped into the very big shoes of Executive Chef at Seasons at the Bostonian Hotel, a position that was by then on the resumes of Jasper White, Lydia Shire, Bill Porrier and Tony Ambrose. During his tenure, the restaurant received numerous awards and much acclaim, including a 1995 vote by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine as one of the Top Fifty Restaurants in America. In 1997, the James Beard Awards selected McCarthy as one of “America’s Great Hotel Chefs.”
A Quincy native, McCarthy began cooking at age fourteen and worked locally until entering the Culinary Institute of America. In 1987, he graduated with honors and was voted “Most Likely to Succeed.” Upon graduation, he became a Line Cook at Seasons at the Bostonian Hotel and worked his way through the ranks.
In 1998, he decided to strike out on his own, and named his new venture EVOO, an acronym for extra virgin olive oil. This restaurant, too, quickly began racking up accolades for McCarthy. Bon Appetit called it One of the Best New Restaurants in America, the Improper Bostonian proclaimed that “EVOO is extraordinary,” The Boston Globe wrote it’s “instantly likable,” and Boston Magazine called it “EVOO-lutionary.”
The menu again shows McCarthy’s daring nature, mixing New England, Asian, European and other influences to create a melting pot of offerings that he calls American cuisine, and an eclectic style that is anything but boring.
McCarthy also approaches the EVOO menu with a commitment to using as many local ingredients as possible. He is a charter member of the Chefs Collaborative, an organization that unites chefs and farmers to bring local sustainable agriculture to restaurants and classrooms. They’re out to save the planet. Knowing McCarthy, they’ll succeed.